Regarding the Idea of a Third Depression
We have bred a monster out of consumerism through the over emphasis on credit. We are trapped in a cycle where the resulting anxiety in turn leads to excessive consumption, when instead we should be practicing a more sober economy. Our stress has been channeled that way by marketing, publicity, and our consumerist society: Buy this to fix that, buy this to make up for that, you know you need it, you’ll never be the same. You got credit? BAM!
Now how do we shake off those pathologies? Intense psychoanalysis? profound financial advisory sessions? or a “going-back-to-the-basics” approach? Is it even possible in such an industrialized and urbanized society?
Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world, has been asked a hundred times how to become a millionaire. His answer? Save and don’t spend on what you don’t need. Makes sense, after all, don’t we spend all the money we make? If you look at how much money you have made in your life so far, you end up asking yourself: “where the hell did all that money go?”. We consume ourselves into debt and end up trying to survive rather than living. We end up alone in this because policy is not interested in aiding the consumer and instead focuses on the corporate sphere. Sounds to me like a Third Depression indeed.
Response to “The Third Depression” by Paul Krugman (published in NY Times)