Thursday, December 30, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I have recently heard from numerous people from both political sides and all kinds of beliefs that "they" want us to spend more to save the economy.
"They" in this instance are the government officials. What I find interesting is that in general these people tend to agree that spending, or rather consuming is not the answer. The only premise I can gather is that the practice of consuming is bad. The idea that consuming is bad I can go along with in most cases, but I am not sure I can write off the practice of consuming goods as evil in general.
One thing we need to remember is that we live in a capitalist society. Oooo, I said capitalism, we all know that is inherently evil! Or is it? Sure, it can be a breeding ground for greed, but that doesn't necessarily make the economic structure greedy in itself, it means the people using it can use it for purposes for which it was not intended. In a capitalist society buying and selling are needed to keep the structure going. Buying is consuming.
Where I think we often get caught up though is that we equate buying/consuming with greed. Surely it is when we buy things only for ourselves, for our own use, and especially when we do not have the money to do so. Such consuming is greed. Let me flip that now. How different is that from storing up our goods or money so that only we have access to it and no one else, especially when we have plenty for ourselves in the foreseeable near future, and calling it savings? To me it's two sides of the same coin. Both are greed and have numerous theological implications, perhaps I'll get into that later.
Consuming goods doesn't have to mean we have to use or keep goods for ourselves. What it can mean is that we use the resources we have been blessed with to help and bless others so that the society we have been blessed to be born into can continue, if that is what you want.
Every time we buy a meal for ourselves (or somebody else) and tip we are paying wages for numerous people. Just something to think about.