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The Credit Cruncher was conceived to help you to keep up to date with credit crunch and recession developments, it provides some helpful credit crunch advice and it addresses personal debt. The Credit Cruncher also seeks to explain how the credit crunch started and shed some light on the worldwide recession. Recently, we have begun to look at how BREXIT will affect the UK economy. Please feel free to leave comments where relevant.

14 Jul 2010

Our 'shallow' economy

I don't really want to come across all left wing and anti-capitalist, but there is a worrying element to the drivers behind the Western economy that may indicate that it is becoming unsustainable.

In thinking about what drives us to earn and consume, it is becoming clear that it is 'unsustainable' consumer behaviour that drives larger and larger sections of our economy. These can be illustrated by the clamour to posess the latest 'Apple' product whether it be a phone (never knowingly advertised as a device for making phone calls of course..) computer, or media player. It is also illustrated by our taste in transport, ever faster, slicker, uber-designed capsules for transporting us around the globe - in reality used for dropping the kids off at school and getting in the shopping. Do we need to spend between £10,000 and £20,000 for a main vehicle let alone a 'second' car that will be the kids taxi and motorised shopping cart?
Have you also noticed that a TV used to cost a little over £100, yet now you can get a 'bargain' widescreen HD-ready TV for just £500?

Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking consumerism, I am a 'victim' and active participant... I am trying to point out that one day we might wake up to the reality, and stop buying these luxuries, at which point, our entire economy is in danger. The additional point to make is that the products themselves are contributing to the demise of the species. I don't have figures for the damage done to the environment by cars alone, but you don't have to be a greenpeace protester to be aware of these facts:
  • We have too many cars
  • Cars are bad for the environment
  • Any 'convenience' factor of having access to a motor vehicle is now surely seriously outweighed by the damage it does to our planet.
The problem is that the voices of reason will not be heard above the clamour for the latest gizmo or gadget that is going to make one individuals life so much better at the expense of everyone else. This is where democracy fails us, no politician can speak up against the manufacturers that fuel the economy. The battle can only be won, one consumer at a time...if we all stopped doing it tomorrow, the economy would stall catastrophically - every great 'empire' has it's weakness in the end - I believe that this is the major weakness in the Western World, our rapidly increasing desire for bigger, better, faster, more advanced 'stuff' will end up with consumers eventually questioning their own sanity.

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