Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Conundrum of Our Time

It's clear to me from yesterday's blog that some occupations that are a drag on the economy. Armed Robber. Pimp. Corporate CEO.

If you accept Schumacher's claim that natural resources are capital and not income, and then -- thought experiment -- eliminate oil, everybody's broke.

Simplistic it is. Yeah, yeah, yeah, if we're gonna dig our way out of this hole, we're gonna need a shovel and tetanus shots, etc. Somebody's gotta pump the oil, dig the taconite, and inactivate the tetanospasmin.

Buckminster Fuller suggested pensioning everybody off. (Quotes are from page 266 of Critical Path.) "Obviously the first step is to pay people the handsome fellowships to stay at home and say to themselves, 'What was I thinking about before I was first told, convincingly, that I had to "earn a living" by doing what someone else said I had to do?' " "With complete freedom of choice, much of humanity will begin to discover that it loves to work at tasks of its own choosing -- that it loves to discipline itself to demonstrate its competence to others -- that it will compete with the many to demonstrate its competence to serve on one of the multitude of production teams."

Aint' gonna happen.

But consider this: It's the hard-working middle class, whatever they do, that has the heaviest ecological footprint. There are too few rich to make much of a difference, and the poor don't consume enough. Corollary to "the poor don't consume enough," it's absurd to say subsistence is too much.

I have a schizophrenic friend who lives on less than a thousand dollars a month -- SSI, I do believe. He fouls the nest much less than I do, because he's so fucking poor, and he keeps trying to make a difference, persuading people to an environmentalist point of view.

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