Nov 11 2012
Juliet Schor in, “Plentitude: The New Economics of True Wealth,” prescribes a new lifestyle that will better people during this time of economic and environmental crisis. She first lists issues that America faces, such as the economic crisis of 2008 and global warming and how the combination of these two could be detrimental for America’s future if not handled soon. Schor explains that previous generations thought that our generation would be rich and smart enough to deal with this problem, so they left it for us. However, we are not facing the problem head on. There is mass unemployment that stimulus packages will never be strong enough to fix. “BAU,” or business as usual, will not work forever. We are promoting the wrong ideals and are not one with nature. Instead, the government wants to restore consumer confidence, when in reality we need to revolutionize the way we consume. Trade off economics, the thought of more of one thing means less of another, does not always have to be the case. People are afraid of climate change because they do not have all the right information. Schor has four principles by which she explains Plentitude. She thinks that a new allocation of time and a shift away from BAU would help. Americans are working longer hours than ever before and it will not continue unless there is an equal amount of demand. She wants us to diversify from the BAU market and to do things for ourselves. More locally made products and food could solve this problem. Additionally, she said we need true materialism and to be environmentally conscious. Society has sped up the process of acquiring and discarding goods. America must lower it’s ecological footprint and see nature as our home, not a disposable resource. Finally, we must restore investments within our communities. Individuals working together can make the “macro-lifestyle” better for all. Plentitude is a phenomenon that has already begun in many place. It will continue to foster because it has too. We need to make changes instead of waiting on the government to act.