The world won’t get better until you stop being a consumer whore


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In order to understand why the world won’t get better until you stop being a consumer whore you have to understand how the economy works. Here’s how it does: Businesses don’t make money unless they sell products. The more stuff we buy the more money businesses make. In theory this should create jobs, and it does, but it creates as few jobs as possible, because the goal of business is to make as much money as possible for the owners and investors. They maximize their take home pay by making as few workers as possible work as long as they can get away with, paying their workers as little as they can get away with, making as cheap of quality of products as they can get away with and selling them for as much as as they can get away with.

Businesses can only sell as many products as customers are willing to buy, and people don’t have any motivation to buy things they don’t need. In order to remove this roadblock to profits big businesses have dumped billions of dollars into studying human psychology in order to perfect the art of manipulating consumers. Today advertisements are ubiquitous and effective. We are inundated with them to the point that we accept an advertisement-saturated life as the norm. Inevitably we grow up buying crap we don’t need with money we can’t afford to spend. We’re all guilty, but for what it’s worth, we’re as much victims as we are offenders.

But make no mistake, we are offenders. Every time we buy something wed don’t need big business owners and investors take home profit that they can horde, invest in more brainwashing advertisements, or influence politicians to pass laws that make it easier for them to screw more people harder, quicker. At the same time, every time we spend a dollar on something we don’t need we take a step away from financial independence and a step towards dependency on whoever is going to give us our next dollar. The less financially independent we are the more desperate we’ll be. The more financially desperate we are the less money and dignity we’ll demand from our employers.

Mass consumerism makes life in the present less enjoyable for everyone who gets squeezed by greedy businesses, and given enough time it will make the planet unlivable. Our factories are tearing through the world’s resources as fast as possible in a mad dash to make cheap, barely-useful junk that will end up in a land fill within a year. The fewer resources the world has the more expensive they will become in the future, and thus the more expensive consumer goods will become, which will make economic disparity even worse. If the economy doesn’t change then eventually the majority of the population will live in polluted ghettos where there is no hope of upward mobility. In fact, this has already happened in the poorest areas of the world.

The survival and expansion of the economic system that creates inhumane slums depends on us buying mass-produced stuff we don’t need.

You might defend your purchasing habits by pointing out that if we don’t buy consumer goods then companies won’t make money. Then they won’t have money to pay any workers or expand production to create any new jobs. This arguments isn’t justification for continuing business as usual; it’s simply states why the current system is oppressive and unsustainable. The call to action it raise shouldn’t be to keep feeding the beast. The call to action should be to redesign our economic model so that workers and consumers aren’t caught in inescapable downward spiral of economic oppression.

It would be a shame for people to lose their jobs and their meager livelihoods by starving the system to the breaking point, but people are living in hunger and fear now, and that’s only going to get worse the longer we continue doing what we’ve been doing. Starving the economy to the breaking point would at least allow us to start over and change directions. There is another alternative though, start building sustainable communities now and slowly transition workers from the oppressive system to a more humanitarian one. Unfortunately, it will cost a lot of money to build sustainable communities since those materials will have to be bought from companies that charge as much as possible. However, if the poor stopped being consumer whores, saved their money and worked together instead of fighting each other for the scraps that fall from their masters’ table we could build a better world.

One way or the other though, the world won’t change until you stop being a consumer whore.

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