A little bit of economics

I just read this article about how the Italian economy is “crumbling“. “New figures released on Friday showed the Italian economy achieved 0 per cent growth in the second quarter of this year, down from an already disappointing 0.3 per cent in the first quarter. And experts fear the government could be forced to downgrade its growth forecast for this year to 0.8 per cent or even less.” [The Independent]

I can’t help but wonder how it matters, why should they have growth?! Isn’t being able to feed people enough? No they have to make money. They have to have inflation. It’s ridiculous. Now they’re apparently looking to increase their debt so they can spend money and make more money out of it. Jobs are important, food is important, having a house is important. Please explain how this is related to growth. That some guys somewhere make money out of money and they’re going to “lose” money because they had planned on getting more which they have already spent. Then don’t spend that money-you-don’t-have then! If I did that with our household money I’d be a bad housewife. Food is bought with the salary. Holidays are paid with the money I put on the side. Rent is paid with the salary (though if we didn’t have the salary we’d have a problem, it’s money-planned-to-be-spent).

Thing is we do spend money we don’t already have. We’re buying a house, with a mortgage. And if we were to need a second car we would have to buy it with a loan.

Because everybody does it it doesn’t mean it’s right and I don’t agree that it’s different. People just got used to it.

Spending resources we don’t actually have but plan on having – or using resources that cannot be replaced. Reminds me of something… We really have a troubled society, it’s hard to see how it could lead to something good. Please revise the system. Please make inventions that will help. Please help us find a way not to live on predicted wealth. Where should we start?

I’m guessing with the food – local, organic if can, limit (not necessarily give it up) red meat as it uses more energy to produce – the clothes – don’t buy new clothes or shoes every week/month/year, we don’t actually need them… – the furniture; the toys – a new phone every year, really? TV? Laptop? Less toys for the children, they don’t ask/need so many, legos are good for all and having less toys is better for children anyway – the water – shower, not bath, when possible, drink tap water (filtered water?? it produces waste, but so do plastic bottles…) and no waste in the water supply, use products with the least chemicals in them, no pesticides that go in the water – the car – is washing it every week or month really necessary? A SUV or a smaller car? – the electricity consumption – insulation, heating, appliances… And recycle your waste. Any other ideas?

Growth_poolski_flickr
Growth; source: poolski, flickr