Aaron blogged this article on life in Shanghai earlier, but we wanted to echo his remarks that it's a "must read" and zero in on a few sections that really struck us (see page 2 and 3). They have to do with the intense conservation of resources and local care practiced by people in Shanghai. This is not our modern way of life right now, but perhaps it should be and will be soon.
"People buy fresh food daily. They buy clothes directly from clothes carts or in markets. Things like nail clippers and cotton swabs are sold from carts in the street outside the lane, as are dishes and cups and most other household items. I went to buy some string one day and the man cut me a 12-inch piece. People buy only as much as they need. They do not hoard and their homes are not full of items they never use...." (MORE)
In the scenes that Emily Prager describes there is both plenty, people who regularly take care of the streets, garbage and recycling, as well as scarcity.
It seems to us that as we slowly make the switch to a more "conservational" lifestyle, there are many things that will improve (community, for one), and that if job creation is any concern, it shouldn't be in the future.
With the intense multiplicity of work that will be required to bring all of our resources from "cradle to cradle" as opposed to simply throwing them out, there should be no lack of jobs.