“[America has] two values: How much can a man consume for the highest possible price, and how much can he produce for the possible pay?” said the character Chambord in Robert Ludlum’s The Paris Option (by Robert Ludlum and Gayle Lynds).

This is likely true of all Western civilisations, including Australia.

We get paid less and less to do more and more work. And yet at the same time, we are told to buy more and more stuff. But of course, we want this stuff at cheaper and cheaper prices.

What does this all add up to?