NY Times Elitist Wants You to Own Less to Save the Planet

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wants you to own less to save the planet.

Meanwhile, he’ll be home at his estate.

Priveleged New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman may live like a king but he wants all of you to work less and own less.
It’s for the greater good, of course.
NewsBusters reported:

Good news, we’re doomed, says New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in Wednesday’s “The Earth Is Full.” (Has the globe-trotting Friedman never been to Texas?) But we can still save ourselves eventually, as long as we realize that “the consumer-driven growth model is broken and we have to move to a more happiness-driven growth model, based on people working less and owning less.” But does that “own less” solution include the privileged columnist as well?

You really do have to wonder whether a few years from now we’ll look back at the first decade of the 21st century — when food prices spiked, energy prices soared, world population surged, tornados plowed through cities, floods and droughts set records, populations were displaced and governments were threatened by the confluence of it all — and ask ourselves: What were we thinking? How did we not panic when the evidence was so obvious that we’d crossed some growth/climate/natural resource/population redlines all at once?
“The only answer can be denial,” argues Paul Gilding, the veteran Australian environmentalist-entrepreneur, who described this moment in a new book called “The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World.” “When you are surrounded by something so big that requires you to change everything about the way you think and see the world, then denial is the natural response. But the longer we wait, the bigger the response required…

…We will realize, he predicts, that the consumer-driven growth model is broken and we have to move to a more happiness-driven growth model, based on people working less and owning less.

“How many people,” Gilding asks, “lie on their death bed and say, ‘I wish I had worked harder or built more shareholder value,’ and how many say, ‘I wish I had gone to more ballgames, read more books to my kids, taken more walks?’ To do that, you need a growth model based on giving people more time to enjoy life, but with less stuff.”

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  • Chisum

    …We will realize, he predicts, that the consumer-driven growth model is broken and we have to move to a more happiness-driven growth model, based on people working less and owning less.


    Nothing More Than Feel-Wings

    Welcome to Liberal-Land.

  • jorgen

    Rather, the NYT is full of it.

  • Gary

    What is this guy, roommates with John Edwards? Oh wait, Al Gore maybe.

  • Pat the First

    Isn’t that what communistis do? The Politburo guys lived well while many Russians barely had enough to live. Mao lived in luxury while the Chinese people lived in squalor. Kim Jun IL lives in a huge luxurious compound and the N Koreans don’t have enough to eat. They follow a pattern.

  • patman

    Wonder how many Chevy Volts this guy owns…

  • Gary

    I used to be really uptight and stressed out until I realized I was just working too hard I owned just too darn much.

  • Kissmygrits

    How much lint does this guy have in his navel? What a screwball. Maybe he’d like to take a walk in my neighborhood, the great NW area of Montana. We’ve got less than a million people in the state, and a lot more wolves than we’d like to have.

  • Contessa61

    Freidman, “Okay. I have all the stuff I need and then some, which is too much. Therefore, everyone needs to cut down on their lifestyles.”


  • jennifer

    Is there a pattern here? Own less, work less, rent, let the gov’t take care of your healthcare, let public schools take care of your kids…..

  • american patriot

    “Do as I say, not as I do.”

    The shibboleth of the liberals, Democrats, who are always more than happy to give to the undeserving the shirt off YOUR back.

  • John

    We need to all help him reach his happy place. Lets take and sell his house and property and donate it to the homeless.

  • MamaGrizzly

    Why is it that the ultra-riche always have this attitude. Yet, they’d NEVER EVER EVER sell THEIR stuff, and give it all to those of us who have not had such great opportunities.

    Like, he could sell one of his cars and give me the money. I really need it. A lot more than he needs that car (since he probably owns about six other cars).

    Or maybe he could sell ALL his cars and bike to work.

    Anyway, just sayin’ I really need the cash right now and it just seems unfair for him to have all that he has when I’m struggling. I’d believe his schtick a lot faster if he’d put his money where his mouth is.

    Crickets . . . .

    The other thing: I think it’s funny that the rich are really, personally, very offended if you suggest such things. I mean, THEY earned that money. And they don’t want to share. Or they would.

  • Sheila

    Why are you surprised? Why are the inconsistencies between what statists say and do constantly noted, as if they’re exceptions rather than the rule? Just because something is an “oldie” doesn’t mean it’s not still valid today: Some pigs are more equal than others. Obama, Friedman, Maddow, Edwards . . . why waste your time thinking that by pointing out this hypocrisy they’ll actually take notice and admit the error of their ways? Why continue to play by the rules when this is a war for survival? Will you be predator or prey?

  • Leatherhelmet

    It appears the first things that need to be cut back are the NY Times and Thomas Friedman books and speeches.

    The pompous attitute of Friedman has grown old. He thinks we are in denial about global warming. We are not the ones in denial Thomas, you are. We have examined the evidence and the science is sketchy and unable to give anything close to accurate predictions which the scientific method is supposed to be based on. Apparently there is alot of money to be made in mindless leftist causes.

  • steveR

    A typical example of a person who has no reason to be a democrat as he surely can’t relate.
    “Pull up the ladder Jack, I’m alright” Rules for you but not for me!

  • zero should ask this @$$wipe if he hasn’t made enough money already.

  • I am 62 years old and watching more and more of these Liberal Elitists telling us what we must give up and all the while they don’t give up a thing. We are headed down the path to Communism. I guess there aren’t enough of my generation left to overpower the dreamy eyed younger generation that is believing this crap and of course learned little or nothing in school about how bad socialism and communism are and have been. I worked towards a retirement and hopes of a gentle elder age only to end up unemployed, living in a friend’s basement and broke beyond belief. If this is what the younger generation want for themselves they are in for a bunch of surprises. How many of us do you supposed Friedman will allow to live in his mansion when we have no place to go??

  • Phillip C

    The problem, as I see it, is that there are too many people who think that everything is not enough. There is a huge difference between ownership and stewardship. We all share this planet, and if we do not all take care of it, then we all will suffer from it’s collapse. Our desires have long since exceeded our needs (this is true), but for someone who, obviously, lives so far above the average in wealth to point down to the masses and tell us we need to cut back is, perhaps, the greatest insult of all. Lead by example. We are not sheep, and you definately are not our master.

  • Chisum

    #11 June 9, 2011 at 11:05 am
    John commented:

    We need to all help him reach his happy place. Lets take and sell his house and property and donate it to the homeless.
    “Happy Place” to a liberal involves ‘chakras’. According to Al Gore.

  • USMC Thomas

    The Democratic Nomenklatura, by virtue of their superior intelligence, deserve to live better than the masses.

  • greenfairie

    Yes, be happy with less! Be happy squatting in your own poo, living in your unheated and un air conditioned shack with no running water or electricity! Be happy as you live only on basics, subject to starvation if crops fail or prices go up! Be happy clothing yourself in rags that you must mend over and over! Be happy as your teeth fall out! Be happy as you can’t find any more aspirin at the drug store or afford it, so you must suffer with a splitting headache! Be happy as you spend almost all of your meager income just surviving! (Going to a ball game is as unattainable as a year-long luxury cruise around the world.) Want to work more to have more money and improve your life? Tough! You need to focus on happiness that’s not based on material goods!

    Meanwhile, we’ll keep living like kings in our mansions. Because we’re special.

  • gus

    Phillip, you are a moron. 16% real unemployment. 1 in 6 Americans is NOT WORKING too hard and NOT SPENDING TOO MUCH.

    I live on a lake that was once one MILE deep in ICE. The landscapre was created by glaciers.

    Who caused that, and who fixed it? You fuxing imbeciles go first, then MAYBE we’ll follow, better yet, KILL YOURSELF. It’ll make more room for me, and free up a job.

  • Clotilde Soupert

    Yea! I knew someone would show us a picture of the Friedman manse. The word hypocrite scarcely comes close to describing this man. Disgusting works, though.

  • Alvin

    Gilding should really ask how many liberals dying on their bed ask why they didn’t seek out Jesus Christ as they start to feel the tug and the heat from below their beds.

  • Joanne

    This Climate Crisis bull crap is getting really old….not only is it crap, but these people actually believe we can manipulate climate……too dumb for words.


    what a jack-ass…people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones…

  • Mark

    What a buffoon.

  • archtop

    Obviously, in Thomas Friedman’s “happiness-driven growth model” he gets to keep his stuff and you get nothing! Well, at least HE’S happy…

  • gus

    Are our cities CLEANER or DIRTIER than they were in the 70’s and 80’s. They are cleaner. Demonstrably cleaner. The air in Milwaukee is FAR FAR FAR cleaner than the 70’s and 80’s, hooooooray!!! Our factories are GONE. GONE DADDY GONE. So are the jobs. Great work libtards.
    So here is the question LIBTARDS. If our cities were dirtier and the air was far more poluted 30 years ago, why didn’t we have the world come to an END THEN?
    Libtards are mentally ill. They stand for nothing, so they CREATE CRISIS so they CAN SOLVE THEM. China’s air in the 70’s and 80’s? CLEANER. INDIA’S??
    Where did our jobs go LIBTARDS?? Still can’t figure it out?? Maybe you freaks should move your candy asses to China and India, and LECTURE THEM. They are on the same GLOBE as us.

  • ICwatiz

    All the radical libs that spout this utopian nonsense always leave out the little fact that THEY are the ones who want to decide who ‘works less’ and ‘has less’. They’ve simply wrapped communism in new-age packaging. From the photo above, Friedman should definitely ‘have less’, and hopefully — when we get our country back from those trying to rip it from our hands — he will ‘work less’ as well. 😉

  • gus

    I support fully HOW MUCH Friedman has. He however does not. Think about that.

  • marliesharms

    Can you believe the shutzpa this guy has. Only a democrat with lots & lots of money would suggest something like that. Is he in the Obama state of just being PRESENT, because that is all Obama is and has his union thugs do all his dirty work for him. We need a new begining in 2012. I do hope we’re not to late.

  • bg


    Social Engineering

    more here..

    [scroll for more info, follow the linkage, or
    not.. just don’t claim you weren’t warned]


  • dunce

    As usual the left presents a false either/or case.People working to get material things like the book he suggests reading are available because lumberjacks cut down trees, the logs were processed into pulp, the pulp made into paper, the paper printed on and bound into a book, the book distributed by our national transport system to retailers. Somebody bought the book on the internet and it was likely delivered to their door by UPS.Hundreds of people were engaged in labor besides the author to put the book in somebodies hand. The real choice is not working or reading because there would be no book without a lot of work.

  • bg


    Social Engineering

    murder by Utopianism by any other name

    [But communists could not be wrong. After all, their knowledge was scientific, based on historical materialism, an understanding of the dialectical process in nature and human society, and a materialist (and thus realistic) view of nature. Marx has shown empirically where society has been and why, and he and his interpreters proved that it was destined for a communist end. No one could prevent this, but only stand in the way and delay it at the cost of more human misery. Those who disagreed with this world view and even with some of the proper interpretations of Marx and Lenin were, without a scintilla of doubt, wrong. After all, did not Marx or Lenin or Stalin or Mao say that. . . . In other words, communism was like a fanatical religion. It had its revealed text and chief interpreters. It had its priests and their ritualistic prose with all the answers. It had a heaven, and the proper behavior to reach it. It had its appeal to faith. And it had its crusade against nonbelievers.

    What made this secular religion so utterly lethal was its seizure of all the state’s instrument of force and coercion and their immediate use to destroy or control all independent sources of power, such as the church, the professions, private businesses, schools, and, of course, the family. ]


  • Granny

    Might I suggest to Thomas Friedman, Al Bore and a few others who are so prone to dictate to the rest of us while living like kings that it might behoove them to pay attention to two particular revolutions: the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution of 1916/17 . . . . .

    My two cents: YOU FIRST guys. Sell everything you own, divvy up that estate among 40 or 50 of us and then I might give the slightest consideration to a single word you say.

  • tarpon

    What does this guy do for a living?

  • steve knight

    yet another liberal wanker telling us we are all too rich while he lives in a 20 +
    million dollar estate

  • bg


    re: #34

    [But what connects them all is this. As a government’s power is more unrestrained, as its power reaches into all the corners of culture and society, and as it is less democratic, then the more likely it is to kill its own citizens. There is more than a correlation here. As totalitarian power increases, democide multiplies until it curves sharply upward when totalitarianism is near absolute. As a governing elite has the power to do whatever it wants, whether to satisfy its most personal desires, to pursue what it believes is right and true, it may do so whatever the cost in lives. In this case power is the necessary condition for mass murder. Once an elite have it, other causes and conditions can operated to bring about the immediate genocide, terrorism, massacres, or whatever killing an elite feels is warranted.]


  • Ph00ey

    Soylent Green

  • JKB

    To the class of 2011, there you have it. It’s not that you can’t find a job, it is that you are transitioning to a happiness-based economy. We all have seen in movies, how happy poor people are. Happiness is going to be hungry. So quit interfering with all those happy African children by sending them money.

    For those of you who mistakenly got on the jobs wagon, well, there is something you can do immediately to start your rehabilitation. Stop consuming the NY Times and your happiness will skyrocket. Think of it this way, when you lay dying, do you believe you’ll be thinking, “I wish I’d read the NY Times more”?

  • gus

    Friedman writes his opinion for a living.
    Al Gore writes his opinion for a living.

    How useful to mankind.

  • moron

    How many trees gave their lives to make room for this estate? Think or all the wildlife displaced!

  • Leslie Irvine

    “…To do that, you need a growth model based on giving people more time to enjoy life, but with less stuff.”

    Giving people less stuff. Convincing them to be happy about it. Its an age old liberal dilemma.
    Its the hope and change growth model pushed on us by the limousine liberals. It’s elitist, condescending and proof of a god complex.

  • vagabond trader

    This commie does not care about the planet or you. He is about power and control, AGW is the current weapon being deployed. Friedman is a well placed useful idiot swinging his msm bullhorn to please his masters. He’ll be on top with the other overlords when we are put in our places.So he believes.

  • Norman56

    His residence pictured is in Bethesda, MD. Close enough that DC denizens can go help him empty it, and sell off all the contents.

  • Andreas K.

    “a more happiness-driven growth model, based on people working less and owning less”

    That’s going to work for exactly five minutes.

    Also climate crisis, what climate crisis? Oh, the one that’s happening in the computer models? Oh yeah, that’s horrible. All those poor bytes… Wait…

    The CO2 still hasn’t doubled during the past 50 years, the Arctic ice is actually experiencing new ice records, and the sea levels show no explosive upward trend, but rather a constant, slow rise that is 100% natural and won’t endanger anything.

  • Walter

    I wonder how he can be soooooo wealthy living like that with the NYT readership dismally low? Wait, I forgot? Obama wants to prop up his media buds with our money! Silly me! I take home less (no matter how poor I live), own less (better drop my cable so I’m “brainwashed” by Fox, and get rid of my computer because so many in 3rd world, socialist and communist countries don’t have one), so the NYT and the like can have MORE! Whatever was I thinking?! Silly conservative me.

  • StandUpChuck

    “When you lay dying, do you believe you’ll be thinking, “I wish I’d read the NY Times more”?”


  • AuntieMadder

    The f&*^ing socialist should save the planet by giving me all of his stuff.

  • UH!

    Obama’s been working to take as much stuff away from us as possible.

  • nell

    I think I can help with Friedman’s guilty conscience. Let’s re-envision that estate there as a condo complex for around 50 overstressed people, all transformed and living happy relaxed lives as they tend the huge food garden which used to be unproductive concrete. Friedman can drive them back and forth to town in a horse drawn farm wagon, which doubles as a roadside produce stand on weekends. He can sell all his personal stuff to buy solar panels and farm implements. Seems like his “fair share” to me.

  • A_Nonny_Mouse

    For all the LefTurds who have wonderful plans for US to make sacrifices/ use less/ curb our lifestyles, to ensure that THEY can stay comfortable in the Brave New World they’re trying to create:

    Buster, YOU GO FIRST !

    Your exquisitely-reasoned strategies to bring Peace, Prosperity and Harmony to the Universe will be ever so much more successful if You-Who-Really-Understand-Things show the rest of us (the hoi polloi, the great unwashed) the proper way to make it all work. With your Shining Examples to guide us, how can we help but follow when we see the New Utopia rise before us? So: LEAD THE WAY. We’ll be cheering you on.


    (Where did they ever get the idea that WE are their Social-Engineering lab rats? We don’t exist to fulfill the desire of the Ruling Elites to experiment on a New Economy, a New Sociology, or a New World Order. Most of us kind of liked the OLD world order, in which we all had equal value before the law, and we all had the chance to advance as far as our imaginations and efforts could take us…)

  • AuntieMadder

    #52 June 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm
    nell commented:

    I think I can help with Friedman’s guilty conscience. Let’s re-envision that estate there as a condo complex for around 50 overstressed people, all transformed and living happy relaxed lives as they tend the huge food garden which used to be unproductive concrete.

    Eek! That plan has a socialist/communist/hippie commune flavor to it. Yuck! How ’bout he just gives it to Nell, who will invite family and friends to come stay at her palace of a crib, duration(s) of visits as Nell sees fit.

  • averagemelon

    Michael my-brain-is-fried-man is the bully in the schoolyard. He forgets that the rest of us are healthy, smart, educated, and can whip his sorry rump no matter who he runs to.

  • USMC Thomas

    “I think I can help with Friedman’s guilty conscience. Let’s re-envision that estate there as a condo complex for around 50 overstressed people,…”

    Since its located in Bethesda, MD, make those 50 people from the Potomac Gardens Housing Project in Washington DC instead.

  • Gary

    I think this guy should watch Logan’s Run.

    Their visions of Utopia always involve some kind of sacrifice.
    But like Logan, when it’s their turn to pay up, they run.

  • bg


    hah, i’ve compared Obama’s “Collective” Regime to Soylent Green,
    Brave New World, Logan’s Run, 1984 & Through The looking Glass
    just to name a few long time passing.. however.. our reality lies in
    Elitist ideology..

    “If the upper class is able to give it’s children, grandchildren more and more
    genetic advantages, they will move away from the people who are naturally
    ~ Lee Silver


  • pst314

    Thomas Friedman should show us the way by giving away all his property and spending the rest of his life living in a cardboard box and eating out of dumpsters. 😉

  • Don Rodrigo

    We need to “go communist” on rich leftists. Confiscate all their wealth and use it to create an entrepreneurial fund and scholarships for people who want to study serious, useful stuff.

  • rbosque

    Curious why the left-wing mantra of “greed” hasn’t shown up with rich Democrats?

  • Jack

    ““How many people,” Gilding asks, “lie on their death bed and say, ‘I wish I had worked harder or built more shareholder value,’ and how many say, ‘I wish I had gone to more ballgames…”

    Gilding, these are not mutually exclusive points with the soaring prices of tickets today.

  • bg


    re: #58 et al

    Social Engineering

    [scroll up/down for more]


  • CrankyOldLady

    Friedman is a lousy thinker and writer, but at least he can work for free at the NYSlimes because he is a terrific gigolo — just like the French-looking ketchup guy.

  • Lou Skannen

    Don’t give Tom such a hard time. From what I heard, he lives in the little house by the pool. He’s donated the rest of the compound, including pool, for use as a charter school serving impoverished youth. The tax break from the donation is going into an endowment fund providing scholarships.

    Must be an old picture – I don’t see any school buses.

  • Boar Breath

    I will follow your advice as soon as you donate your mansion to the homeless, move into a 3 room bungalow, only own one small car and eat from a dumpster!

  • R J

    Let’s all be filthy, useless, hippies! We’ll live in vans with twenty of our closest friends, get stoned, have all kinds of meaningless sex, sell tie-dye stuff and incense, or just steal sh*t! Man, this is gonna be great! The liberal American dream!

  • Iris

    Funny, all my life I’ve heard the opposite: “Work more, buy more. Take a third job so you can buy more of the stuff you don’t need. Nope, don’t fix things, throw away and replace …………..”

  • tommy mc donnell

    the consumer driven growth model is broken. thats because the socialists have confiscated all the consumers money. how about the politicans move to a more happiness driven growth model and tax less and spend less.

  • tommy mc donnell

    the most egregious on conspicuous consumption in the united states is the hollywood left.

  • tommy mc donnell

    #70…should read most egregious example of

  • Moe Badderman

    Envy is not the worst of the Seven Cardinal Sins, but it is surely the most ugly.