September 18, 2013 at 6:32 PM
America the gluttonous
Priorities need to change
It is true that everyone looks for more, bigger, faster — fill in your own blank. [“Column: America, land of the overeaters,” Opinion, Sept. 18.]
What we cannot seem to have is safer, kinder, gentler, more loving. So we substitute; we drown our anxieties in huge meals, incessant use of cellphones while avoiding actual human contact, in spending wads of money on “smarter” phones and computers and televisions.
What would happen if in America today all those who overeat started eating sensibly; if all those who watch TV were suddenly satisfied with the sets they have now; if all cell users decided they did not need to upgrade every two years; if cars were kept for 20 years instead of three?
Our economy would collapse. The stock market would tank. Apple and Microsoft would become irrelevant. Costco would offer smaller packages of stuff.
The top 1 percent, who make lots more money because they have learned how to fuel our quest for completeness and satisfaction in life by pushing more, bigger, faster products would see their incomes disappear. The bottom 99 percent would have a little more disposable income to spend on improvements to the way of life that leads to more safe, kind, gentle and loving environments for all of us.
Will it ever happen here? Not in my lifetime, not as long as Americans have their priorities so screwed up. Greed, sloth, gluttony; as long as they win, we all lose.
Frank Mitchell, Seattle
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