Instead of supporting the idea of huge companies producing massive quantities of cheap goods that last only until the next company-driven fad is introduced, what about supporting the notion of smaller local companies, producing an adequate supply of quality goods in which they specialize, whose workers share ownership or profits. Today, this approach seems antiquated but it is a good one. Although, undoubtedly cost to the consumer would likely be initially greater, less would be spent on delivery and other overhead associated with stockpiling huge inventories of unwanted items that will inevitably be dumped at discount prices. In addition, higher quality products would last longer, requiring fewer replacements and less maintenance. Only the massively profitable companies (and their overpaid executives) would hurt somewhat.
I think that this would tend to create companies that have a conscience about wastefulness and greed, and would perhaps promote more pride in the work that is done and the products. It would definitely employ more people locally.
In Canada, at least, it appears there is a tendency to drive population growth (mainly through immigration) in order to create a larger home consumer base so that mass production can provide more profit to large international companies. That being said, mass production does serve a purpose in bringing products to the masses at a cost that is affordable. This production, however, does not and should not apply to every aspect of life. In the world we live in today, more is not always better (more waste, more redundancy, more body weight, more pollution, more violence, more frustration).
I believe that we don’t need to populate Canada further until we can provide for those that live here now. Once we have achieved excellent education, health and employment for everyone who at present resides in Canada, then we can think about growing our population, within reason.
As much as I shop for the best price for the products that I buy, I would like to be able to include Canadian-made products in my decision, and perhaps support some of our unemployed but employable citizens. I remember a time when many of the products I needed and bought were Canadian-made and made to the standards that we support. Unfortunately, “buy local” only works if there is “local” to buy.
Many would complain if the plethora of inexpensive products now available because of the “global” economy were gone. Unfortunately what drives our increasing personal debt is the concept of “it’s so cheap, why don’t I buy it” instead of “do I need to change this as the product I already own is still performing well”. Although the world is driven by “consumerism”, it is this idea that helps destroy our planet and loads our landfills with trash. The rich get richer because the average consumer does not seem intelligent enough to understand this.
We will always have the immensely wealthy. They are those who see the much larger “picture” and take advantage of that knowledge. Some even care about the right things. For the most part, we, as the many billions that we are, are responsible for their wealth and decadence. I try not to complain about the small income that I have as I know that there is so much I have that is more important to me than the “tangibles”. It frustrates me to see so many happily supporting the wasteful and dirty (read polluting) world of the modern consumer. We definitely need to ask “why” more often (and boredom is not a good enough answer) instead of “why not”.