Thursday, May 04, 2006

The New "Self-Service" Economy

Alvin Toffler's new book "Revolutionary Wealth: How it Will Be Created and How it Will Change Our Lives" prompted me to see how much I am contributing to the new economy by "Prosuming" i.e. producing goods and services for myself and my family that in other times I would have purchased.
  • Making my own travel arrangements and bypassing the travel agents
  • Photo processing (No film or film processing)
  • Mail Delivery (e-mail - no stamps or envelopes- no postman)
  • Health services (Diagnosing and prescribing for my own illnesses)
  • Greeting Cards ( no cards to buy, no stamps or envelopes)
  • Overseas Phone Calls at one-tenth of the price I was paying just a few years ago
The above have become possible recently thanks to the internet,with faster large capacity computers and highly intuitive, user friendly, software. In addition to these high-tech activities, my extended leisure (i.e. retirement) has allowed me to develop new skills that make it possible for me to cut my own hair, make my own bread and create pre-prepared meals that I allow me to eat what I want, when I want it at half the cost of Swanson's or Stouffers.
There's more but it's enough evidence to show that Toffler's thesis is valid.

We are moving into a new era and for once in a long time I feel a little more optimistic about the future. Knowledge is power and each of us has the power to create a new kind of wealth for ourselves and our families.

Will this put more money in our pockets? Not directly, but it will allow us to create a better life style than we now can in a traditional cash economy and at the same time it could offer more in the way of "self-esteem" than most of us get out of the "nine-to-five" we're holding down to pay the mortgage.

Make a list of the things you are doing and what you could do to live better independently.
Share it with others here on the web and with your friends.

It won't help with the problem of Bush's deficit spending but it could make you feel a little better

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