Do you do things to contribute to the common good of society? Pay taxes? Do you (or would you) serve in the military/police/fire/emt? You follow traffic laws? Wear a mask and gloves in a pandemic?
.....Do you have an $80 handmade cutting board in your kitchen?.....
What the hell does that last question have to do with civic duty? Well, it’s invisibly similar to this question.. "Would you drive a BMW if you could afford to?"
Right now we often save our money by buying cheep plastic crap, eating chain food, etc. We save $2 on factory grown meet instead of eating healthier from local farms. We go to Target and buy a cheesy slogan printed on some fake barn wood for $15 and hang it in our living room calling it “art” instead of buying actual art.
The money we save often gets wasted on showing people how much money we have. We buy overpriced cars, houses with empty rooms. Brand name apparel. None of these contribute to the people in your society as much as they contribute to the shareholders at the top of those companies.
And then when tech makes 80% of us unessential, it means that 80% of our economy is circling the drain. Can 20% of you cover 80% of the rest? Not really. And that’s why everyone has strong political opinions right now.
HOW WE REALLY FEEL ABOUT YOUR $200 SUN GLASSES:
-until the 1980’s, “Hey thumbs up. I’m jealous”
-1990’s-2018, “No one’s fooled. You have basic credit.”
-2020 and beyond, “Give me your wallet and sunglasses.”
I promise your mom’s cat has not been forgotten, hang in there.
But what if our version of showing off, instead of driving a BWM, was to flaunt how much of our spending goes to “the actual economy”? Like, what if all of our dishes and glasses were made by potters and glass blowers? What if we wore hand tailored clothes that fit us perfectly? What if we got rid of “bless this mess” and hung up some actual art on the wall? Could we afford it? Yea, actually, if you’re willing to drive a perfectly good Toyota instead of a BMW, you would be able to buy all those things.
Consequentially, the quality of everything will improve because there will be more people like me, selling my craft and dumping most of that money back into the economy. Right now my competition is limited to only the people who are willing to live small in a world that looks down their noses at us. But show some respect to the craft and I’ll have some steeper artists to compete with. Better stuff for you to buy.
The big corporations and factories and box stores are still very useful. No one wants a hand crafted TV or phone or car. And for those, we need the big biz. Amazon doesn’t care what they sell as long as they sell. Target can get rid of it’s “art” isle and still employ just as many people. Maybe shave down the furniture and clothing and dinnerware and anything else that could be done by a local human. Maybe they’ll employ slightly fewer, but those employees would be off doing things that they’re good at, now that there’s a market for them. OOOR maybe they’ll sell a ton of local art and clothing and pottery.
THE GOAL is to have substantial jobs for more people. Consequently, we’d be generating more tax money and asking for less welfare from it. Simply put, we’s be a stronger society and more resistant to catastrophic failure.
THE COST is 2 things.
1) corporate shareholders make half as many billions as they do now. 2) You drive a perfectly good $18k car instead of a $40k car
HOW TO GET THERE
Social reinforcement. The same thing that made us give a F about cars and brand names in the first place. Stop kissing peoples butt holes every time they flash an overpriced factory item. Roll your eyes at them when they brag about two people living in a 4 bedroom house with a dog that has 3 acres to poop on. Don’t encourage them. It should be a fo paux to drain your money out of the economy like that. A serious party foul. Social accountability is stronger than it’s ever been and we can retrain our habits. #DontSpendLikeADouche #NoOneEnviesYourEscalade. #TrickleSideways
And when someone shows off their hand made jacket/shirt/jewelry, thats when you kiss their butt hole and say THANK YOU for contributing to society. When their home is 1 bedroom smaller and full of hand made dinnerware, art, furniture, that’s when you say “dope pad bro. Who made this cutting board?”. In fact, when they buy a modest car, an electric car, a well maintained used car, thats when you say “dope ride bro”, not when they’re commuting to work in something that would be overkill on the Oregon Trail. (no, this does not hurt the car companies. They will make just as many cars, only more reasonable ones, maybe even electric boogie woogie woogie)
If you pat yourself on the back for contributing to society by being a consumer, you may want to consider how you consume. Are you spiking a small population to a glamorous hight where they’re too rich to pay taxes? Or are you swelling a wider population up to a functional level. If you choose Olive Garden over a locally owned joint, thats your choice. But you lose your right to legitimately complain about people who need government assistance. YOU and me and everyone else are the answer. Capitalism works better than socialism ONLY if you are smart with your spending.
So for those of you who aren’t about to become homeless, take that stim check and buy a hand made wooden cutting board from a local craftsman. Buy jewelry from the countless people around you who can spend that money in your own community. Spend the extra few bucks on locally sourced food. And FOR THE LOVE OF GOD commission me to draw a picture of your mom’s cat for mothers day.