In the News (from The American Prospect): Families went on a spending binge over the last 30 years because:
– women went into paid work,
– everyone started working longer hours,
– then, when these tactics gave out, everyone went deeper and deeper into debt.
But now families cannot work more hours than they did before and won’t be able to borrow as much, either. Americans are now discovering they can exist surprisingly well buying fewer of the things they never really needed to begin with. What we most lack, or are in danger of losing, are the things we use in common – clean air, clean water, public parks, good schools, and public transportation, as well as social safety nets to catch those of us who fall.
My Comment: This is an example of how a little bit of suffering makes people wiser. However, in addition to being satisfied with the bare necessities, we will still have to develop the inner qualities of love and bestowal to others. But these are subsequent stages, which will come after subsequent suffering.