Buy Nothing Day

Topics: Consumption, Buy Nothing Day, Consumer Pages: 2 (658 words) Published: October 14, 2014
Buy Nothing Day
Buy Nothing Day is an day of protest that was founded in Canada in 1992 where people are asked to purchase no goods as a way to attempt to increase awareness of excessive consumerism and its environmental and ethical consequences. Over the last 22 years it has been held annually in many nations and activist groups are continuing to try to convince more and more countries to pledge their participate. A Buy Nothing Day, although based in good motives, is extreme and should not be established in the United States because it may hurt the economy, and it is an ineffective way to promote anti-consumerist ideas.

Asking American consumers to boycott all goods for a day could have negative effects on the country’s economy in many ways. Consumer spending almost single handedly carries the economy and makes up almost 70% of the gross domestic product. Not only does a Buy Nothing Day day have the potential to lower the GDP, but it would also cause instability in an already fragile economy that is still recovering from a recession. On a more personal level, a Buy Nothing day could seriously affect small businesses that depend on daily sales much more than large companies and workers in sales positions. If stores knew that they would not see many customers on a Buy Nothing Day, they may ask many workers to stay home which could be harmful to people who depend on work every day to pay for their living expenses. Even if a person was luck enough to still be called into work, many salespersons are paid low, basic wages and then paid commission for the number of sales they make that day to make up for the low base earning. If no one comes into the store to buy goods that means the commission they would have earned is not available.

In addition to negatively effecting the economy, a Buy Nothing Day is simply an ineffective strategy to promote anti-consumerist ideals. Asking consumers to completely abstain from purchasing goods is extreme and will likely not...
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