Consumptionomics: Rethinking Asian capitalism



Chandran air is no stranger to controversy his book consumption ah mcc's Asia's role in reshaping capitalism is making waves among economists and politicians alike he believes that the consumption led economic model of the last 50 to 60 years is unsustainable and will lead to catastrophic failure especially in the asia-pacific region imagine six billion people in Asia in 2050 can anyone enter such a future in which six billion Asians are living like Americans this is simply not possible everything will be stretched as limits so what's troubling is I think the economic model in my argument that it is flawed is that it seeks to promote relentless consumption that more is better I chicken say buy-one-get-one-free how does that work economics and because it seeks to promote relentless consumption it seeks also therefore to underprice resources and by doing that ultimately I argue it seeks to usurp the institutions of the state which are there to protect public good you talk about the world being in a state of denial how do you convince them that your way is the best way forward Asia is in denial because it's at the same time intellectually subservient to a Western narrative about where the world needs to go well how the world should develop what prosperity looks like what economic growth looks like and that intellectual subservience is deep-rooted through the history of Cornelison etc it so persists despite the triumphal ism of some Asian business leaders and politicians but Asians look at the West and they say well that's good that's a good life of course nice cars big houses absolutely vision 24/7 absolute why should an Asian says but because they can't and so we need to look at all the evidence and all the science is very clear except the economists who tend to be in denial who provide the advice to most our politicians or then intellectually is observing to this narrative the the sight is very clear we can't go on this way climate change is just one aspect of that that whole trajectory of consumption resource depletion extractive growth and no one is saying you can't have a car you can't have a bicycle etc the book argues that essentially we will need to decide what is the price of these these this conveniences these goods and services etc but more importantly I would argue that we have created an appetite because of the consumption that model that suggests that human beings all desire cars I don't believe this is true I don't think we are coded in our DNA is to say when I you know when I can I want to come what we what human beings do need is clearly the the things that they need to consume which the majority don't consume and which will get worse food safe and secure water and sanitation today more people in Asia have access to mobile phones and handheld devices than water so it's easy for us those of us who have who've been lucky living places like Hong Kong or Singapore and think this is the world well this is Disneyland this is a controversial view of the way Asia needs to look at its future how is it being accepted in Asia one of the reasons I wrote the book was as I spoke more and more over the last 10 years I found it privately from captains of industry to policymakers everyone would say to me you know you're right but no one but very few would dare say publicly so that's ideology so I thought I would be someone from this part of the world and so far I've been the only one who's blatantly said there is a problem we have to deal with it politically it's not a do do good go green philanthropic you know all of that sort of hubris it's much deeper I talk to answer your question it's been very well received is there a nexus between government intervention and technology to address the issues that you talked about in your my argument is and I used the word provocatively that the state and I can use it in Singapore without being accused of being a fascist that this role of the state is critical we've seen on wall street which is the most extreme that private the private sector cannot solve the problems of self providing public good and if anything sixty externalized costs and use resources through an underpricing economic model over the long term it disenfranchises the majority and in this part of the world the majority are disenfranchised to pretend that they can enjoy the fruits of a Californian lifestyle is a lie and so we need to look at this differently and I'm suggesting that firstly we need to reject that Western narrative it's not an anti-western rent instead it's become the dominant ideology we need to find something different which which focuses on this particular challenge and therefore reject the notion that the state is not important Thanks mayor says that people can adjust and the time to start doing that is now he believes three things must happen first resource management must be at the center of all government policymaking second the collective welfare of society must take priority over individual rights and finally resources like water petrol and other commodities must be repriced for NUS business school I'm Glen van Sutton




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *