My previous blog, "My thoughts about angry bloggers and why they exist," seems to have resonated with quite a few people — pro and con. I enjoyed the largely respectful discourse, but I'd like to experiment with one of the points made by the readers.
Some bloggers contend that if the person commenting had to put their name to the words they wrote, the comments would be more respectful and less harmful and hurtful.
I'd like to make a request. If you are going to comment on this week's blog use your real first name and your real last name. True, I am trusting people will honor the "honor system" and yes, I do recognize that the unscrupulous will play the imposter. But for the sake of the spirit and intent of this blogging experiment, let's give a sincere try at being honest and public with our comments.
OK, here is this week's blog.
The high cost of gasoline, home heating and electricity is putting a real clamp on the American economy. Our economy is a mess. Albert Einstein said something like, "The thinking that got us into this problem, is not the thinking that will get us out of it."
So I propose that we Americans change how we make decisions about consuming. What would happen if we did away with the typical American consumer mentality and stopped buying based on price alone? What if we bought based on the value of putting an American back to work in addition to the price? Not just one or the other, but both. It means that instead of having 20 pairs of pants or shirts in our closet, we might only own 7.
How would you respond? Would you be willing to do that?
Maybe our current economic condition will provoke a new type of consumer mentality. Maybe U.S. citizens will start to understand that consuming doesn't mean you can have it all now and worry about paying for it tomorrow. Because the reality is you can't.
We complain about the global race to the bottom and how we have to compete against workers in other parts of the world making pennies a day. But as Americans we are responsible for this. We ourselves chase the cheapest price we can pay.
Do those who are out of work, and we consumers, finally understand that a microwave actually costs more than $69 to make? If we want to put Americans back to work, then we need to accept the fact that microwaves would cost more to manufacture "locally." Would the consumer be willing to pay more if it means putting our neighbors back to work?
If Americans would make this choice — the operative word is "choice" — I believe we would be well on our way to reviving our economy while at the same time not having so much "stuff" for the sake of having "stuff" (www.thestoryofstuff.com). I realize that this means the typical American closet would have 7 shirts rather than 20, and each of those 7 shirt would cost much more. But the added benefit is your neighbor now has a job.
So what do you think? Would you change your consumer habits to change our economy for the better?
I welcome your comments — only with your real name, please.