SMH: Balance? Don't ask an economist, by their economy columnist Ross Gittins. It is an interesting read on the problem of capitalist system -- most of the time we are working way too hard for the sake of the economics. Actually, not for the name of the collective economic growth, but just individual pursuit of catching up with the Joneses. At the end we are living in an unbalanced life, becoming a slave of our own endless chase of wealth.
It's great to live in such a successful capitalist economy, where not all but most of us enjoy a fair degree of comfort. But when we take the advertising too seriously and start deluding ourselves that buying more stuff will make us happy, we risk becoming victims.
Contentment and restraining one's own desire seem to be the solution RG is pushing.
How can you escape to a better job or cut back the long hours you're working? By reducing your financial commitments. How? By controlling your material aspirations and stopping trying to buy status. Is that too tall an order? Then don't complain about being trapped by the system.
There is much more to life than the size of your bank account. It is easier said than done, but at least for us Christians, we know there is something even better after the present life, thus (1) help us not to be too focused on the satisfaction here and now (2) help us to live a life gearing towards God's kingdom.
Nevertheless, I think he has just sold me his book. Would be an interesting read to wake us up from being captive in this materialistic world, even from a secular perspective.