Need consumption vs Greed consumption

I dont get it. For years we cursed the US and Western Europe for consuming too much and living far beyond the resources that our planet could afford. And now trillions of of dollars are being pumped into the US and Western Europe to stimulate demand, encouraging, for example, the American people to buy more cars ! All in the name of avoiding a global slowdown. Any one see a contradiction in there ?
So does that mean that the only way the Global economies can continue to grow (and therefore not collapse) is for the Western Economies to go on consuming at ever increasing levels at what I call ‘Greed Consumption’ at the cost of the rest of the world ?
I would suggest that if this is really a Global economy, most of those dollars should go to correct the unsustainable imbalances between the ‘greed consumers’ and those that cannot even hope to attain ‘survival consumption’. For till that happens, no stability will come to the world, and therefore no global financial prosperity.

34 Responses to “Need consumption vs Greed consumption”

  1. I salina says:

    Shekhar
    Right on as usual……
    Sharing an animated movie narrated by Orson Welles called
    “Freedom River” Can be found on Youtube here is the link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABKLirW24LE

  2. himanshu rai says:

    The 5% population consumes 25% resources of the world.American attitude reflects:Take a car loan or home loan or even a holiday loan. Live for today – but, make sure that you are not in debt tomorrow. Today consumers have been turned into dustbins for private MNCs to discard their innumerable list of products manufactured more with a view to creating new needs rather than fulfilling needs.Global economies cann’t continue to grow like this unequal distribution of wealth.
    The shot of C. Chaplin working frantically in the factory to keep up with the assembly line of production in Modern Times spoke about the basic nature of consumerism and the death of the normal worker.The capitalist order implies that the ultimate objective of citizens is to be consumers. Yet consumerism grounded in indebtedness means financial dependence as opposed to democratic freedom.In the consumerist system, the individual who asserts him or herself through authentic freedom is regarded as a non-efficient citizen.The fine balance of inverstment and savings in lost somewhere in between the economic boom or crisis.The third world still is much behind in basic facilities and first world is creating luxurious items one after another.It reminds me of french revolution when mob was told to eat cake when bread was not available.Ancient Indian had described consumerism as tendency to “Rinam kritvaa ghritam pibet “/”Take a loan and drink the ghee”.We will again face the cycle of eternal recurrence if root cause analysis not done at time.

  3. Agreed 100%….I still remember 95% vs 5%.
    Sanjay

  4. Mee says:

    inequitable growth is the motive. whether it is done in the name of democracy, capitalism or communism or any other ism! I am begining to believe America puts a lot of lip service without intent. Korea is an example!

  5. The dollars will be redirected to India and China. We will move to India and China being consumers and whole of world being a manufacturer or service provider to the world. So look at Rs 1 = USD 50 in long term (the umber is just to showcase extremeness) or 1 Rs = 80 GBP
    That will mean a lot of pain – we are at the doorstep of massive global realignment – and I fear there might be war in the offing (history always had one at such moments)
    But what happens in the meanwhile is classic duping of common person. Can’t really say if its deliberate or not – but duping it is. If you are interested you should track Prof. Elizabeth Warren in
    cop.senate.gov where she is battling these issues.

  6. kedar says:

    Shekhar
    did u get my DVD?…i sent it to your Andheri office…
    Do watch it when ever u will get time…
    its about the same thing…
    on forefront its about HOPE…on second layer its about economic disparity…and subtle layer is ‘ is our world( modern, prosperous, affluent) as good as it seems for lower segment to look upto?’
    i have also enclosed Covering letter along with DVD…
    the name is PIZZA! 🙂
    i dont know whether u would watch it or not…but i sent it…
    kedar

  7. alok says:

    Shekhar ji ,
    We have been uselessly fighting the Pakistanis/Chinese/Lankans we are all of the same blood , we are basically compassionate and sane people . The real culprit is US/UK the caucasian race who is totally ignorant of the fact how others live or die . I have seen the American houses which have been built on credit card money the money which actually belongs to India/China/Pakistan looks like hotels where two silly Americans live without any basic purpose in life .
    Billions of dollars are spent by americans on Restuarants , TV industry , porn industry , wallstreet and casinos which are effectively all consumerist in nature . Where is the real production ? Nill ….
    World/India needs an awakening .

  8. authorharb says:

    Shekhar, all I can say is that something grossly wrong is going on. No money given to an afimchi (opium-eater)can enable him to rejuvenate his economy. Sooner or later he will spend it on opium.
    Meanwhile here is an interesting song “Shutting Detroit Down” related to bailouts and sung by one John Rich, that I read some where recently:
    “My daddy taught me
    that in this country
    everyone’s the same
    You work hard for your dollar
    and you never pass the blame
    when it don’t go your way
    Now I see all these big shots
    whinin’ on my evening news
    about how they’re losin’ billions
    and how it’s up to me and you
    to come running to their rescue
    Well pardon me if I don’t shed a tear
    ‘cause they’re selling make believe
    and we don’t buy that here
    Cause in the real world
    they’re shutting Detroit down
    While the boss man takes
    his bonus pay and jets out of town
    And DC’s bailing out the bankers
    as the farmers auction ground
    yeah while they’re living it up
    on Wall Street in that New York City town,
    here in the real world
    They are shuttin’ Detroit down.
    They’re shuttin’ Detroit down.”
    ******
    Hope you liked it.
    Harb
    PS: Once any of you visits my newly created site http://www.bigtamasha.com I am sure he/she will like to visit it again and again and again. Try it.

  9. Is money the most important source for human to survive ?
    Lets ask God.

  10. AJ says:

    Illusion
    Life Behind the screen …
    Watching it on screen …
    Illusion
    Dreams are not reality
    Illusion
    White is the absence of color
    Black is the absence of color (It absorbs all 7 colors)
    White reflects all colors, so you see nothing,
    Black absorbs all colors, so you see everything.
    With regards to pigments…
    Black is the presence of all colors
    White is the absence of all color.
    With regards to light…the opposite holds true.
    In light, White is the presence of all colors.
    And for racial people this has nothing to do with humans…
    http://www.colormatters.com/vis_bk_white.html
    Question – Is it true that black is an absence of color (technically NOT a color)
    and white is a combination of all colors?
    (Your answer will help debate with wife….)
    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/gen99/gen99457.htm
    More interesting
    http://www.bartleby.com/65/co/color.html

  11. kunal says:

    Perfect thinking Shekhar. I do not know why the every one can not see these obvious truths. Why is their thinking so much skewed? Is it the Education?

  12. brahmastra says:

    It is difficult to instill spiritual values into a kind that have been conditioned for ages with a material ‘quantity above quality’ lifestyle. But that is exactly what is happening, a tough lesson by the design to evolve the mindset of all.

  13. ajayprabhu says:

    U r right ……

  14. Dast says:

    This is like driving a Porsche car with failed brakes. It has to crash. If not this year., after 2 or 20 years. The problem is economic with a moral layering. There is no nobility in capitalism. Its about profit. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had once said : “Profit is a dirty word”. It is true., cuz if you reflect on profit., there is no profit in making babies and feeding them for 25 years… nor is there any profit in taking care of old parents for 15-20 years. Both are “losses”. It is this commercial mindset that has robbed people the peace of the heart. This car with failed brakes will crash very badly.. and it is very imminent and clear.
    Is there a solution ? Yes.. there is. Living within one’s means. A revival of some sense of idealism.. Profit is not the only criterea or basis to build a society. There has to be some idealism. Bring back the romance of idealism. Bring back originality. Bring back Swadeshi. Bring back sub-standard Ambassador Car and Premier Padmini (Fiat). We were happy back then… even with these sub-standard cars ! Now very posh cars have come., but life has become hell.
    SWADESHI with a bang… Learn to live within one’s means. The people must be educated. Value-based education. Socialism must be back. Remove its flaws., upgrade it., and introduce SOCIALISM back into the national mainstream… the national idea-mainstream… the national debate… the national polity. Save India.
    PS. Other poor / developing countries should also reflect and get inspired by the Swadeshi Experiment.

  15. Amit says:

    Not buy more cars, but perhaps, replace their old cars atleast. In the current economic scenario, everyone has withheld their future plans, which is not good. And morever, only trickle down theory can give results, if we want equitable distribution eventually. People who have the wealth should spend it for more consumption, more demand, more jobs.

  16. Gopi says:

    Great point Shekhar!! It shows that this is a fundamental flaw in the structure of the global economy…driven by greed, neglecting the ones in need!!

  17. alok says:

    its not GLOBAL CONSUMTION its AMERICAN CONSUMTION at cost of India/China .
    You guys are failing to understand Ameica is not loosing in anyway they consume on loans and credit cards and put it to the banks which in turn take loan from India/China , so the good produced are also from India/China and money used to repay this is also from India/China.
    What a irony , WHAT A PITY for INDIA

  18. Sidhusaaheb says:

    That philosophy, I am afraid, is also known as Socialism.
    As far as I know, Nehru tried to implement it in independent India and it did not turn out to be successful.
    Also, pardon me for my ignorance, but it seems to me like the millions are being pumped in to sustain industries that are on verge of bankruptcy, rather than to promote ‘greed demand’. At least so it appeared when President Obama recently sought to impose curbs on the executives who were unwilling to give up their bonuses despite their companies running, literally, on taxpayer’s money.

  19. Nick says:

    Shekhar: I am definitely with you on this one. But doesn’t it worry you that India and our Asian neighbours are fast treading in the footsteps of the West? Greed Consumption and the mistakes that will happen as we go forward. I guess its a matter of time before Indians realize that a debt ridden society is not good for anyone. Houses, malls, speculation in the stock markets, etc. everything will have a price to pay for…
    But its a question of when will the one billion sized Indian community realize it or rather make it the 300million strong middle class households realize it?
    A concerned Indian…

  20. Horst Vollmann says:

    Dear Shekhar:
    My many blogs to the subject of greed, inequities in the distribution of wealth, conspicuous consumption and the obscenity of this new class of super rich flaunting their highly undeserved gains would ordinarily see me on your side of the argument. However, there is an overriding element in this debate that demands to be considered.
    To distribute those humongous funds of trillions of dollars to the havenots, to the societies that have been left out in the cold in this mad rush of the U.S. and Western Europe towards consumerism and the endless raising of an already high standard of living would for sure create financial chaos and a new wave of corruption. Assigning these funds to the truly needy and worthy causes would give rise to a new breeding ground for corruption in the very countries that have the greatest need to be given these trillions. It would all lead to the creation of new scoundrels, a new underclass in societies where poverty is so pronounced that class differences were hitherto almost imperceptibly small.
    For better or worse we have to keep turning this gigantic global wheel of commercialism and yes, renewed consumption. If we allow it to come to a still stand the consequences would be so dire as to defy imagination. It is a noble thought to correct the imbalances between consumer societies we all are more or less part of and those forgotten billions of people whose meagre and sadly insufficient consumption barely secures their physical survival. It is a thought that must be carried like a torch of resolution, a banner of social conscience to let the world know that we cannot go back anymore to business as usual. This economic crisis that has befallen almost all countries must engender the recognition that there is a momentous lesson to be learned, a new moral world order to be established.
    However, I cannot see any practicable and applicable reality to have these enormous funds create new capitalist societies where before there were none. There is an attendant education necessary to responsibly use those riches to channel it back into this sophisticated global machinery of commercialism without which no sustained prosperity can be achieved. This is a slow process and cannot be rushed and requires brilliant brains to mastermind its implementation.
    Your conclusion is without doubt on the mark that these unsustainable imbalances will forever foster instability and only allow an elitist global prosperity.
    With kind regards.
    Horst

  21. ALOK says:

    Shekhar saab and reader , check this wonderful site developed by google for INDIA ELECTION 2009 :-
    http://www.google.co.in/intl/en/landing/loksabha2009/

  22. austere says:

    There is a existing system, flawed and junked though it may be. There is a lot invested in the system. There is a cycle that has worked for long, consumer aspiration-led demand, goods produced to meet this demand. Society, governments- everything is built around this system.
    It is human nature to continue with status quo. There is comfort in continuing with what has worked in the past. And here, there is so much at stake.
    Say there is a chemical process, which requires a factory to be built, employs 50 ppl and takes three days. After 5 yrs, someone discovers a shortcut process which will take one day, savings on energy, people etc etc. Do you think the company will change?
    Change is discontinuous- uncomfortable and even painful, if at all there is change it will be at an individual level. I may choose to be a hermit and live a Spartan need-based lifestyle in the hills, it is not something that will find popularity at the mass level.
    So yes, good money after bad. As someone remarked, with TARP, one is only shifting assets around, they can’t become shiny- squeaky.

  23. himanshu rai says:

    Balraj Sahni’s 1972 Convocation Address at JNU.
    It is really good speech about orginality,cinema and Indianness holding still true in context after 37 years.If you havegot time,then please go through this blog.This blog is dedicated by a group of cinephiles and is of world standard.
    Blog Lnk.

  24. Kartikay Khetarpal says:

    Please do blog on your BaBa Ramdev visit!!!
    Saw you on astha tv and was shocked, not too sure why!!Maybe never imagined you in that context

  25. himanshu says:

    Balraj Sahni’s 1972 Convocation Address at JNU.
    Sorry,I messed up last time in giving weblink.url link will provide it this time.

  26. ideaunique says:

    Shekhar, why don’t you address the comments posted in each of your blogs?
    I really wanted to know your views on Elizabeth 3, aamir-krishna project possibility, your current work etc…..

  27. Taj Heritage Promotion Club says:

    Respected Shekhar ji
    Since I have come across an article ‘For a better fore Site’ in Hindustan Times dated 06-04-2009 compiled by Saurabh Gupta, My Search Looking for an uncontroversial , No-Political ,charismatic international personality , who believes in Gandhian teachings comes to an end , that is not other than SHEKHAR KAPUR-Vow! Amazing. It took sixty seven days of continues day and night rigorous thinking, watching on TV, surfing on net, consulting different people, looking into newspaper, magazine columns etc. My another choice is DR. APJ KALAM SAHIB who is till date not approachable.
    Your dedication to do something special to the cause of betterment for the society has always been reflected in your films and writings and that is really appreciable.
    With due respect we submit here that: as Taj Mahal & Mahatma Gandhi are symbols of love, peace and creativity we are planning to deliver this great message,
    the need of the hour, all over the world to challenge terrorism. To deliver this message we
    have decided to organize a ‘LOVE & PEACE RATHYATRA’ to start from Gandhi Bhawan, Panjab university, Chandigarh crossing different sectors toRaj bhawan from there to community centres, colleges, industrial units, business & commercial complexes etc & then to other tricity places to other states of India………..so on and so forth………
    to neighbouring countries and of course globally.
    THE RATH-Amobile-coach equipped with modern advertising electronic gadgets, show windows, displaying marble-handicrafts Artisan’s Artifacts & souvenirs; photos, scripts, books & belongings etc of Gandhiji’s j life & teachings to promote & project the heritage of Taj & Gandhiji.
    First of all our top priority is to seek your moral support & good wishes. Then we will go to request your-goodself to consider our following requests favourably, if possible;-
    1. Kindly accept Brand Ambassador-cum-co-ordinator of Universal ‘LOVE & PEACE’ Global Movement.
    2 We dedicated this concept to Slumdog Millionaire team. We tried a lot to get-in-touch with these people, but could not. We request you to do the needful for this to be done.
    3.We wish that Mr. A.R.Rehman and Mr. Gulzar Sahib compose a song for this noble cause movement, if possible, on the theme of “JAI HO!”.
    4. Then the last, but not the least, to mobilize your resources & offices to make people
    channelize to promote & to support this unique Humantarian Global Movement, especially in Bollywood.
    Funds
    This is the very first & last thing that every organisation badly needs.perticularly in our case in our case it is very difficult for us to generate funds because:-
    1. The subject/object of our organisation is very new/unknown/untouched. No body knows about it.
    2Itis, therefore,very difficult to attract sponsors, donations, contributions etc
    Funds
    Our burning demands for funds is-
    1.To arrange for a mobile coach equipped fully with modern advertising electronic
    gadgets to start with one for RATH YATRA.
    2.To arrange and organise Global Rath Yatra.
    Looking forward to receive your positive response, as you popularly known for.
    Thanking you.
    Yours Sincerely,
    (T .S .Virck) MR.SHEKHAR KAPUR
    Fonder Member FILM MAKER
    THPC http://www.shekharkapur.com/blog

  28. G Thomas says:

    Sir, the pint that you are driving home is correct. But, as you have mentioned, there is contradiction about the way we are trying to cure recession. This however i believe is an ironical truth. The recession that we today are witnessing is a recession of sentiments, people are not sure of buying and investing. There is money in the system, but only thing is it is not being pumped in. I am not talking about the govts. But of the common people. Yes! As you have correctly said, it is greed consumption that we are trying to revive and not need based one. But the sad truth is most of the demand slump that has come during recession has come only in the Greed markets and not in the Need markets. The demand at the Need market is going like the same, if not increased.
    Ironically to prevent the common man, who even in the recessionary times is able to manage his affairs somehow, from being hit even harder by the Recession, it is important that we revive this Greed based economy. Because it is of the greed of 20% of the globe that another 50-60% feed it self. And again, it would only be when these greed bags be filled again, that some sort of aid could be diverted to people who are barely able to sustain themselves. Its nothing but irony that we have to keep feeding the monster for our own survival.

  29. sapna says:

    Hiya Shekhar
    .
    Life is about ‘need’ and ‘want’
    .
    The buyer the one who consumes in any form…is the one to be aware of the difference and gravity of need and want
    .
    hence this is to be conditioned early in life to sort of ‘tame’ condition the mind and habit
    .
    But where does this habit begin?
    .
    Crying and blaming seems no solution to me!!
    .
    They are doing their job blindly, the control comes from the one who is promoting such factors in all forms..
    .
    There is a deep journey/marketing methods of awakening the ‘greed’
    .
    now who is going to awaken the balance of ‘need’ and ‘want?’
    Errm now where did i keep may kahfee…
    .
    Auuuu shekhar meri ankhein kharab ho rahi hai, auuuuuuuu
    taDda!

  30. DQ says:

    Hiya Shekhar
    .
    Life is about ‘need’ and ‘want’
    .
    The buyer the one who consumes in any form…is the one to be aware of the difference and gravity of need and want
    .
    hence this is to be conditioned early in life to sort of ‘tame’ condition the mind and habit
    .
    But where does this habit begin?
    .
    Crying and blaming seems no solution to me!!
    .
    They are doing their job blindly, the control comes from the one who is promoting such factors in all forms..
    .
    There is a deep journey/marketing methods of awakening the ‘greed’
    .
    now who is going to awaken the balance of ‘need’ and ‘want?’
    Errm now where did i keep may kahfee…
    .
    Auuuu shekhar meri ankhein kharab ho rahi hai, auuuuuuuu
    taDda!

  31. the mode of development propogated by developed economies anchored in capitalism would impoverish the planet, create serious economic imbalances. headlong plunge into disaster appears to have been triggered. margins are growing and encroaching into the core space. no country can escape the assault on the planer by the ‘greed consumption’ of the western economies.after all it’s a flat world now!
    gandhi, at last, begins to make sense

  32. I cannot believe this is true!

  33. Great idea, thanks for this tip!

  34. Sometimes it’s really that simple, isn’t it? I feel a little stupid for not thinking of this myself/earlier, though.

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