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The current mantra is ‘consumer driven economy’.
I think this is a blatant lie. Currently the economy is not ‘consumer driven’ but ‘driven by marketeers’. The consumers do nothing but set the limits… (or more precisely the limits are set by the consumers’ ability to borrow against their future).
Some nights ago, while listening to Zhang Xin about the Chinese economy becoming more consumer oriented (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0371br6/HARDtalk_Zhang_Xin_Chief_Executive_Soho_China/) I started to see the stages we passed in order to get here:

– Hunter-gatherers for most of our pre-history. Minimal material progress: Chipped stone tools, bow and arrows, fire, some weaving.
– Agriculturalists. Second longest period. Increased productivity freed some people to do something else but toil for food. Most important features of modern life appeared now: lifespan improved dramatically, at least for those not having to work endlessly under the sun, water and waste management in the cities, commerce, manufacture, thinking for the sake of thinking. Still, people tended to mind a natural order: first things first and thrills later.
– Industrialists. The advent of the machine tool. Apparently things were going even better. People started to become less ‘poor’.
– Economists. Mass production, economy of scale. The poor were still improving their lot but the rift between the have’s and the have-not’s was already widening.
– Marketers. Rational, profit seeking agents. The economy is no longer a human activity that provides goods for the consumer to choose from but a ‘killing field’ were everybody tries to get rich and the weakling be damned. People are faking the very food they serve to their fellow humans just because they need additional money to buy more trinkets. Planned obsolescence. Redundancies. Corporations try to control everything, including drinking water. http://www.forbes.com/sites/nadiaarumugam/2012/10/19/nestle-sued-again-for-falsely-representing-bottled-tap-water-as-naturally-spring-sourced/

Surely we must be doing something wrong.
I’m all in for science, reason and everything else. The problem is what are we going to do with all these!?!

http://dailyreckoning.com/no-hope-for-a-consumer-driven-economic-recovery/
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323740804578601472261953366.html?fb_action_ids=10151510769946641%2C10151508961426641&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210151510769946641%22%3A137344176473019%2C%2210151508961426641%22%3A1392368000981860%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210151510769946641%22%3A%22og.recommends%22%2C%2210151508961426641%22%3A%22og.recommends%22%7D&action_ref_map