Philip Brookes Argues There Is More To Our Lives Than Money

My buddy, Philip Brookes, writes in reply to my blog post, “No Telecommunications Company Would Deny Another Telecommunications Company The Use Of Its Lines?”

(He praises me which is very kind and much appreciated but to get posted after a good comment does not require that you approve of my post. What I want is a reasoned, intelligent comment or argument and if you can provide a new source, an article or a book, that is particularly delightful. If we are going to make the world a better place, one of our tools will be thought and skilled writing is a tool of a developing civilization.)

Philip Brookes has his own web site, Get Aktiv. It’s a good read. I recommend it. Here is Mr. Brookes’ comment –

Right on, James, write on!

I’ve just been reading an interesting article from Psychologies magazine, July 2010, which highlights that mental illness is peculiarly endemic to ‘selfish capitalist countries’ – unselfish capitalist countries (you’ll need to read the article!) suffer half as much mental illness, and developing countries such as Philippines, etc… have very little mental illness as well. Similarly, suicide rates particularly of professional men, will reveal a lot about our society!

Another debate that’s been raging here in Australia the past few days/weeks, and ties into your discussion about business ethics, is the issue of the rate of migration into our country. Whilst many people are open to multi-culturalism and humanitarian migration, it completely astonishes me how many ‘leaders’ (political and business/economic) can look you straight in the face and argue that the only way our society will survive is if we continue to achieve economic growth of 4-5% per annum, indefinitely. Obviously, this logic is fundamentally flawed on numerous fronts: there must, of course, come a time when this planet will groan under the punishment of 11+ billion people trying to co-exist here; and this argument is based purely on economic analysis to ensure we keep earning money at such a rate as to support our western lifestyles, with absolutely zero consideration of societal effects!

Oh, that us human beings would wake up and acknowledge that our life on this earth is about so much more than money in the bank account, and possessions we can purchase!!

4 thoughts on “Philip Brookes Argues There Is More To Our Lives Than Money

  1. Jen

    So true! We cannot expect eternal economic growth. At some point, an economy will either stabilize (optimistically) or will decline. A growth of 4%-5% may not sound like much, but compounded over time, it is simply unsustainable. 4% is actually a very large sum of money when one is talking about an economy. One must also consider who the consumers are. One must either export goods and/or services, which means depleting the economy of another country by monopolizing their citizens as our own consumers, or one must continually find new ways to increase the money being spent within the economy of one’s own country. That, in turn, means finding ways to increase efficiency. Typically, increasing efficiency in this country means more deeply exploiting the work of the lower classes so that the higher echelons may earn more money. This causes the disparity between the upper classes and lower classes to widen. At some point, we must see that allowing a small portion of people to control the wealth and monopolize the consumer power in this country is not a sustainable model. At some point, we must realize that this sort of disparity causes social unrest and a dehumanization of those with less earning capability. And, at some point, members of the upper classes will have reached a critical mass in the amount of goods and services they are able to consume, which will lead to a decline in consumer spending, and thus penalization of the lower classes in the forms of pay-cuts and layoffs. I am not necessarily advocating for communism or even socialism; rather, I advocate for a model in which workers are paid a living wage by their employers and people are allowed a fair chance at creating pleasant lives for themselves. While it may be true that a labor force of unskilled workers is easily trainable and thus, replaceable, it is no less true that their labor is what creates the goods and services being sold and managed by those who are “skilled.” The idea of any company, good, or service is absolutely worthless if one does not have the labor capital necessary to change those goods and services from concept to reality. If we continue without acknowledging these very basic truths of labor and commerce, the societal effects will indeed be dire.

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  2. Jen, I’d like to post this one too. When I credit you, do you want to be known a “Jen?” I can credit you by your full name or by your blog if you have one. If you are comfortable with just Jen, so am I, but I feel I may not be giving you credit properly. jp

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  3. Jen

    It’s Jen Lamoureux. I don’t have a blog, though I’ve been considering beginning one of late. I’d be happy to have you re-post 🙂 Thank you.

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  4. Pingback: Jen Lamoureux Writes In Support Of Sustainability « Pilant's Business Ethics Blog

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