While on the subject of anti-consumerism the lyrics of Lily Allen’s song “The Fear” are presumably meant to be knowingly ironic. The opening paragraph of the song starts as follows: “I want to be rich and I want lots of moneyI don’t care about clever I don’t care about funnyI want loads of clothes and […]
I ‘m not a great fan of chick flicks but I had to see Confessions of a Shopaholic – for research purposes, you understand. Some of it was clearly true-to-life: the suave and sophisticated editor of a financial magazine who was the lead male character. But the film had a disappointingly predictable anti-consumerist message. When […]
Belatedly caught up with an article on the likely social impact of the recession by Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason University, in last Sunday’s New York Times. Among other things he predicts: • A return to less expensive activities: “They may take the form of greater interest in free content on […]
Neuroskeptic has sent me a link to his incisive critique of Oliver James’s notion of Affluenza. I do not know who Neuroskeptic is but he makes some telling points.
The current issue of New Scientist has an interesting article by Jessica Marshall, an American science writer, on “Is it really bad to be sad?”. She draws on the work of Jerome Wakefield, among others, to show that sadness is an important part of the human condition (see posts of 22 December 2007 and 6 […]
I finally managed to track down the origin of the quote by Oliver James, the clinical psychologist who propagates the idea of “Affluenza”, where he says that: “I absolutely embrace the credit crunch with both arms”. It was in a BBC Radio 4 Book Club programme with James Naughtie that was first broadcast on 7 […]
Miller-McCune magazine, a publication from the Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy in California, has a useful review essay by David Villano on the “more-is-less” thesis. In other words it examines (sympathetically) the argument that it is possible to be more prosperous while consuming less. Many of the points it makes are familiar […]
Rob Williams, a freelance journalist and former assistant to a Labour MP, echoes David Lammy’s call for delayed gratification (see 14 August 2008 post) in an article in the Guardian Comment is free blog today: “if there is a common theme running through the last decade, indeed, the last 30 years, it is one of […]
David Lammy, New Labour’s skills minister, makes a crass link between growing affluence and youth violence in the latest New Statesman (14 August). Some excerpts: * “In society, the fetishisation of money and the growth of consumerism add new pressures. In a “bling” culture, criminality easily becomes a short cut to symbols of wealth and […]
BBC online decided to lead its news coverage of Britain’s latest Social Trends report (PDF) with Easterlin’s paradox: that beyond a certain point happiness does not rise with incomes. Given that Richard Easterlin formulated the paradox in the early 1970s, and it has been repeated many times since, it is hard to see how it […]
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