On the supply side, people say our economic problem is that we don’t produce enough competitive product. We need to work harder and smarter. We must make more and sell more.
On the demand side, people say our economy is sick because consumers aren’t consuming enough. They’re out of work, out of cash and can’t borrow more to buy more, so producers make less, pay lower wages and hire fewer workers, who have less and less money to consume more stuff.
On the efficiency side, people say we need to make the stuff we produce and the stuff we buy more efficient. We need to build and buy more electric cars to replace our gas guzzlers, make and buy more digitally smart houses and phones. We need to eat more organic food and build more windmills. If we can be more efficient we can make more and buy more forever and ever — we can have our cake and eat it too!
Almost everyone seems to agree that we need to grow our way out of our economic malaise. We need to produce more and consume more, all designed, innovated and built more efficiently by our best and brightest.
Here’s what I’ve been thinking.
We are polluting our atmosphere, our water, our soils. We are denuding our forests and poisoning our oceans. We are soiling our nest and no matter how much we would like to think otherwise, we can’t solve the problems we’ve created by over-producing and over-consuming by producing and consuming more, no matter how smartly we do it.
At some point going forward we must reach a point when we decide enough is enough. When that happens, its time to go on a diet.