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But how do we come to want more things? How do we come to equate wanting things with happiness?

This is taught to us each and every day with every commercial and fad and fashion that assaults us on a daily basis.

I am not a luddite. I want my computer and internet link. And I really am happier now that I'm able to watch old classic movies on DVD from the 1930-40s.

But it is this blind dashing to get more...the impulse buying...that is the problem of so many of our other problems...pollution, environmental degradation, social isolation, declining literacy and reasoning standards, and overextended consumer debt (in some places).

An economy does not have to be pushed by greater consumption. Why can't it be pushed by better quality consumption?

Take chocolate consumption for example. Now, I used to eat a lot of chocolate, most of it very bad. I didn't really know that it was bad...it seemed ok to me. Then one of my friends brings me a box of French chocolates (yes, I nearly died when I later found out how much they cost), but they were just simply so different from the junk I was eating before. So what happens? My chocolate consumption plummets. I buy good chocolate (even if it hurts to pay for it), but I eat maybe 10% of what I used to. But I really enjoy it more. That doesn't mean that I won't buy the occasional bag of M&Ms; I love em. But consumption can decline with quality consumption.

by gradinski chai on Mon Oct 31st, 2005 at 02:57:29 AM EST

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