A Very Official letter

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In the government’s Review of Economic Responsibility it has come to my attention that a great many members of your Society are failing to meet their responsibility towards the economic progress of Britain. In essence, their commitment to the maintenance of consumer expenditure is questionable, as illustrated in the following examples collected by my inspectors:

On attempting to contact members of the Quakers it has been discovered that many do not possess a mobile phone (which some also insist on calling ‘telephone’), and those who do, have a very basic and old fashioned model. Not only is this bad for employment and new developments in the personal communication industry but also for those producing rechargeable batteries and electric power for their charging. Regarding the latter the government has made considerable investment in recent years in renewable energy production and wishes to see an adequate return.

From external observation, it has also become clear that many of your members do not have wide screen multi-channel digital and satellite television. This again hampers the development of the electronic and entertainment industries and sets an unhealthy example to the younger generation when older citizens deliberately deprive themselves of choice.

It has been reported that your members sign up to something called a ‘testimony to simplicity’. If correct, this could be an extremely serious offence as the implications for our economy are profound. Our consumer monitors report that many Quakers fail to keep up in a prompt manner with latest fashions in dress, interior design and motor vehicles – the negative impact on these industries and their many employees is obvious. It may be argued that many consumer goods are imported and that it is other countries which benefit, but in the world of free trade we depend on these countries in turn to purchase the full range of British goods, from gizmos to guns, which they cannot do if we fail to support them where they have a comparative advantage.

Failure to replace consumer goods with newer models also renders it difficult for your government to meet its environmental targets, as measured by volume of waste material recycled.

Deliberate actions to reduce consumer expenditure may also be interpreted as withholding income that would otherwise be contributing to Value Added Tax and hence reducing the national debt. That is, a form of tax avoidance.

I cannot emphasise strongly enough that it is the continuing growth in demand for consumer goods, and associated competition, which drives the technological change from which we all benefit, and that it is our duty as citizens to contribute as much as we are able towards it. May I also point out that it is no longer necessary, as in the past, for savings to be accumulated for such investment, as the generation of easily available credit by the most sophisticated banking system in the world (which I may
say Quakers were involved in founding) renders the desirability of saving unnecessary. Too few Quakers seem to take advantage of this. Although a certain provision for private pension is acceptable this should be regarded as a postponement of consumption, allowing the older person to continue to participate in the economic enhancement of the community. It is therefore a mark of good citizenship to spend as much of one’s income as possible on the latest goods and services, and I trust your members will exercise their social duty accordingly. I enclose a list of approved consumer phobia therapists to help with those of your members who have adverse reactions to unrestrained spending. Yours with retail concern

Republished with kind permission from Ray Vool
Original from www.yorkquakers.org.uk

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Published in: on November 22, 2015 at 09:26  Leave a Comment  
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