Last night TVO’s (Ontario Public Television) “The Agenda” aired a very informative debate on Steve Maich’s book, “The Ego Boom.” Though last night was the first time I have heard of this book or of Steve Maich, for that matter, it is amazingly relevant to my post on spending.
The show opened with a brief introduction of what Steve Maich explores in his book, which was published before the lay-offs and buy-out, before the experience of the present global situation.
“Our ego is responsible for the current economic crisis,” Maich said. He went on to describe how the 1980’s quest for self-esteem (and to instill self-esteem into our children) had gone awry, how the advertising media had shifted from statements of aspiration to those of self-affirmation (“because I’m worth it” shifted to, “because you’re worth it.”): eventually over-blowing self-esteem into something narcissistic and how the banks eventually came to invest in the notion that “ownership” somehow reflects self-worth.
I think of the book as a depiction of the gradual, steady building and the consequences of false self-esteem on a very large scale…defiantly a book that I’d like to read.
Something that rings true, and that we may each need to think about, is the idea that “the economy is here to serve us, not the other way around” (Elizabeth May). I admit that I have never thought of it that way before but I find May’s statement quite liberating. If we give May’s statement some thought and turn our practices around, it seems to me that we will experience more freedom than we ever have before – traveling a more positive road.
Elizabeth May (Political leader of the Green Party), Brink Lindsey (from the CATO Institute), Alan Hatchenson (Law Professor), and Dalton Conley (Sociology Professor) debated the issues Steve Maich raises in “The Ego Boom.”
Click onto the Wed. Feb 11/09 tab for "The Ego Boom" debate
Details on the book "The Ego Boom"