When people are faced with the idea of consumerism they almost always relate the topic with negativity. People blame consumerism for major social problems such as wastefulness, pollution, and materialism. When in reality consumerism is not the problem, our society that chooses to excessively buy things they do not need is the real cause of these arising social issues. In this paper is information that will talk about how our society is hyper consuming (Buying in excess) products they do not need, and why this is a bad thing. The information in this paper also points out that everyone is a consumer, and how as the consumer we have the choice in what and how much we consume. The last fact this paper will talk about is with the system of capitalism and the economic theory of supply and demand we the consumer’s posse a great deal of power over what products companies produce. Till society realizes we are the problem, we will never be able to find a solution.
The majority of people would define consumerism as the belief that it is good to spend a bunch of money on goods and services. In this day and age this definition has proven to be accurate. But when we take a look at the original definition of consumerism it states that it is the promotion and protection of the consumer. So if consumerism is the promotion and protection of the consumers wants and needs, then the responsibility of the negative outcomes of consumerism shift onto the shoulders of society as the consumers. By understanding what consumerism actually is we can see how these large scale social issues are being created by wealthy countries who have begun to hyper consume . The definition of hyper consuming is to excessively buy things you do not need for pleasure. The reason this happens in wealthy countries is because necessities such as shelter, food, and water are abundant, so people start to shop out of boredom, or for emotional therapy. People also begin to stop repairing things. They instead just replace the item. This habit of hyper consuming leads to a society that is extremely wasteful and materialistic. George Monbiot’s article Spend don’t Mend talks about the results of a survey done in 2012 called the Greendex report. This survey showed that poor countries tend to feel guilter about their impact on the environment when compared to wealthier countries. Another thing the results of this survey shows is the fact that the wealthier countries consume and ause more damage to the environment, compared to poor countries. Monboit make this statement about the results “My guess is that poor countries empathy has not been dulled by decades of mindless consumption.” (Monboit, 2013 pg1) Monboit says guilt and empathy prevent consumption and explains how industries manipulate people into suppressing such feelings. “But guilt inhibits consumption. So a global industry has developed to smother it with a 13- tog duvet of celebrities and cartoon characters and elevator music. It seeks to persuade us not to see and feel it. It seems to work.” (Monboit, 2013 pg1) In the article Consumerism taking its toll on Society author Markham talks about how companies use advertisements that encourage people to stray away from their morals and values to promote their product. (Markham, 2008 pg1) No one can argue the fact that in wealthy countries, where we have media and a ton of technology, people are bombarded by advertisements, and are faced with the pressure to buy things on a daily basis, but that does not change the fact that ultimately we as the consumers have the freedom of choice when it comes to the products we buy and how much of these products we choose to consume. In the book consumed author Benjamin Barber claims “The challenge is to demonstrate that as consumers we can know what we want and only want what we need; and that with the rest of our lives we intend to live as lovers, or artist or