>> You’re all smart people, so please study and think about this for yourselves.
You know, I always find it INCREDIBLY condescending anytime someone who thinks he has all the answers tells me to "think about it." Just a personal peeve of mine. Anyone else?
First, an incredibly minor and persnickety point: I also read all those articles in Economist and FP etc., and Handyside wasn't saying that consumerism creates wealth. The proposition was that consumerism drives our economy- which it does. Unfortunately. The point that consumerism as it is currently practiced in the West is unsustainable (using non-renewable energy) is a different issue.
>> Many of you will sneer at my claims and wonder at my sanity when my arguments run so directly counter to everything you’ve been taught to believe
A perfect example of how you do NOT have all the answers. You definitely don't know your audience, here. Most of us, I think, would basically agree with you. The realization that cheap energy in the form of fossil fuels is creating an artificial economic boom is not new. OTOH if you can come up with a SOLUTION then I would be impressed. Personally I'm at a loss. It's a tough problem. Frankly, I don't want my standard of living to plummet, either, and I'm pretty anti-consumerism and anti-materialism as it is...
>> Please feel free to take the red pill and rediscover the real world with your own critical thinking skills,
Wow, Robert, that's another rather annoying and condescending phraseology. (And yet more proof that you don't know your audience, here- witness that the previous two posts agreed with you, as do I, basically.) Do you honestly believe that other people don't think? To borrow your rather arrogant and abrasive tone: NEWS FLASH you aren't telling anyone anything new. I hope you don't believe that this thinking is original or something.
I of course agree with your analysis, particularly that it all comes down to energy, but, wow, could you be any more self-important and abrasive? (I painted a rather bleak post-oil picture on this forum a while ago.) Idealists such as yourself REALLY need to learn to communicate better, and preferably in a not so insulting tone.
So, anyway, I guess my advice is simply to learn to clean up your tone a bit. You'll be much more successful in convincing the uninitiated. I learned something a long time ago- when you pi$$ people off they stop listening to you. (Sometimes I stumble, too...) Hopefully I haven't just stumbled into the same mistake by being so frankly critical with you, but I figured that if you were dishing it out then you could take it. :o)
(It also helps if on occasion you're not preaching to the choir. Groupthink is dangerous.)
More to the point- what the heck does that have to do with trading with China?