Even as political leaders have asked Americans to spend money to aid the struggling economy after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the organizers of the annual Buy Nothing Day are pushing forward with their request for shoppers to take a break on Friday.

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year, but it will also mark the 10th anniversary of Buy Nothing Day, when people in more than 60 countries will choose to abstain from the frenzy by going on a 24-hour consumer fast.

People in industrialized countries “make up a little less than 20 percent of the world”s population, yet we consume 86 percent of the world”s resources,” said Kalle Lasn, founder of Adbusters Media Foundation, the Vancouver-based group that has been promoting Buy Nothing Day since 1992. “It will make people in rich countries ask themselves, how much of the pie do we want? Ninety percent? How much is enough?”

While the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the suffering economy have led political leaders to encourage people to increase their spending, Lasn finds this advice unsatisfactory.

“The global economy is in trouble, with more than half a million people being laid off. But having people max out on their credit cards is just a short term solution. In the long term, we”re actually living off the backs of our children,” Lasn said.

Associate University economics Prof. Susanto Basu disagrees.

“In the short run, at a rate of high unemployment, decreasing consumption would only make an economic recession worse,” Basu said.

Lasn finds the concept of increasing spending in order to help the ongoing war effort perplexing.

“The idea that it”s our patriotic duty to go out and consume is really strange. I remember the second World War, we were told to live frugally and to conserve, to help the war effort by saving and living with a lot of self discipline,” he said.

But Basu argues that simply consuming less does not necessarily mean that the United States would use fewer resources.

“If we didn”t buy more Christmas presents, we could still be building more factories,” Basu said. Adbusters “does not make it clear that decreasing consumption would not necessarily cause less of the world”s resources to be used.”

LSA junior Sarah Bedy said she plans to avoid shopping on Friday.

“It”s a good statement to make because the holidays aren”t really about commercialism,” Bedy said. “It should be about being with your family. I think Americans need to change their priorities.”

Though interest in Buy Nothing Day has increased significantly in recent years, most major television networks, including ABC, NBC, and CBS, have refused to sell Adbusters airtime, causing the organization to rely heavily on public radio and television to publicize the event. One network, CNN, recently agreed to air Adbusters” controversial 30-second “uncommercial.”

The ad, which features an animated pig nested snugly in the North American continent, oinks happily as text appears across the screen: ” The average North American consumes five times more than a Mexican, 10 times more than a Chinese person, and 30 times more than a person from India give it a rest.”

Based on the dramatic increase in attention from newspapers as well as worldwide support from Korea to Algeria, Lasn feels optimistic about Buy Nothing Day”s success this year.

“We thought BND was going to be a fiasco, but now we see it as a window of opportunity,” he said.

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