Hey all, i just came across the Story of Stuff. Many of you probably haven't heard of it. it's a 20 minute long video about how making and throwing away things is bad, or whatnot.
Anyway here's the video: http://www.storyofstuff.com/
And then I came across a rebuttal of it: http://mises.org/daily/4626
Anyway, I wanted people to watch the video and read the rebuttal and write some comments.
I doubt we'll get much in the way of responses because it involves a bit more than reading a headline. But honestly I just wanted to see what people though.
I got through about 4 minutes of the video, but I did read the whole of the Mises article.
As usual with me, I come out somewhere in between the two views being expressed.
The main flaw in the video was that Ms Leonard was talking about the path from extraction to disposal being a linear system, when in fact it's not entirely linear, because things that have been disposed of get recycled. And the more scarce resources become, the more recycling is going to take place.
Another mistake she makes is to portray government and corporations as being somehow on opposite "sides", when in fact the two often work in tandem.
However, I also had a few issues with what the Mises writer (Sterling Terrell) was saying. He talks about the "tragedy of the commons" but what point is he trying to make? He also says "I doubt it is actually common for truly toxic products to be produced and sold in the United States. Furthermore, I doubt many corporations would be in business for long if they sold them." To which one might be tempted to reply, "Yeah, but most 'stuff' isn't even made in the US - it's made in places like China, which has a more, er, relaxed attitude to the idea of toxicity/pollution. And we're quite happy to buy our 'stuff' from them."
I must say though, I do get irritated when people say things like, "we were all much happier before the 1950s when we were less materialistic!" Oh, yeah? And how did you find that out - by time travel? The "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" comment was a very apt one, IMO.
On a final note, I feel very, very uncomfortable with the idea of this video being used in schools. I think of it in much the same light as global warming propaganda.
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