Capitalism And Consumerism

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Capitalism is a system based off of innovation and competition to put out new products and rule the economic world. Capitalism leads to efficiency and new products. Efficiency is producing something in the cheapest, fastest way possible. Efficiency leads to more goods and services. Efficiency produces a need to sell. Firms under capitalism may find themselves incentivized to provide wrong/misleading information to their customers. They do so to make money by convincing people that they need the company’s product to be happy, healthy, smart, or socially acceptable. There are many motivations, involving making money off of selling products to susceptible customers if they can convince them that they need the products. This misleading information…show more content…
Firms under capitalism are often incentivized to promote consumerism. Capitalism is necessary for firms to survive and thrive. Firms under capitalism depend on consumerism for their companies to do well and make the most profit possible. Consumerism is interesting because of the environmental impacts (that lead to some of the environmental problems we see in the world today) and because of the class implications. An example of consumerism is “McMansions” which are large houses, much bigger than necessary for healthy, appropriate living. There is a psychological aspect of consumerism because it stems from a response to social pressures. There is a high consumption rate in the United States. People may feel as though if they do not have a standard of living that feels “necessary,” then they may be failures as people. The consumerist culture of the US can be defined by the phrase “Keeping up with the Joneses.” People are always trying to 1-up each other with the things they own, the cars they drive, and the properties they have. There are consumption bias and pressure to become a hyper consumer built into capitalism. Consumption bias is the tendency towards promoting consumerism. Firms often advertise their products to promote their product, which leads to Americans being exposed to constant streams of advertisement. There is even an entire industry devoted to advertising and marketing. For example, the MasterCard ads have families on the beach having a great time, with the MasterCard symbol plastered on the page as if the company is selling some happiness. As far as consumerism culture, there are consequences. There are now new levels of consumption norms, and it gets harder and harder to know when one has arrived at an “acceptable level of consumption.” Consumption norms differ between working class/middle class and upper class society. In high-end stores, there is no need for price slashing whereas working
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