Enlightened Capitalism

Essays about how to harness people's natural desire to create wealth and improve their quality of life to solve global problems such as war and poverty.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Give away the stuff you aren't using

You know how if you buy bananas and don't eat them they turn brown and then black and eventually get really mushy and fruit flies seem to come out of nowhere and devour them?

With fruit it's really obvious when you aren't using it. Now think about all the other stuff in your house and garage, and office, and storage space. What if everything rotted after a month of disuse?

As a matter of fact, something is constantly rotting, something we can't quite see, but it is the time value of all these unused things. And it is huge. Probably bigger than the national debt and gross domestic product combined.

How can we tap into that unused wealth? First we need a website like ebay, but for free stuff (freebay.com or freebay.org would be the perfect name, but they are taken).

Next, we need to establish a culture of passing things on quickly. Remember when you could fit everything you owned in a VW bug? Let's bring those days back. Why have tons of stuff stored that we aren't actually using? Are we afraid that we won't be able to get that stuff again, if we really wanted it? If we could get people to reduce their stored goods by 10% it would have a giant positive impact on the real economy, improving quality of life not only for the recipients but also for the donors of all that stuff.

1 Comments:

  • At 6:24 pm, Blogger meetned said…

    >>How can we tap into that unused wealth? First we need a website like ebay, but for free stuff (freebay.com or freebay.org would be the perfect name, but they are taken).<<

    See http://www.freecycle.org

     

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