What we gain when we share our things

Book: Sacred Economics, Page #27

"On my street, every family possesses a lawnmower that is used perhaps ten hours per summer. Each kitchen has a blender that is used at most fifteen minutes per week. At any given moment, about half the cars are parked on the street, doing nothing. Most families have their own hedge clippers, their own power tools, their own exercise equipment. Because they are unused most of the time, most of these things are superfluous. Our quality of life would be just as high with half the number of cars, a tenth of the lawnmowers, and two or three Stairmasters for the whole street. In fact, it would be higher since we would have the occasion to interact and share. Even at our current, gratuitously high rate of consumption, some 40 percent of the worlds industrial capacity stands idle. That figure could be increased to 80 percent or more without the loss of human happiness. All we would lose would be the pollution and tedium of factory production. Of course, we would lose a vast number of "jobs" as well, but since they are not contributing much to human well-being anyway, we could employ those people digging holes in the ground and filling them up again with no loss. Or, better, we could devote them to labor-intensive roles like permaculture, care for the sick and elderly, restoration of ecosystems, and all the other needs of today that go tragically unmet for lack of money."

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About the Author

Hi. My name is Jeremiah John. I'm a sf/f writer and activist.

I just completed a dystopian science fiction novel. I run a website which I created that connects farms with churches, mosques, and synagogues to buy fresh vegetables directly and distribute them on a sliding scale to those in need.

In 2003, I spent six months in prison for civil disobedience while working to close the School of the Americas, converting to Christianity, as one does, while I was in the clink.