Is There Such a Thing as Ethical Consumption?

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“Is there such a thing as ethical consumption?”

The entire world economy, especially the US economy, relies on consumers spending. But what happens when consumers overspend their money on things they don’t really need? What happens to all the products that are consumed every day and that people don’t want or need anymore? What is happening to our environment? Where is all this overspending or overconsumption going to take us in our future lives or the coming generation? Here is where I start analyzing the question: “Is there such a thing as ethical consumption?”

I believe that it is very important to understand how consumerism becomes a priority in this country so we can comprehend the mess we are in today and how government policies play an important role in the ethical or unethical consumption.

During the Great Depression in 1933, Congress passed the National Industrial Recovery Act. It authorized the cornerstone program of the consuming public who had been previously labeled the “forgotten men”. New Dealers called for a permanent federal consumer agency to host the perspectives of the consuming public and not just big business. Democracy in the U.S. was at stake and the only way it could survive was through the quality of living of the rank and file workers.

In the 30s and 40s, the progressives identified consumers as a new category of American citizenry which needed their help to “limit the dangers of an industrializing, urbanizing, and politically corruptible 20th century America because all men and women suffered as consumers from jacked-up prices, defective merchandise, deceitful politicians, etc.

Consumers as a group were and today are becoming more active in staging boycotts against unfair landlords, grocery prices and unfair labor prices. Many of these groups were started and headed by women who had become more politically aware and had a large influence on household expenditures. The economy is all about money and politics is all about...
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