The more the better?

The more the better? or from maximation to optimisation

During the past years we have got used to increase our materialistic wealth in an impetuous speed. Lika a mighty fly-wheel the economical development took its course. You only had to take your seat and automatically got carried away. No wonder that questions about meaning and purpose of this development were ignored. Now as this fly-wheel turns slower and some people even prophesy its stop or backward turn, it's possible again to pose questions.

It's not long ago - our grandparents have still experienced this time - when every additional Dollar or Euro in the purse lead to a growth in life quality. In other words: Not long ago, more materialistic possession automatically ment an improvement in the life situation. Most of us have taken over this "the-more-the-better-principle" without thinking reflecting and follow it as a sheer habit. This is the only explanation, why even wealthy nations fall into a depressive mood, when the personal incomes suddenly don't rise any more or when the industrial turnovers and profits stagnate. We must find out for ourselves, if we could live a fortunate life with todays income respectively if we would need more materialistic wealth for that purpose. This question we should ask ourselves however, since from a certain level on, more materialistic wealth doesn't automatically mean more satisfaction and joy. Some time or other we will have enough to eat, enough clothing, an enough large home, enough jewelery, enough mobility etc.

Some time or other we will come to a point, where money comes to a self purpose, where our life quality cannot be improved any more. Where additional money even wastes our time, because we get busy with thoughts what to consume or how to invest it best possible. At the latest by then the principle "the-more-the-better" isn't valid any longer. Then comes the question about the optimum: How much materialistic wealth do I want respectively do I need to live fortunately and in true satisfaction?

This question shouldn't only be asked for our private life, but also for companies and organisations. It's rather useless to produce more and more goods every year. The "the-more-the-better-principle" has served its time and the time for the individual optimisation has come.

Isn't it wonderful to have enough, to be able to decide how much we want? Let us get rid of the pressure to always aspire for more materialistic wealth. Let us instead find a wholesome optimum for our own life quality. Let's decide ourselves, what is right for us.

Comments

Your website

I found your website useful. However you have not really considered as far as I could find it, anyway, the situation of the developing countries. The very large developing countries - China, India, Brazil are very dependent on fossils and will be for some decades. China is presently adding 100 million tonnes of coal output per year (nearly twice the UK's annual consumption, for example). China and India have no choice but to use coal if they are to keep developing, as well as more oil and gas.

Nuclear is also expanding but is not a realistic option; renewables are also expanding but those, too are not a realistic alternative for these countries in the short or medium term. It is very unlikely that nuclear will be expanded greatly in the developed countries, especially in liberalised energy markets. Private companies will simply not take on the risks, as they have declined to do ever since Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents and since the privatisation of energy. My personal view is that nuclear power should be replaced in those countries which have shown they can operate it safely, with some government subsidies, if necessary, but we will have no choice but to use all energy alternatives if we are to keep within the only IPCC scenario which sees warming of less than 2 degrees C.

The EU has adopted the 2 degree C objective (2050) but it can only succeed if we help China and India especially retor-fit carbon capture and storage systems to all major fossil plant. The commerical development of CCS is as great a priority as renewable energy and likely to be more timely than nuclear. Energy conservation, change in life-styles are important but are less likely to happen very quickly unless energy prices go above $100 per barrel of oil and stay there.

Dave Feickert