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The Evils Of Consumerism Essay

839 words - 4 pages

Consumerism, the belief that it’s good for people to spend a lot of money on goods and services, is the basis for the economy of the United States of America. The practice of consumerism in the U.S. largely started in the 1950s. After World War II, people focused on buying goods to make their lives easier, such as vacuums, refrigerators, cars, and televisions. (“American Experience”). In a consumerist culture people are taught to buy, even if they don’t have the money to spend. Yet, teaching our children to overspend isn’t exactly practical. Towards the end of her article, Schor writes, “The industry lacks sufficient moral accountability… the pressure to make money is overwhelming the need to do well by kids.” In other words, consumerism and marketing to youths is harmful to the children. If the industry’s claims that their work empowers children, is vital to the economy, and that the consequences of their work are due to the irresponsibility of the parents are true, then why did the FCC find it necessary to regulate the ads that children were exposed to in 1974? (Schor). In reality consumerism encourages materialism, gender specific roles, and inflicts social and emotional damage upon the youth of the nation.
Materialism is a way of thinking that places too much importance on material possessions as opposed to spiritual or intellectual pursuits. The issue of materialism goes hand in hand with the practice of consumerism. The problem with materialism is that it, in conjunction with consumerism, can lead to a child who attaches himself to his possessions, and always expects more. (Julianelle). One instance involving the holiday season can be seen here: “This time of year such unintended consequences are on full display. The Facebook posts and Twitter feeds and Gawker posts featuring greedy, ungrateful children always wanting more… suffer the consequences of an adolescence (and beyond) of expectation, wherein too much is never enough.” (Julianelle). This statement shows one of the issues that comes along with consumerism. In a consumerist culture children can become spoiled, unappreciative, and materialistic. After years of being overindulged, they could turn out to be gluttonous, lazy, and possibly self-absorbed. Materialism can also impair a child’s social and emotional development. (Monbiot).
The marketing industry, although recently improving, tends to place heavy emphasis on gender. Many people use the words sex and gender interchangeably, but they have two completely different meanings. Sex is the biological or...

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