Monday, March 10, 2008

Affluenza part 2

I finished the book a few days ago and have been thinking about the "treatment" prescribed. I agree with a lot of it but I do not agree with one of their methods for changing things, through legislation. No matter whether I agree with them or not I don't thinking forcing people to change their habits is the answer. I think education and social pressure go a lot further toward changing attitudes than any benefits gained through mandating change.

I also have a problem with some of the examples they use. There were a number of people the authors mentioned that had made great changes within their lives. These people downsized and learned to live with less, and in a few cases started their own organizations to help bring about change in other peoples' lives. In all of these cases though the people had good incomes to start out with. It's like a number of the homesteading magazines I have read. They talk about how these people live on very little and have no bills but it's only because they started out with land and supplies. These people are not your average citizen deciding to make some changes in their life. I'm not saying it's a bad thing just pointing out that it's a lot easier to liquidate your possessions and downsize when you have something to liquidate.

The overriding premise was that we can and should live with less. I firmly agree with that idea. My reasons for doing that are different than the authors' though. I also stand by the idea that money may not buy happiness but I think it can go a long way to buying piece of mind. It's a lot easier to consider changes in your life when you aren't worried how you are going to pay the electric bill and put food on the table. Of course, my ideas of having enough are way different than many others.

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