“Money can buy great, but it can’t buy good. What we really want is love.”
Everybody wants to be rich.
We all want the things that money can afford, including the opulence we imagine, would invigorate, excite and pleaseus because that is what we have all been conditioned to crave. Money is the one string which ties every society together, it is the constant which ensures we remain the same in the most crucial of ways — understanding what we can afford and a dream to purchase the things we can’t yet. This continual striving for more is accentuated by excess an exacerbated by luxurious exclusive brands which inflate the cost of products beyond reach for most. Even if we won’t admit it, we’d love to be able to ostentatiously display our wealth.
Such is the way of capitalism; it is the only way to be. It is the essential necessity which drives daily life. We work to buy the things we want and our own self-worth is inexplicably linked to the things we associate with. The brands we hitch our wagon to come to define us more than the things we do in the eyes of the masses. The haves have and the have-nots are desperate to get them.
We are either striving to become rich or we are already and we’re trying to defend our position. This is done through questionable tax dodges which though legal are morally repugnant.
And we work to afford the car to get us to work. The brand we purchase is indicative of our social standing; it is what defines us in the eyes of our colleagues, and displays what we think of ourselves. It is an ego boost personally and gives credence to our brand providing footing for our position in the social hierarchy.
And we work to pay for the petrol to fuel the car to get us to work to earn the money to purchase the food that gives us the energy to enable us to work effectively to earn the money to pay for the things that we want. Money and work are cyclical, the only point at which we deviate from it is to spend the money on acquiring the things we want.
Except when we use credit we can’t afford to purchase things we don’t need.
Debt altered the paradigm by altering economic reality. The natural economic slowdown the world has experienced has produced the first generation poorer than their parents. They have defeated their inability to purchase more by spending other people’s money, knowing they won’t be able to pay it back.
And that is where we stand between the two, we all want to be rich so we live like we are. Who needs to save when money is so cheap and easily available? And what are the repercussions when we can’t afford it? We’ve lived through and witnessed the criminality of big business vagrantly flaunting the cash accrued through reckless criminality, emerging unscathed from the financial crisis instigated by greed and a lack of regulation. We still pay for it as those who stole the money we now pay back in tax walk free. So we spend and dream of the exotic luxury that the corruption on wall street purchased. We want yachts, private jets, and our own islands. We want to be able to afford entry into the most exclusive of clubs — the 1%.
Consumerism is the reality of the world and we are the sentiment beings who willingly participate. Without our compliance, it would cease to exist.
And that is the pre-requisite of continuation of life as we know it. Without consumers purchasing whatever producers provide the economic reality we have grown so accustomed to would become extinct. Without purchasing, there are no jobs and the world grinds to a halt.
It is the reason that technology has become more disposable, it has had to be.
Can you imagine the implications if high technology lasted as long as our grandparents’ washing machines? Product cycles have shortened because economics has dictated it. Products have been designed with an expiration date in mind whereas previously it seems things would last forever. We are conditioned to believe that as soon as we buy something it is out of date, there is always a next best thing.
But eventually, there won’t be, this is illustrated by the development of the iPhone, you no longer have to buy the next iPhone because the new one isn’t a magnitude of 10 better than the last. Developmental progress has stopped which hasn’t necessitated the need to buy new things. If you roll this across the spectrum of technology, TV’s andall domestic white goods, you can imagine the problem.
Our economic model will have to alter to accommodate this change in consumer purchasing behaviour which will simultaneously be pummelled by the lack of spending and a massive bill for pensions which swells every year.
And I believe payment in kind will evolve into a Utopian/Dystopian like model which enables you to acquire the things you need in exchange for your willingness and propensity to earn it. Work for an hour here to acquire clothes from a brand you love, 3 hours hear to afford you weekly shop, administration at a flight provider to bank hours to pay for a flight.
Which of course comes with huge concerns for exploitation, but you can question what the peer economy is currently doing to a whole class of worker who have no rights of protections.
And the rich often view the strivers as lazy and appease their consciousness by putting them down and denying them the things they deserve.
The world is changing, autonomy is upon us and with it will come mass disruption to existing industries that employ millions. In the USA alone 8 million people who work in the taxi service, delivery and haulage could be made redundant by self driving cars.
We can either alter our perception of what it means to be rich, expanding our definition to include personal happiness, instead of deriving it from the things we can never afford and don’t truly need.
Yet we all want to be rich so we’ll die trying.
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