Three Socioecological Classes

from the book

When Corporations Rule the World

by David C. Korten

published by Kumarian Press, 1995


The Overconsumers -- 1.1 billion people

> US$7,500 per capita (Cars, Meat, Disposables)

Travel by car and air

Eat high-fat, highcalorie, meat-based diets

Drink bottled water and soft drinks

Use throwaway products and discard substantial wastes

Live in spacious, climate-controlled, single-family homes

Maintain image-conscious wardrobes


The Sustainers -- 3.3 billion people

US$700-7,500 per capita (Living Lightly)

Travel by bicycle and public surface transport

Eat healthy diets of grains, vegetables, and some meat

Drink clean water plus some tea and coffee

Use unpackaged goods and recycle wastes

Live in modest, naturally ventilated homes, with extended or multiple families

Wear functional clothing


The Excluded -- 1.1 billion people

< US$700 per capita (Absolute Deprivation)

Travel by foot or donkey

Eat nutritionally inadequate diets

Drink contaminated water

Use local biomass and produce negligible wastes

Live in rudimentary shelters or in the open; usually lack secure tenure

Wear secondhand clothing or scraps

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