Prof. Cheryl L. Flanigan
Be Happier by Consuming Less
Consumerist is a social and economic order that encourages the purchase of goods and services in ever greater amounts. In the American consumption, people do not know how much is enough, do we really need all we buy? Or we just buy it because everyone else has it? Does it make us any happier? In the article “The New Politics of Consumption: Why Americans Want So Much More That They Need” Juliet Schor shares with us her point of view about American Consumption. In Schor’s article says, “The average American now finds it harder to achieve a satisfying standard of living than 25 years ago” (411).Also that “The competitive consumption, the idea that spending is in large part driven by a comparative or competitive process in which individuals try to keep up with the norms of the social group with which they identify as a reference group” (412). Finally she believes that “Low income children are more likely to be exposed to commercials at school, as well as home” (413). Our personal consumer choices have ecological, social, and spiritual consequences. Much of what we purchase is not essential for our survival or even basic human comfort but is based on impulse, a momentary desire, and there is a hidden price that we, and future generations will pay for it too. The American economy’s ultimate purpose is to produce more consumer goods, not better health care, education, housing, transportation, but to provide more stuff to consumers. First, in Schor’s article she says, “The average American now finds it harder to achieve a satisfying standard of living than 25 years ago” (411). Nowadays people have to work longer hours than 25 year ago, to be able to pay all their desires. Having more and newer things each year has become not just something we want but something we need. The idea of more, ever increasing wealth has become the center of...