Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 16 of 16

Thread: Doom and Gloom Economic Predictions

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cambridge ex- Liverpool
    Posts
    3,562

    Default

    George, a bit gloomy, but spot on! You only have to look at the packaging on "goods" to realise that we are on the road to ruin. What is wrong with brown paper bags for fruit / veg like it used to be?

    And DrPhred, I am not blaming the American people per se, heaven knows we have our own presidential ne'er do wrong in power in this country too, hanging off Bush's coat tails. But a sizeable portion of them put the Bush clan back in power, that is how "democracy" works, and we have to abide by that

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Hawke's Bay - Cardiff...ish!
    Posts
    2,314

    Default

    I think all parents can be guilty of giving their children too much at times. I am very conscious of this and try very hard not to. It's a shame that very often this leaves my children without the things the vast majority of their friends have. To be fair to my boys this doesn't seem to worry them overly. I didn't go to university to train as a teacher until I was 26 and we were so short of money during this time they had very little. It seems they are still quite grateful for anything we buy them now.

    [Quote]In the west, generally, we want too much for too little and are willing to be very wasteful. IMO that does mean most americans. But also most brits, and most kiwis and most europeans also. And I include myself in this - we are all products of the societies that created us.[Quote/]

    It's a shame to see NZ included in the list. I seemed some how to have formed the impression that we were getting away from a materialistic society. This was one of my motivations for going in the first place.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cambridge ex- Liverpool
    Posts
    3,562

    Default

    Likewise Nicola, I was under the impression that NZ wasn't anywhere near as bad as other parts of the world. But the one eyed god in the corner of the room has an awful lot to do with fomenting this type of society. Now that isn't to say that I begrudge my children anything, but the materialistic nature of the UK at least is really ridiculous. That isn't to say that you have to live like that I know, but it is bloody hard when it is rammed down your throat at each and every opportunity. Same goes for ads for food - no wonder there is so much disease and obesity, the way the companies target children for their so called "healthy" options is disgusting. I think NZ will be a step in the right direction, because you have more opportunity to channel the kids away from some of it - isn't tv awful down there? I know when we go camping to the lake district, the kids don't miss it - too busy having a good time being kids lol.
    But back on thread, our materialistic tendencies have to be curtailed because the world is going to be ruined if this greed continues.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Hawke's Bay - Cardiff...ish!
    Posts
    2,314

    Default

    Hi Stevie
    Yes I hope we will be moving in the right direction. I hate the way we waste so much money on things. We didn't miss the TV when we went round NZ in our camper (except the footy) and I hope my boys will watch even less than they do in the UK (not HUGE TV watchers) when we get there

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Sumner, Christchurch NZ
    Posts
    578

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by willsken
    It's a shame to see NZ included in the list. I seemed some how to have formed the impression that we were getting away from a materialistic society. This was one of my motivations for going in the first place.
    I do think that NZ is behind (or should that be in front?) of much of the western world in its materialism, but unfortunately it is only a matter of degree. It's really the whole western lifestyle that is a problem.

    If you could say that on a 'wastefulness' or 'consumption' scale of 1 to 100 the world should be at 25, and that the US is at 98 then NZ would be in the 80s, perhaps. A little better but still miles from the target. NZ currently has its largest balance of payments deficit for 20 years, and that has resulted largely from people going mad to buy imported consumer goods because the high dollar makes them all seem very cheap. For the time being at least...

    Whatever age you are think of the expectations your parents had when you were growing up - I would wager that almost without exception they expected to spend more of their time working (not just paid work - consider the full portfolio of household chores as well), expected fewer treats or indulgencies and when they did treat themselves tended to do so with far more modest things than we would expect these days.

    Remember the days when no one had a dishwasher? More work to do at home but less damage to the environment (no manufacturing/transportation costs for the machine, far less energy taken per plate to get the dishes clean). And when people clipped their hedges and mowed their lawns with hand-powered tools rather than with noisy energy consuming power tools? And when many people had allottments to grow their own veg - now (if they haven't been developed for housing) allottment holders will generally either be geriatrics or 'greenies' wanting to ensure that they have organic produce. For the rest of us we'd rather not take the time or effort. We claim, don't we, that we don't have time to do these things - but often that time is just spent watching TV, or down the pub, or sitting on the deck with a glass of wine watching the sun go down.

    The house I grew up in, which was built in 1954, had 3 power sockets in the whole house!!! One in the kitchen, one in the lounge and one on the upstairs landing! That is a telling statement on the importance of labour saving gadgets in the 1950s. In our kitchen/diner alone we now have 28! Some are for convenience and are hardly ever used, but at least 10 have something plugged in permanently that is used almost on a daily basis.

    Yet people survived in the 1950s, and if the surveys can be believed were far more content with their lives than we are today.

    To my mind there certainly is a big problem when one of the items a claimant (i.e. someone who is not contributing directly to the economic value of society) can EXPECT to have (and can be provided with if they don't) is a working colour TV set! Such is the crazy level to which our expectations have ballooned.

    All the conspicuous consumption of the modern world is seen as progress (indeed it is often the aim of developing societies to get to western levels of wastefulness, God help us), and it is very hard to imagine any 'democratic' government being willing to really tackle this issue as the immediate effects would be so unpleasant. We'd have to do without so many things we consider to be essential. We'd have to learn to enjoy more simple pleasures - reading / playing games / talking to each other / listening to a wind-up radio perhaps. We'd have to be happy with travelling less - holidays 50 miles from home rather than the other side of the world. Can you imagine any government in a western democracy that imposed this sort of life on its people being re-elected 3 or 5 years down the track? Many of the UK v NZ debates that have raged in this forum have used the availability or otherwise of cheap airfares as an indication of how desirable a society is to live in. Nice as mass long distance travel is (and I've been a major pollutant here) it's unsustainable.

    Perhaps a real world oil crisis would do us all good - if petrol really went through the roof we'd think twice about all of our trips. If electricity was three times the price we'd look hard at whether we really needed the convenience of some of our luxuries.

    I admit to being part of the problem - I don't have the self discipline to take the hard road when there is a fairly cheap and far easier option. Someone or something has to make me.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Hawke's Bay - Cardiff...ish!
    Posts
    2,314

    Default

    Thank you for the explanation. You are quite right in what you say. We are all guilty of waste, I hold my hands up to it (although I am not as bad as some) I am very conscious of wasting electric, in the sense of unnecessary lights left on, TV off if not being WATCHED rather than being used as background noise etc. BUT I like the modern convenience of life. I think nothing of buying ready prepared veg so I don't waste time chopping a carrot etc. You are also right about no government being able to enforce this on anyone. We have been allowed to get used to a certain way of life that would be unbearably hard to give up. When I was growing up my parents strived to give me MORE than what they had. I am trying hard to make sure my boys don't keep getting MORE. The have plenty now and it should be enough.

    I donít have any answers, I just know I donít like the way the world is headed. Is it too late to turn it around?

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •