The Century of the Self and Life After Lifestyle
Thanks Kyla! One of the first things that baffled me in economics class was learning that the US economy was 2/3 consumption (now 70%, I think). How can we consume if we don't first produce in equal or greater increments? As I self-educated later, I came to connect dots to the US export of printed money because of our global reserve currency status. Cheap labor in Asia produced, we consumed and sent them little green pieces of paper (or digital abstractions of such), they saved, and then lent those dollars back to us to finance more consumption (and asset appreciation). All the while, productivity gains are siphoned to the top by those who can borrow cheaply and accumulate assets. What a tangled web we weave... Thanks again!
Good take, kyla! 💯
It's pretty crazy how massive that shift into advetising was early in 20th the century..
The show Mad Men takes place decades after, but some of the "craziness" can still be seen..like smoking was almost seen as good!
mom, can we have a new form of slavery producing social insecurity and anthropological catastrophe? no, there is a new form of slavery producing social insecurity and anthropological catastrophe at home.
new form of slavery at home:
Thanks Kyla for an immensely articulate and complex look at our psyches as it relates to things and the accumulation of so much we don't even remotely need. You repetitively amaze me with your breadth of curiosity and assessment of the world around you.
Great piece. Resonated a lot. You are onto something and I think many of us feel the same way and are suspicious about the status quo economic environment. Continual exploration like this will hopefully lead to some sort of light leading us out of the nihilistic tunnel we seem to be trapped in!
What an absolutely magnificent piece. Thanks for writing this.
I never subscribed to this and there is no way out! Editor please stop sending!
Brilliant article Kyla.
thank you for getting all "woo"
I can't properly express how much I appreciate your work. Very proud to be a paid subscriber!
Thank you for bringing context to a complex situation. Certainly the shift from we/needs to I/want is a shift away from societal energy. We now tolerate each other (and sometime not even that) more than help each other. It seems that road rage, not talking to neighbors, drive by shootings are all a symptom of this shift.
Social digital platforms create part of the distraction and we are happy to paddle around, think we a connecting or making a difference while leadership largely considers us kids playing in the other room while they get things done. Doesn’t this distraction type manipulation seem like a problem?
All moralists are crooks. It's better to enjoy the fruits of your labor than being enlisted in some moral crusade that will eventually do more harm than good except for the crooks who run the show.
This describes some of the issues mentioned by Martin Hagglund's This Life. I think part of it is driven by which economic measures are treated as main headlines and goals to strive for. In Hagglund's book, the focus is on "free time". That's a measure that we do not put front and center when reporting data on the economy.