The economy has to run pretty fast to keep up with rising property values. Otherwise people can't pay their rising rents and first time homebuyers can't get into a home.
It means "keep running on those treadmills selling more goods and services." Keep buying and discarding to create jobs, otherwise folks can't make enough to live on. It's jobs, jobs, jobs.
We need to find a better way to maintain people's sense of wealth without having to revv up the consumption economy all the more.
It seems like the consumption economy is what we use to justify the wealth. If the economy slows down to where rents can't be paid, property values eventually drop and stored wealth declines. Now it seems like the stored wealth has gotten so high that the consumption economy can't keep up.
During the pandemic, when a lot of consumption had to slow down in places like restaurants, bars and airlines. New money was basically created out of thin air to support the Cares Act of 2020. 3 trillion dollars worth.
This helped to prop up incomes so rents could still be paid and businesses could still make their lease payments even while they had to close. It helped to keep wealth intact. Otherwise, unused business space and unpaid rent would probably have led to a collapse in property values; something owners fear. This ment that even lots of fiscally conservative Republicans got on board for this relief act.
Keeping up the burden of high rents and property values does require a lot of economic activity; like people having to work overtime just to make ends meet. Resaurants and stores have to sell more. Jobs have to pay more.
There is an old phrase that goes, "don't let the grass grow under your feet." Problem is, having to keep up with an ever growing economy of consumption can lead to increases in carbon emissions which then leads to climate change. It can also lead to burnout of the human spirit.
Other ways need to be found to prop up society's sense of wealth. Home values, stock values, retirement plans, the public infrastructure and the fortunes of the very wealthy may need to be propped up in a different way. This is where some sources of free money might have to be a perminant part of the solution; subsidizing expensive things like housing, healthcare and the public infrastructure. We seem to be trending in that direction.
Certain experiments, like a basic minimum income, are being talked about more and tried in some places.
Slowing down the consumption economy, so that it doesn't have to be so wateful, is a quick way to reduce fossil fuel emissions. This doesn't necessarily mean going back to a form of the dark ages, however. New technologies, such as solar energy, offer promise for continued prosperity. It just takes time for these new technologies to develop.
In the meantime, we should figure out how to take our collective foot off the economic accellerator, so to speak. This would give us and the planet more breathing room as we wait for new technologies to be implemented. It takes time for these technologies to develop. It takes time to turn a ship around.
People could benefit from things not measured in consumption; like more free time.
One strategy that could cause some slowing and displacement in the economy is implementing a carbon tax. This would slow down the fossil fuel based economy, but it could boost the green economy.
More people could put up with these changes if they had more wiggle room in their personal budgets. Budgets less burdened by the high costs of rent and / or trying to buy that first home.
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