Consumption Taxes

Check out this story from the Brian Lehrer Show:

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/episodes/2007/03/20

Benjamin Barber, professor of civil society at the University of Maryland, distinguished senior fellow at Demos and the author of, Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole (Norton, 2007), discusses the conflicts between American-style democracy and consumerism.”

This was very interesting to listen to today. He spoke about how the spirit of capitalism can create products that are a luxury; but not addressing, indeed ignoring, the basic needs of most of the people of the world. Just like how we will pay a lot of money for a bottle of water, yet there are people in the world who can’t get water clean enough to feed their babies or even wash their clothes.

My only problem with the show was that a lot of the callers did not understand what the guy was really talking about. He constantly had to explain the same thing over and over, which was his main idea; so in my opinion, the discussion portrayed on the show did not go anywhere. He took a lot of hits concerning the new ipod phone, until he had to say that whatever he said didn’t apply to that, but he stood firm on everything else.  I am surprised because the audience of this station usually proves themselves to be pretty intelligent. My guess is that materialism is blocking the normally open airwaves.

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