Consumerism essay

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Consumerism is an economic strategy which affirms that the market is molded by the choice of the consumers. The essential rights of the consumer include the right to choice, the right to security and the right to information.  This phenomenon has been in existence for many decades from the era of Civilization and continues to form the modern business market. Basically, consumerism is a sketch of the tendencies and preferences of customers towards certain products.  Consumerism is caused by several factors.  It also has various effects on the current market, which will be discussed in this paper.

In many cases, consumerism is described by the viewpoints of customers. Thoughts of buyers about a certain product define a status of this particular product.  There are several factors that promote consumerism. The wide use of a customer’s credit is one of them. Credit card organizations get a lot of income from credit card payments and interest revenues. For instance, in the United States, the pretax revenues from credit cards have risen to 360% from the year 1991 to 2002.  The second factor  is  the lack of financial knowledge. Financial management is not taught in a formal education setting, and for this reason, people do not know how to plan the use of their money. Thirdly, there is aggressive and intrusive advertising that increases the familiarity of different products to consumers.  Lastly, the change in personal values also plays a very important role. The story of stuff brings on a situation whereby consumerism has led negative impacts on the physical and the mental health, toxic substances are all over the shelf which contaminate the bodies and the environment of the users (Steven, 1998).  

In the capitalist market, the effects of consumerism manifest  themselves in the fact that product providers  try to increase their sales via the use of proper marketing and advertising strategies. In such a market setting, product providers do not satisfy the requirements of customers and for this reason buyers keep coming back. One of the methods to make purchasers return is to produce goods with limited use (Steven, 1998).   The video on the story of stuff shows the impacts of the goods with the limited usage on the environment and human due to the addiction of purchasing new things. This is an issue of materialism that degrades the environment and destroys the human relationship. This is experienced in cases where people are at conflict over raw or manufactured resources.

The current trend in consumerism is based on values and globalization.  The growth of the international market of goods and services has encouraged the development of values-based consumerism.  Today most of the purchasers have information about the product which they are buying, and often  the data about how the product was manufactured. This has led to the growth of concerns about heath, environment friendliness, and nutrition content of foodstuffs and side effects of goods. As a result, products imported from the third world countries are carefully inspected in accordance with precise approved values-based levels. In most of the developed countries, there is a trend for the manufacturing industries to make products which limit their usage after a certain indicated time.  The customer will need to replace such goods and make an additional investment (Steven, 1998). 

In many countries consumerism increased considerably as a result of the industrial revolution. Consumerism has led to the creation of luxury products and services which are status symbols on the market.  The only factors that can make consumerism decline are widespread education on purchasing and financeial management (Steven, 1998). However, consumerism is a practice that is likely to be in existence for a long time. The video on story of stuff tries to bring into sense the way human beings satisfy their material needs and more importantly how these needs are conceived. This brings about the issue of the workers working for a long time whereby thus lead to higher consumption and leads to individual who spend more time at work more than with their families and thus less life satisfaction.

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