August 28, 2002

SUSTAINABILITY UPDATE: James Lileks has a Screed responding to the latest wealth-is-bad blather from George Monbiot. It’s too good to excerpt, but here’s Lileks’ response to Monbiot’s claim that the world’s poor are happier than rich Westerners:

Is it just me, or does this smack of the old Happy-Darky myth they used to peddle in the South? Look at them down there stampin’ their feet in the mud as they dance – why, they’re happier than most of the belles you see at a cotillion.

Read the whole thing. Some enterprising free-marketeer in Johannesburg ought to print it out, copy it, and leave copies on the room-service trays of the press.

Personally, I don’t know anyone — and I mean anyone — as fiercely determined to become rich as the Nigerians in my extended family. That’s because they understand what it means not to be rich in a way that overpaid Western hand-wringers never will.

Oh, okay, one more excerpt — but you still have to read the whole thing, or you’ll hate yourself later:

The percentage of Mr. Monbiot’s salary that he spends on Thai restaurants, and the percentage that he sends to Thailand, is not disclosed.

There’s a lot of that going around this week.