Scrutiny of the consumer economy raises profound questions in some minds about values, ethics, and morality. And "thou shalt not covet" isn't the half of it.

The United States alone consumes 25% of the world's resources even though it has only 5% of the global population. Even as developing nations raise their standards of living, many argue that there simply aren't enough resources to bring a couple billion more people in line with the American lifestyle.

Globally, vast income disparities leave 2% of the population holding 50% of the wealth. In the U.S., middle-class status becomes harder and harder to attain, and 12% of the population lives in poverty. While the consumer economy grows, who is left behind?

How do morals, values, and spirituality inform how we live in a consumer society?

What are your ideas for getting more >_____ by using less >_____?

Learn more:

  • Speaking of Faith explores the practical ethic of sustainability and how people find beauty and dignity in our "consumed" world through conversations with people who are living the questions: David Hilfiker, Barbara Kingsolver, Cal DeWitt, Majora Carter, Katy Payne, Nathan Dungan, and Wangari Maathai.
  • Speaking of Faith's Krista Tippett speaks with financial educator Nathan Dungan about the conflict many of us experience between our values and how we spend our money in "Money and Moral Balance".
  • UCLA geography professor Jared Diamond talks about population, resource depletion, "overshoot," and why he sees potential collapse in our future.
  • Marketplace's Sarah Gardner meets a family whose health is affected every day by pollution from the transport of consumer goods.