On Gods Politics Blog this morning an interesting reflection on one bank in the USA that is having its best year ever - the bank's customers are Amish and the only time they use credit is to buy a farm. According Ryan Roderick Beiler:
This morning, a report on NPR about how the Amish do banking and finance has me asking, “What if the Amish were in charge of the economy? Or the bailout? Or–irony intended–the auto industry? Now I’m fully aware that the Amish are certainly not perfect in all they do, but as many bloggers in our special focus on the economic crisis have pointed out, values of simplicity, frugality, plus a sense of personal and communal responsibility would have gone a long way toward avoiding the mess we’re in. That goes both for folks who borrowed and spent beyond their means and the corporations who predatorily encouraged them to do so while creating the shell-game-hall-of-mirrors-house-of-cards-fill-in-your-own-metaphor-for-unaccountable-lies-and-greed.
And in Australia low to middle income earners are being urged to spend the money just donated to them by the government - we don't care what you spend it on really - just spend... your job may depend upon it. Sadly that may be true but the problem is that such a course of action offers us no way to begin building the habits we need to acquire to get us out of the addictive consumerism that the economy runs on.