Have you heard of HANDY yet? Indeed, a very handy study conducted by Safa Motesharrei.
It pretty much comes down to the collapse of western civilization and why. In this paper the goal was to propose a mathematical model that would explain why societies collapse. With so many variables this does seem like an attempt grasping at air but using the variables of population, nature and wealth they reached HANDY short for Human and Nature Dynamics.
It says, for example, that if there are many rabbits but only a few wolves in an area, the wolf population will rise because food is plentiful, and the rabbit population will fall because they are being eaten. Eventually there will be too many wolves and too few rabbits, so most of the wolves will starve to death. With fewer predators remaining, the rabbit population will increase, and the cycle repeats – lots of rabbits, then lots of wolves, then ….
They then looked at the interactions of human-nature in three distinct types of societies: Egalitarian, Equitable and Unequal with the non-working elites consuming 10-100 times as much as the commoners who do all the work. They did fail to show any other past civilizations who collapsed due to the gap between the overpopulated poor masses and the needy elite consumptionists.
So as the wealth of Corporate giants accumulates wealth with production and decreases with the buying power of consumption from the elites and commoners. There should be enough wealth to pay the working population but since the elites pay themselves high salaries the wealth becomes so small that the payment of the working gets reduced resulting in famine and death. This tipped balance in the scale of class power cripples the means and infrastructure of the poor working class leaving them helpless.
A full collapse happens when wealth cannot grow any further. This could be because of the poor working class dieing, depletion of natural resources. The commoners and the elites fall with the working class who cannot sustain them anymore.
I am an average USA consumer and commoner. I cannot afford to NOT shop at the corporate giants and bigbox retailer who grows wealthy on the backs of these poor workers. Growing up with very little in South Africa I am well adverse with making my own clothes. Comparing the price of fabric, the time spent and the low asking price of fashionable clothing, making my own clothes makes absolutely no sense.
Getting out of this evil cycle of consuming and repeating the cycle seems hopeless. So am I part of the problem? Absolutely and it makes me sick to my stomach.
In my limited understanding I would say: we need restrictions on the salaries of the elite, standardized sales prices on products, restrictions on misleading advertising, extended lifespan of products, perception campaigns to represent the working-class, corporate funding for infrastructures and resources of the poor, legal limitations on corporate giants extorting the poor, weak and uninformed.