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The End of Consumerism?

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posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 07:32 AM
I found this article from a section of "le Web" (whatever that is) on CNN this morning.

I think this is a trend toward barter and trade economies, community assets - and I like it.
I also see its potential to become a problem if big business tries to "exploit it" and take it away from the "normals," again. Sheesh, they don't care about us, why can't they just leave us alone and let us go about our BUSINESS without them "getting a slice"?

CNN: Sharing Economy
It's also got a title of "Will the 'digital hippies' kill consumerism?" which was the story link on page 1.

(I was a "hippie" at the end of their big run in the 70s....
and I hate the way we are stereotyped now - we are the people of the Baby Boom - another segment of society who is taking a beating in today's world -
but that's another topic. This is just COMMON SENSE):

As some of the world's biggest economies continue to strain under recession, a new movement has emerged; the sharing economy. In the wake of the financial bust the sharing economy is changing the way we shop, buy, eat, commute and travel. Is this the end of consumerism as we know it? By Madeleine Acey

The sharing economy takes advantage of connected mobile technology to allow people to rent things temporarily that they either don't need to own permanently or can't afford.
Everything from cars, central city parking spaces and designer clothes to accommodation are available from individuals and companies that are making billions from providing easy access to what people need in a difficult economy.
But it's not always about money. Some just want to conserve resources and save the planet – feeling that it's wasteful for everyone to own, say, a lawnmower – when you could just borrow one for a dollar.

Okay, cool. You can rent out a room, or a dress, or your car, or an unused vacation condo - these ARE NOT NEW ideas, folks! Back in the 70s and 80s it was very common for people to "share" - and they still do.

Young people and adults share housing - been done forever.
Cars are shared by households, borrowed by friends, etc.
"Yes, you can borrow my dress for your date."
"Hey, can I borrow your air compressor to wash my boat?"

We've been doing it for YEARS - DECADES. Ride-sharing, too. Same as car-pooling.
So, while I'm delighted that this idea has captured the attention of some journalist, it's not an "original idea" -
nevertheless, I'd like to know if anyone else here has already done these things, quietly - because to me it's how we "commoners" get by - by sharing, borrowing, lending, renting, etc.

And I'd say it's about time we get back to that way of living rather than "HOARDING" trophies of wealth.

Wondering what you all think about it.

As the idea has trickled down to people renting out their work-a-day cars, home parking spaces and bedrooms when not in use, experts say this will transform the level of car ownership and size of property that people buy. Researchers say that we only use our cars eight per cent of the time and we spend billions on the space where we store stuff that we almost never use, such as power tools.
They also say the sharing economy is expected to be worth $110 billion within the next few years.

"Shared Economy Pioneers" Pffft. Try the "hippy communes" and the "Kibutzes" - as if this a "new idea".
Doy. But, well, maybe the people who USED to have it so easy won't scoff at collective ownership so much anymore.

Or renting a tiller at Home Depot or Aaron or U-Haul. Why is this story all of a sudden showing up as a "new idea"? Interesting. Is there anyone here who has NEVER borrowed or lent or rented something to or from someone else?

It's how people LIVE WITHIN THEIR MEANS. Shocker!

edit on 5-6-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 07:43 AM
Hi wildtimes!
Everything old is new again, lol. (I mean the idea of sharing/trading)...
I just love this! People helping each other...sharing what they have.

I have occasionally watched shows on tv like Canadian Pickers (or American Pickers)....Hoarders...Pawn Stars, etc...and I just cannot believe how much stuff people have. And they don't want to part with it!
Some have barns/buildings/homes FULL of things they don't need/use...but geez, they sure do want a lot of money if someone else is even remotely interested.

I am always the first person to offer up anything that I may have if someone else needs it more.
S&F for sharing!

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 07:52 AM
reply to post by jacygirl

Hi jacy!!
Yes, the mentality of 'sharing' was part of what made the United States - people pitching in to get things done. For heaven's sake the Amish still have "barn-raisings", etc.

I had to part with my beloved horses a couple of years ago - realized that since I no longer had the acreage for them and they'd been "boarded" at my sister-in-law's farm with rarely a visit, it was a waste of money and horses. I loved them like my own kids - I had been there at their births, raised and trained them. One was 14, the other 12.

I pretty much "gave" them, the trailer all the tack and a 'starter library' of "how-to" books to a middle-schooler who had put an ad on craigslist that she wanted a horse and had only a little money. So I responded. Her dad answered the phone, and he had NO IDEA that she'd placed that ad
but he and his wife went along with it - and the girl got her horse, the dad got another horse, and I made sure they knew what horse-keeping, training, riding were all about.

I'm confident that everyone (including the horses) benefited from it - I accepted her $250 bucks (her dad wanted her to 'buy' the horse, and I agreed - I'd done the same as a 12-year old horse-crazy girl - talked my brothers into getting a paper route with me to save up the money - then my parents pitched in the rest)....

it's really not that difficult! Thanks again for your response!! I love the idea, too - it's about time it became less "stigmatized"..
We "dirty hippy socialists" have had it right all along. So did the immigrants who came here and all work to buy a home.

Down with greed and selfishness!
Up with cooperation and sharing what we've got!

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 08:05 AM
Yay indeed!! (lol)
Shamelessly bumping your thread...hoping others will join us here.

You sound like someone I would have as a friend (most of my girlfriends have/had horses too, but that's not the only reason)! I just don't understand selfishness and greed. Even as a small child (an only child)...I would give/share my toys/clothes with just felt right.

After escaping an abusive marriage....I left with my clothes and very few personal belongings. Today I consider myself a 'minimalist'....because I've truly learned what is important, and it ain't STUFF!

My daughters call me a 'hippy chick' (meant with love)...and I wouldn't want to be a 'material girl' ever.
Your heart is the right place.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 08:09 AM
reply to post by jacygirl

I think there are a lot of us on here. One thread I made about the same sort of idea had lots of "yeah, I do that, too!" in terms of making do with what you have, shopping at thrift stores, yard sales.

In fact, every time I decide to "sell" something, I don't really care about "how much" - I care more that the things will be used and appreciated by someone who needs them, or wants and can take care of them -

I get "chastised" for "giving stuff away", but, well, I'm the worst "sales-person" ever. I'm more of a "here you can have this" type.
We'll see if we get anymore respondents, but thanks again - meanwhile, I'm "friending" you! You have been warned...bwahahahahhhhaaaa..aaaaah...

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 08:24 AM
reply to post by wildtimes
My mother, sister and I all wear the same size clothes and rather than go shopping when we become bored with our wardrobes we peruse each other's closets. We swap tools back and forth with the neighbors (have one of the neighbor's saw horses in my foyer right now and another neighbor's ladder) rather than spending more money on things seldom used. I seldom shop for fresh vegetables as one of my neighbors is an organic gardener who shares, and I share my ample berry crop with him- as well as keep him supplied with snake and rodent control devices (cats). I let another neighbor use my riding mower and in exchange he does my "weed whacking". I thought doing these sorts of things were just a normal part of life.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 08:25 AM
Bump....bump....where is everyone?

Okay, now that we're friends (lol)....
For a short time I sold real estate. I thought I would be good at it because I wanted to help people. (Ummm...wrong philosophy for THAT business!)
One day a beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered to me at the office. It was from a family that I had talked OUT of buying a big house they couldn't afford. I was pleasantly broker was not impressed.

Apparently I'm not a good salesperson I take that as a compliment!

Hi littled 16! Not surprised to see you always sound like such a kind soul! It IS a way of life for some of us...too bad there aren't more of us!
edit on 5-6-2013 by jacygirl because: To acknowledge littled 16.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 08:36 AM
reply to post by littled16

Heya girlfriend!

Yeah, I thought it was normal, too. It IS normal.
Then my daughter went to college with a group of very wealthy kids whose parents were 'rich' - and instead of living like a college student - like I did, and my daughter did - they shopped at Victoria's Secret, or "Bloomies" - and whined for more money. My daughter was told by her friends that she was admirable - she was the only one of the lot who were living within their means - my daughter earned the scholarship, and borrowed the rest - and her dad and I didn't have to contribute much more than if she was in local public college.

I'm very proud of her. Too many 'spoiled' 'overindulged' youth - they can't even FATHOM how to make do. Fortunately my girlie kept friendships with the other "common sense", hard-working, responsible students rather than the rich brats.
Of course, some of the "rich kids" also had values like sharing apartments, cars, food, etc. At least they were brought up right.

We need more of that - youth with life skills that don't have to be spoon-fed their money. There were also lots of foreign nationals there studying engineering (her field), and they, too were frugal and hard-working. Their families would come over from Asia and the Middle East to their graduations - whole extended groups of them -

The "elite" Americans really don't know much about what "normal" is. Hence our problems.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 08:38 AM
reply to post by littled16

Yeah, my wardrobe is almost ENTIRELY stuff my daughter sloughed off - she does like to clothes shop - but they all fit me, so it's cool. And I gave her my entire corporate wardrobe to take into her new job. I used to raid my mom's closet every morning when I was in high-school. My dad would just roll his eyes.

It makes for better, happier homes and neighborhoods, in my opinion. None of us are rich, but we "git 'er done".

edit on 5-6-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 08:40 AM
Love it or hate it, consumerism will never die because it's predicated on an eternal principle: humans are greedy.

And no-one ever went broke selling stuff to greedy people.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 08:48 AM
reply to post by jacygirl

I'm not a very good salesman, either.

Quite often I will sell electronic parts to students, hobbyists, etc. at less than the cost I would get for scrap because it helps people out and good parts have no business being in a landfill.

If only other industries (like grocery stores) would adopt this philosophy, then documentaries like this wouldn't seem so outlandish. It's unnecessary to perpetuate this kind of artificial scarcity.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 08:52 AM
reply to post by Sankari

Sorry, but I disagree. Humans are not born greedy...greed is learned.
If you ever study tribes of people living 'naturally' they have done for will not see greed. They live as a community, with everyone contributing what they can.
Life is not all about 'making a buck'....that is what we are taught...what we learn.
Some of us care more about people than money and stuff.

Hi Kyrie!! Good on you! I agree whole-heartedly.
Have a star, cuz it's all I've got to give (lol)!
edit on 5-6-2013 by jacygirl because: To acknowledge Kyrie.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 08:53 AM
Pretty sure next time I try and share a chicken for a tank of gas im going to get arrested.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 08:53 AM
reply to post by jacygirl

Yeah, I could NEVER be a realtor or car salesman. Or ANY kind of salesperson.

I tried it once - got a job as a new-born photographer going to the local hospital (a nationwide employer who contracted with hospitals and hired locals to do the work) -
they put a LOT of pressure on us to sell the "pricey" packages.
The hospital where I was placed was a Catholic hospital, which primarily serves the uninsured and poor. I just couldn't ask those people to cough up $200 bucks for these photos and accessories. Wrong audience, and wrong sales-person.
yeah, I failed at that. I loved working with the families, babies, and staff - but I HATED the pressure, and since I was 'unsupervised', I just didn't follow their "script" or try to "upsell." Oh well.

I have found only one or two realtors that actually cater to "normal people" - one young lady dealt specifically in older, modest homes - she could have made a lot more money selling the "beige quik-bilt suburban biggies" (how boring) - but she also knew that those buildings are far less likely to last forever -
while older homes will stand the test of time.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 08:54 AM
reply to post by wildtimes

Well at least some of us have raised our kids to be practical, so there is still some hope! My kids both had jobs as soon as they were legally old enough and previous to that did everything from baby sitting to yard work to make money. My eldest used scholarships, savings and a full time job to go to college and rented a house with a roommate she hated but who paid her share of the rent on time. She now has a child, two full time jobs and lives on her own- the only help we give her is with the grandkid. Our youngest is back at home but works full time, pays for all of her own needs and pays rent to stay in our house (after paying rent in the nearest big city for a while she is VERY happy with the situation). Both the kids shop flea markets, resale shops and garage sales and are well acquainted with "clearance racks" Neither of them have any outstanding debt and live within their means, which seems to be very uncommon these days. We refuse to financially support grown adults like they were still children and I feel that doing so would be a great dis-service to our children. We financially help them in emergency situations ONLY. I think letting grown kids live off their parents dime is enabling them and teaching them nothing.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 09:00 AM
reply to post by KyrieEleison

Hiya Kyrie!
I agree with you.
One day I went to the grocer's - and the Krispy Kreme delivery guy was in the parking lot loading up "yesterday's donuts" to take to trash. He asked if I wanted any. I don't do donuts, but I took a box and gave it to someone else. WHAT IS WITH the food waste? It makes me sick to have to throw out food that rotted before I bothered to get it cooked and eaten.

And I don't spend much on groceries...
the guy told me he couldn't understand why they didn't take the "stale" stuff to soup kitchens or something. Nope! Not company policy. Just throw it all away. Same with restaurants or fast-food. You get the wrong item - you "send it back", and they just throw it away.

Stupid. I eat it, even if I ordered a double-cheese at Wendy's, and get a chicken & mayo instead - happens a lot - I just eat the damned thing. I'm not that picky.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 09:01 AM
reply to post by Tuttle

Did you stop by just to be contrary?

Same question to Sankari.

Y'all are such pessimists! It CAN work, I don't care what you think about it, really, except that your mentality is doing NOTHING to help.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 09:04 AM
reply to post by littled16

Yes, that.
My son is also out on his own - and although it took time and effort to teach them how to shop wisely, and live within their means, they both managed, and neither has mentioned having to "move back home".

In fact, they've both thanked me and their dad for teaching them how to manage with what they could earn rather than hand-outs. Sure, teens will balk - but once they get past that "peer competition" thing - they really appreciate knowing how to balance a budget.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 09:09 AM
reply to post by wildtimes

I don't get it either!

Perhaps it's because I am from Earth, not Ferenginar. You know what they have to say about us hu-mahns.

Thank you jacygirl!

I have done the same.

As the song goes:

Love, life's sweetest reward.
Let it flow, it floats back to you.

posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 09:12 AM
reply to post by wildtimes

Chill out eh, if your gonna be that serious whats the point.

Look the fact is if consumerism was at an end we would all be rich and money would be worthless, but its not. A global depression in western nations has caused a slump on consumer spending with regards to luxury items but we are still consuming as much if not more comparative to our wealth levels. Its not going to change, everyone consumes, we all do, we need to its how the system works, its unavoidable consequence.

Sorry again though for my tongue in cheek comment with regards to the RATHER HILARIOUS scenario of trying to have the cashier at a large multi national chain of petrol stations like Exxon, Shell, BP accept a crazed chicken at the check out for your tank of gas.

But lets think about that?, how do you make change out a chicken?, can you put it in the bank?, can you tax it?, invoice a chicken?, whats the interest on the loan of a chicken?, so many eggs a month???. Barter economies are backward and inefficient that's why we made money. And that was why I made the point about the chicken for the tank of gas.

Lighten up eh.

Oh and yes, If i choose to be contrary to what you are saying THEN THATS MY GODDAMN RIGHT and I will do so whenever I please.
edit on 5-6-2013 by Tuttle because: (no reason given)

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