Maybe I'm not listening to the right talking heads - and we all know math isn't my strong suit - but this isn't a matter solely of numbers and spread sheets.
What comes after a consumer economy?
Ask any of the families I work with... you can't spend your way out of poverty; going into debt doesn't make you wealthy.
For decades, our economy has been fueled by purchasing 'stuff' we don't need - and can't afford - to fill created inadequacies and needs that don't exist.
Other than guaranteeing unlimited episodes of 'Hoarders' and jobs for professional 'home organizers' and the psychologists who work with them, what do we have to show for it?
(Oh yeah, I forgot; there's also the builders and managers of storage units because the accumulation of the crap that was once so necessary to our existence has forced us out of our homes, and we're compelled to spend more money we don't have to store it somewhere we don't even have regular access to which guarantees it will never get used again!)
This is our society's 'superior' culture?
What would it look like if we actually spent money on education, healthcare, roads, bridges, healthy drinking water, clean air... all those things that truly are essential for the common good and quality of life?
At the risk of sounding like John Lennon "Just imagine".
My second question comes as a result of all the dire predictions that America is on the brink of losing its unchallenged position as the number ONE economy in the world.
Friends and I have traveled to some really gorgeous countries that offer a wonderful way of life for their citizens.
Why are we so preoccupied with being #1?
That seems so testosterone driven - and completely out of touch with current realities.
In what will, no doubt, feel like an endless year of campaigning and rhetoric, I'm just hoping to hear someone address these questions.