CAPITALISM UNDER ATTACK; IS IT JUSTIFIED ?
IS CONSUMERISM CAPITALISM TAKING OVER ?
IS THE US OVERSELLING CAPITALISM ?
CAN CAPITALISM SURVIVE ?
WILL CAPITALISM SURVIVE ?
Trying to get a broad overview of what is going on in our lives, Abbott's Book Club has read on a wide variety of topics concerning our present social, economic, political, and spiritual problems, including some historical background. We have run the gamut from Kunstler's doomsday scenario to a more positive outcome from Bill McKibben
Next on the agenda is Consumed, By Richard Barber. He lays out his theory that we have morphed our capitalism from a production outlook to a purely consumption power. This is not a new development. Thorstein Veblen talked about “conspicuous consumption” in the early 20th century, but it has achieved new heights today. Barber develops his theme of the book based on the following:
We sent all our real productivity overseas and now create only needs, not goods. We overproduce useless trinkets for the more wealthy people of the US and the world that have their basic food, shelter, and clothing needs met, but American capitalism keeps on creating new useless wants for them. We could instead be producing for the poor in world markets to make their lives better, but it is far less profitable. Barber calls it a cultural pathology; acquiring without a purpose.
“Greed is good” is our new brand. We oversell capitalism, especially to our children who eventually become dumbed downed as adults and mindlessly follow the pop culture of today. Shopping has become our new religion.
Barber lays out the problem but comes up short on the answer.
Pick up your copy from Librarian Liz Breault for our next get-together on Wed. October 29th at Abbott Memorial Library; 6 PM in Dexter. See if you have any answers to enlighten us.
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