Demand Side Economics

Illegal immagration, Mexican drug cartels and the Gulf oil disaster are all symptoms of the same disease: hyper-consumerism. So are the financial crisis, the Mideast wars, climate change, rampant species extinction... Unrestricted consumerism combined with the lopsided wealth controlled by the few who have been beneficiaries of the last few centuries of colonialism have created a worldwide giant sucking sound. The Empire and its enriched minority demand that their lifestyles be uncompromised so the vast majority of teeming billions sweat and bleed to fill their wants. Yet still the Empire wants more.

More farm workers to cheaply fill our supermarkets with year-round exotic foods fresh daily from every corner of the globe. More drugs to molify the working class, more oil to move our masses and our messes in ever faster circles, more loans to buy more plastic crap, more energy wars, more greenhouse gases, more habitat destruction, MORE of everything except quality.

Decades ago in Economics 101 i learned about 'supply and demand'. Every exchange of goods or money can, according to economics, can be reduced to supply and demand. And that there is no market without demand. Demand is the driver of all exchange, supply grows and slows to meet it. Their are manipulative advertising gimmicks that can marginally increase demand for one brand of plastic bullshit over another but if there is no underlying demand for the commodity or service the supply lines dwindle to zero.

Our gluttonous consumption belies the vacuity of our moral worldview. Free Trade makes the rich richer and Gaia poorer, Fair Trade promotes healthy communities and people. Fair Trade pays workers a decent living on both sides of the US/Mexican border which allows Mexicans to stay home and not become illegals, it allows Americans an avenue to the self-respect and pride created by a job and a paycheck, two conditions of a real quality life so often absent in those whose demand for hard drugs drives that market. Next step: think small. Grow your own, make your own, spend less, want less and remember to 'do onto others as you'd have them do unto you'.