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Old 04-18-2008, 08:26 PM   #16
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That money probably isn't being passed on to millionaires, whats the issue?
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:54 PM   #17
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Originally posted by the iron horse



What exactly do you mean by your statement?

What economic system do you think is better?
I suppose "Fuck rampant obsessive-compulsive cultural consumerism" would have been a bit more apt.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:14 PM   #18
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I suppose "Fuck rampant obsessive-compulsive cultural consumerism" would have been a bit more apt.



What do you think is a better system?
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by the iron horse

What do you think is a better system?
Just about anything is better than this.

Maybe not being subconsciously told that we're failures if we feel satisfied with what we have already. Perhaps something other than having constant messages to BUY BUY BUY rammed down our throats 24/7. Something like not inherently feeling like we constantly need more "stuff", and more money to buy that "stuff". How about taking pleasure in family, friends, and memories instead of taking pleasure in having the latest Hummer (or the biggest, most expensive birthday party for your four-year old)?

Fuck consumerism.
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Old 04-19-2008, 06:43 AM   #20
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So she booked a fondue restaurant, hired a musical troupe to perform as the Wiggles (her daughter's favorite group) and ordered a four-layer cake. Each guest took home a Fisher-Price guitar and custom CD.

The price tag? $5,000.

"I couldn't believe that I'd ended up spending that much," Kaster says.
That. Hurts. So. Much!
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:48 AM   #21
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Well, today kids are just the latest "it" bag.

And here's more hyper-consuming bullshit:
http://jezebel.com/search/baby%20couture/
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Old 04-19-2008, 12:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveC
Just about anything is better than this.

Maybe not being subconsciously told that we're failures if we feel satisfied with what we have already. Perhaps something other than having constant messages to BUY BUY BUY rammed down our throats 24/7. Something like not inherently feeling like we constantly need more "stuff", and more money to buy that "stuff". How about taking pleasure in family, friends, and memories instead of taking pleasure in having the latest Hummer (or the biggest, most expensive birthday party for your four-year old)?

Fuck consumerism.
Then don't buy. There's nobody forcing you to.
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Old 04-19-2008, 03:56 PM   #23
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These types of parties are very popular on LI. Especially, north and on the east end. However, they ain't popular in my house!!!
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Old 04-19-2008, 04:36 PM   #24
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Originally posted by melon


Then don't buy. There's nobody forcing you to.
The message has to go beyond that though, in areas where resources are limited or shared with society - energy, food, pollution, etc. A lot of the consumerism today is a "tragedy of the commons". For example, if I buy a hybrid car, that leaves more gas for those hummer limos. We don't hear enough messages from politicians or the media promoting conservation.
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Old 04-19-2008, 04:56 PM   #25
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Personally, I think most of the extravagant parties for young kids and even toddlers is just b/c the parents/grandparents want something to do. Maybe they are trying to show off, or live vicariously through the child, but I think most of the time, they have money to blow (or think they do) and just have nothing better to do than plan a big party for their kid. Some people just like having social events, and the kid is just the motivator.

My co-worker's sister just had a baby on the same day as his now 1 year old daughter. He said there are going to be some HUGE parties now b/c his side of the family has always been into having parties for all the kid's birthdays, no matter what the age. He said that's just how they are, they are a close family and it's really just their excuse to get together and have a good time. The kids won't even remember it.

I think you *can* have these parties without ruining the kid's values. I'm not really sure how, since we never ever had such parties (well, I think I had one b-day party in 4th grade with 6 girls and my mom said never again!), but I know enough people who DO have these parties and their kids seem OK....

Personally, I won't do it, since I won't have the financial means. I think it's pretty weird and sometimes outrageous, but I guess other people are allowed to have their own priorities...

Oh, and I also think it's just as outrageous what people spend on weddings and funerals these days. It's sick, really sick....
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Old 04-19-2008, 05:23 PM   #26
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^

I think that's a bit of a different matter, because we had family members who would do that too. For example, we'd get together for my cousins' birthdays up north at their cottage and there would be 40 people there, as an excuse to have a mini-reunion. But this really wasn't extravagant or anything - we'd throw some meat on the BBQ, and have some cookies and cakes that people would bring with them and so on. It probably cost very little.
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Old 04-19-2008, 05:36 PM   #27
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^ True, that.

I guess I don't even know what to think b/c I cannot relate at all. I've never been to such a party nor has anyone in my family ever had one. Same goes for my wedding and honeymoon, really.
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Old 04-19-2008, 06:04 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by ntalwar
The message has to go beyond that though, in areas where resources are limited or shared with society - energy, food, pollution, etc. A lot of the consumerism today is a "tragedy of the commons". For example, if I buy a hybrid car, that leaves more gas for those hummer limos. We don't hear enough messages from politicians or the media promoting conservation.
We have ways of enforcing these common public interests, though. We can create fuel conservation standards, which we do. We can create incentives for people to create the kind of technology that we desire, which we do. We could potentially go as far as the European Union, which makes companies responsible for their own packaging and product waste, which has gone a long way in making companies think twice about how to package their products in an environmentally friendly manner.

Progress cannot be stopped. On the other hand, we can progress in manners that are more environmentally friendly.
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Old 04-19-2008, 06:46 PM   #29
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Originally posted by melon

We have ways of enforcing these common public interests, though. We can create fuel conservation standards, which we do. We can create incentives for people to create the kind of technology that we desire, which we do.
The current US standards don't go far enough enough IMO, and the energy interests still dominate policy. The fuel economy standard was finally raised after about 30 years, and goes into effect only by 2020. The corn-based ethanol mandate is a joke because there is no net energy gain from harvesting corn using diesel farm equipment.

A lot of the tax incentives are a joke. For example, the number of hybrid cars eligible for a tax credit are limited to the first 60,000 vehicles of a model. Toyota hybrids are no longer eligible. SUVs on the other hand, qualify for tax credits to any "small business" (realtors, doctors, lawyers, etc.) without any limit.

Quote:
Originally posted by melon

Progress cannot be stopped. On the other hand, we can progress in manners that are more environmentally friendly.
I agree, but I don't see the major shift in behavior, thinking, and policy required as we start the current energy crisis. Short of policy changes, it appears that only high energy prices will cause the change of behavior, even though gasoline demand has not dropped from last year.
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Old 04-19-2008, 06:53 PM   #30
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Originally posted by ntalwar
The current US standards don't go far enough enough IMO, and the energy interests still dominate policy. The fuel economy standard was finally raised after about 30 years, and goes into effect only by 2020. The corn-based ethanol mandate is a joke because there is no net energy gain from harvesting corn using diesel farm equipment.

A lot of the tax incentives are a joke. For example, the number of hybrid cars eligible for a tax credit are limited to the first 60,000 vehicles of a model. Toyota hybrids are no longer eligible. SUVs on the other hand, qualify for tax credits to any "small business" (realtors, doctors, lawyers, etc.) without any limit.
I agree with all of the above. But this is not a failure of capitalism, but of our government. And, of course, we know what an abject failure our government has been over the last several years.
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