Brian Czech, in his book Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train, emphasizes the importance of assigning the most wasteful, destructive people in our gluttonous economy with both a name and a stigma. This portion of our population, generally the top 1% in the economy, are given the title of the Liquidating Class. This title comes from their actions – as they use up, or liquidate, vast quantities of natural capital for frivolous and extravagant things. This natural capital could be use to feed other people now, put clothing on our own children, and sustain our grandchildren’s lives as well.
Dealing with Liquidators: Pity the Fools and Ridicule the Others
Now there are two ways of dealing with the liquidating class: pity or disapproval. Pity is allowed in cases that involve the lack of knowledge: the liquidator may simply not be aware of the ramifications of his/her actions. Pity him, then teach him (kindly, gently) that the treatment of his world, the way in which he “stimulates economic growth” is actually starting to hurt humanity as a whole.
His depletion of fuel used to keep his yacht warm during the winter months is fuel that could be keeping people alive in the cold, or providing the energy necessary to harvest food for his/her children in the future. Some are truly unaware and even some in the top 1% are not wasteful, steady-staters at heart, that use their money wisely.
Disapproval, spite, ridicule (even a little anger) is required for those in the liquidating class that are aware of the consequences of their actions but continue to act in disregard of their negative impact. These people need to feel the social pressure, they need to see that others do not approve of their wasteful ways. As it is right now we encourage, envy, and enjoy even talking about people who spend and devour so wastefully (take MTV’s Cribs for example). If we push onto them this public disapproval, this will help to change their ways.
Then they can put their money into donations, investments in community (it is usually tax-deductible, if they still need a monetary motivation).
Think about it. We make up 99% of the population (the non-liquidating classes) and yet we see very little of the wealth. It is our futures the wealthy, liquidating class is destroying. Take it back!