Financial Times, June 2013
From the immediate postwar era, when shortages, rationing and black-market dealings defined the consciousness in much of Europe, to the freshly minted middle classes proliferating across Asia, Latin America and Africa, the ability to see, want and buy is an integral part of the human psyche. Manufacturers of goods – both those we need and those we could comfortably do without – have monetised this with abandon.
Thus, more than a century after the first Ford motor car rolled off the assembly line, there are now more than 1bn cars on the planet. In China alone, 120m passenger cars ply the roads; this in a country whose roads not two decades ago were dominated by bicycles. … Continue Reading