Thinking through Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012

Thinking through Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012

Atlanta : GA : USA | Sep 23, 2012 at 2:33 PM PDT
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Greetings. The week has been long and the days are getting shorter.

Despite this, the annual holiday shopping experience, for many of us, is beginning to take shape. Visions of Thanksgiving Day sales and Black Friday deal quests, long forgotten, rouse the slumbering shopper from months of fitful post-consumption night terrors. The sun shines warmly on the prospect of delivering to our loved ones that special something from the store that will keep the desire demons at bay for at least a little while.

But inevitably, they will return, those dreadful desires. Pushing us to consume and carry-on as if doing so is just a natural part of existence.

Now before you label me an ascetic who marks all that is material as evil, hear me out. I have no gripe with wanting things, even things that we don't necessarily need. To be honest, that line isn't as clearly defined to me anymore. The line between necessity and desire, that is.

What I am sure of is this: We can't possibly hope to maintain our current system of consumption and planned obsolesence. It worked, as it was meant to, for a time. A very select group of people got very rich in a very short period of time by getting us to believe that "greed is good."

That depends on who you ask, Mr. Gecko.

There is nothing wrong with business or the free market, though I'd wager you'd have a hard time getting the same definition of these concepts from different people. But there's a good chance that each notion is strengthened because of these myriad thoughts that different people bring to the table, er, marketplace.

On business:

“When crafting strategies, businesses need to do what the market demands and what the Party allows specifically for foreigners,” --Shaun Rein, on crafting marketable business strategies in China.

"It's not whether you're right or wrong that's important, but how much money you make when you're right and how much you lose when you're wrong."-- George Soros

"...So we’re open. We’re open for all businesses. You have many, you have Manulife, you have Bombardier, you have SunLife, you have lots of companies who are doing very well in China and employ lot of Chinese companies,” -- Chinese Ambassador Zhang Junsai

On the free market:

“Having privately operated roads means paying tolls, but it’s the only way out.” -- Gilberto Cantu, Brazilian transportation official.

“Imagine what your life would be like if Washington did to the clocks what it does to the currency,” -- Steve Forbes, advocate of free markets.

"The promise of new young, healthy uninsureds returning to the health insurance market and thereby lowering prices for everyone is just not happening." -- Joseph Ditré, executive director of Consumers for Affordable Health Care

Written and compiled by Benjamin Burton Jr.

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Benjamin Burton Jr. is based in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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