The Effects of Consumerism

Posted by on July 2, 2009 in World Economy

Consumerism is becoming the hallmark of most world economies. In the West, it is a common phenomenon, but now even developing countries in the world are resorting to it.

Consumerism refers to the consumption of goods at a higher rate. The economy is judged by the production and selling of goods. The gross national product is the sum total of goods and services produced for a specific period at a specific time. The more goods produced and consumed by society the higher the growth rate of the economy. The prosperity of a nation is judged by the per capita income of individuals residing in it. The economy is considered to be” doing well” if the purchasing power of the people is high.

effects of consumerismIn consumer society, people replace their goods with newer ones. They purchase goods, use them and throw them away. New goods when they become old are replaced by newer ones. The question of repair does not arise People have money to purchase goods in plenty. In case, they do not do so as it leads to recession and depression and also results in unemployment.

What are the effects of the consumerism?
Consumerism is appreciated in Western economies since a person’s standard of living is valued by his or her material possessions. There are certain positive effects such as:

Positive Consumerism Effects:
Primary positive consumerism effects are:

There are always certain pitfalls to a given situation in a society. Material prosperity may be there in consumerism but, it has its negative effects on the people and society at large.

Negative Consumerism Effects:
Top negative consumerism effects are:

The United States is a consumer economy and is known for its material growth and prosperity. But presently, the economy is reeling under the pressure of recession. People who have lost their jobs are finding it difficult to meet both their ends. In the East, India is also progressing towards materialism, although this goes against its ancient philosophical approach towards materialism, which favors a simple, non-materialistic life.

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Comments

8 Comments

  1. I think a radical shift in what we consider progress would change how we view our economic well-being. Our society is so focused on economic growth, but not so much on actual development.

    An example: destroying wildlife habits to open a new coal mine and pollute the atmosphere with even more CO2 certainly grows our economy, but is this “progress”? Instead, we could work to become more energy efficient, eliminating the need for a new coal mine. The economy wouldn’t grow per say, but I would submit that that is more progress than the former scenario.

    This was a really good list, btw. I recently wrote about the negative effects of consumerism, but looked over some of the points you mentioned.

    Reply

  2. Excellent essay!!!!! awesome ……

    Reply

  3. thank you very much.
    the info was very helpful.

    Reply

  4. Well written essay, however some information on consumerism as it effects other less development nations would be helpful.

    Reply

  5. ahahahahahhhh i just ripped u off ^^^

    2 Comments
    Blake
    07/03/2009 at 11:14 am
    I think a radical shift in what we consider progress would change how we view our economic well-being. Our society is so focused on economic growth, but not so much on actual development.

    An example: destroying wildlife habits to open a new coal mine and pollute the atmosphere with even more CO2 certainly grows our economy, but is this “progress”? Instead, we could work to become more energy efficient, eliminating the need for a new coal mine. The economy wouldn’t grow per say, but I would submit that that is more progress than the former scenario.

    This was a really good list, btw. I recently wrote about the negative effects of consumerism, but looked over some of the points you mentioned

    Reply

  6. Dipakar Tewari

    I think this article is good. But it could have been better if there was more insight into the “Demonstration effect”, which is actually the root cause of consumerism in the developing and under-developing nations.

    Reply

  7. The ill effects are considerable.
    depleting natural resources mean battle for scarce commodities esp scarce ones like oil , iron ore. Countries even go for military over stretch to accomplish this.

    we also see wasteful production/distribution pattern.

    increase in both private.public debt even to extent of bankruptcy.

    We should strive for prosperity rather than mass consumption and growth should also factor the damage done to environment

    Reply

  8. premkumar khumanthem

    one bad effect is, as the condition of consumerism increases more the waste materials increase. because people tends to buy new things without considering the recycling of the older ones. as the coming of the modern technique in production of goods increas the older ones are useles and move to waste materials… and increase in the waste materials…

    Reply

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