Thursday, September 15, 2011

Shrinking American Consumerism-GBU

Even as obesity rates are going up, Americans are downsizing.  The problem with growing waistlines is not always appetite control. Look at the price of food. A pound of apples, which is basically two servings, costs more than a bag of generic potato chips. A pound of cheap hot dogs to go with those chips cost more than a decent grade of chicken breasts, and it probably should cost more. The food industry has learned to wet our appetites for high fat and sugar foods, addictive substances that are killers. And they can produce non food cheaper and store it longer (shelf life of cheetos? maybe 15 years?) than fresh wholesome food.

Solutions include:  have a garden, limit meat consumption, hunt and fish, kick the trash foods to the curb and eat basic things like oatmeal, rice, and grains. Not surprisingly, the food industry has made prepackaged foods so easy and affordable, many have forgotten or never learned to work with basic foods.

But what caught my eye this morning is an article on voluntary minimization of the general American public.

According to this article, electric (power) consumption has reached a peak per capita and is on its way down. Much of that trend is due to the down sizing of homes. Not even counting all the people who now share tight living quarters with family members, live in tents, or are homeless, the author of this article states that new homes in 2010 are 130 sq feet smaller than new homes built in 2007.  130 isn't much smaller, but its a start. Its like one 12 x 11 room not added on.

People are driving fewer miles. This will eventually translate into fewer cars bought, and fewer tires.
It all adds up. Fewer oil changes.
As the population slows in growth, (presuming can we halt the massive influx of illegal immigration) and the trend to downsizing continues, we can not expect our economy to grow. The current unrecognized continuation of the recession that began in 2007 has helped in a small way with the illegal immigration problem. Some folks are returning to their homes south of the border cause there's no work here. Some, a few.

One guy noted on a comments thread to a similar story: they can't expect us to buy the junk we used to make when we no longer have the jobs to make it.

In other words, outsourced, out thought, and outlasted.

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