Buying our way to salvation

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I flew last week, which undercuts whatever I intend to follow that up with in this post, since hopping cross-country certainly is among puts one among the most egregious petro-users. I went in the name of service, and blah blah blah, but still, worth noting for the benefit of cynics.

In a couple of airports I was in, I noticed a book store touting "eco-totes" as a sales come-on, either as a stand-alone or a get-one-free-with-purchase sorta deal. The message was, help the planet by buying something.

Also Sunday, I happened to see George Stephanopolous's talking-head roundtable, the result of being out of my routine. They were talking about the economy, and San Donaldson recounted some polling he read that said people are seeing a product they want, but are then going to the next step and asking, — do I need it? What we need, he said, is for people to buy what they want, period.

I'm pretty sure that Sam was the oldest guy at the table, though maybe George Will has him on that score. Regardless, he was certainly spouting an older person's view, that buying more will be good for everyone. It was an extension of George W. Bush's urging everyone to go shopping after 9/11.

But shopping is not going to save us, any more than bringing another eco-tote into the world is going to save the planet. I get that in economic terms, more activity is better than less activity, because activity means jobs and profits. I want a job, and I want companies I work for to profit, so they can continue to hire me, so there's duality in my position. I don't like that, but fine, more food for the cynics. I still say, shopping is not going to save us.



Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
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