How would the economy work in a world where people weren't materialistic?
We’ve been in a recession for a few years now and it’s been bad for many people who are out of work. Most jobs make stuff (or ideas) and people are encouraged to make stuff because other people will buy it. The more that is bought, the more people are needed to make it and the more jobs there are. The more people work, the more money they make and the better off they think they are.
So the jobs depend on people buying stuff. Christmas is, at least in part, about good will towards others and helping each other out, especially people in bad situations, where they have no homes or food or jobs. The best way to create jobs is to create demand for stuff. Christmas is also about buying stuff, which will help the whole economy and help people out of poverty.
People almost universally decry the materialistic aspect of Christmas. It shouldn’t be about things people don’t really want or need. It should be about something deeper. A spirit of generosity, perhaps. Good will. We don’t need stuff to be happy or fulfilled.
So, suppose we weren’t a materialistic society. Suppose no one bought stuff. What would happen? What would happen to income distribution and wealth distribution? How would a non-materialistic society work? Would any of you be happy in such a society? Honestly?