Economists are funny people with some very strange ideas. They are always forecasting things which rarely come true. Today I read for the first time about the theory of “peak stuff”. It is not a concept I have come across, although it sounds like a collision of product life cycles.
Apparently some economist worked out that in the UK in the year 2000 the average person in Britain purchased 15 tons of material. By 2013 that number had fallen to a mere 10 tons. Goodness knows how they calculated that number or what it consisted of :- cars, furniture, a years’ supply of food and drink, clothes. Could that all add up to fifteen tons, or even ten tons? It’s very hard to believe but, I suppose a lot of it would be excess packaging.
Well when you have got that much stuff you may conclude you have enough. That’s where the idea of “peak stuff” comes from. Older people are likely to reach this state sooner than everyone else. That is when I started to get concerned about my M&S shares. I was reading in the Times business pages about Marks and Spencer’s closing a number of its stores and they mentioned “peak stuff” leading to reduced consumer demand.
I suppose when you think about it, I certainly have enough pants and vests to last a lifetime. Not to mention white shirts, and socks and hankies and sweaters and ties and more ties. Yep I have definitely reached “peak stuff”.
The economists were right after all. It is me that is responsible for the country’s economic downturn.