THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Consumers Have To Try Harder -- Our Economy Depends On Them

Our economy is based on the idea that there's no such thing as enough. If you're rich, you should try to get richer -- using your money to get more money. Ordinary consumers, meanwhile, should buy stuff they don't need, which helps the rich do their job of making more money.

Consumers are made up largely of people who either work for a living or used to work for a living. Many of them even contribute to the welfare of society. Hence they are not rich. Hence they are losers. But the economy depends on these losers. Only when they start buying junk they don't need again will the economy recover. The fact that they don't have money any more is no excuse. Our economy depends on them. Only if they buy junk will there be jobs for them. And they need jobs so they can buy junk. Because the economy depends on it.

Unfortunately, since rich people have to get richer, the best way to do their job is to reduce costs: i.e., sack or underpay their labor force. This makes it harder for consumers to do their job of buying stuff they don't need. Which is why we have Christmas. If we feel unable to buy stuff we don't need we still have to buy other folks stuff they don't need.

Judging by the sour faces of mall-goers, this consumption doesn't make people very happy. But that's not the point, after all. The point is to keep the economy going. So people will have jobs. So they can buy junk. To keep the economy going.

One problem consumers have is where to put all their junk. Their attics, basements, and garages are so full of unused junk they have to rent storage units. Which helps the economy only as long as consumers can keep paying the rent on those units.

My cousin Elroy, for example, is a dedicated consumer, and feels his responsibility to the economy very keenly.

"I didn't mind losing my house," he said. "But I don't know what to do with all my stuff. I got a job cleaning toilets at the mall so I could pay for my three storage units, but there was still a lot of stuff in my house. I had to have a garage sale so I could keep the essential stuff in my storage units, but I felt really guilty doing that because it wasn't helping the economy. In fact it was hurting the economy because all the people who bought my stuff weren't shopping in stores."

I told Elroy he'd just have to try harder, because the economy depends on him.