The Ever-Present Problem of Consumerism
Consumerism. It seems to run the American culture, doesn’t it? It drives people’s work ethic, it helps people decide to do with their money, and it also affects our health. It has more of an affect on our world and economy than we let on, and I think that we really need to be aware of it.
What problems does a consumerist mindset have for the economy? Here are a few things.
1. Overuse of credit. We want more, so we get more credit. We get more credit, and we max out our credit cards and such. We do that, and our credit scores go to crap. If we don’t have good credit, we can’t take out loans and get big-ticket items, which hurts the overall economy. Or, even worse, the second thing may occur…
2. Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is worse than anything else that people can go through financially. You don’t always necessarily lose everything that you have, but your credit score is shot, you can lose some of your prized possessions, and there’s a lot of shame and emotional pain involved. It’s a sad, painful process. You can come back out of it, and people have successfully, but it takes a lot of time and energy to come out and make it so you never get back into it.
3. Depression and anxiety. I’ve talked about this before; our emotional health is greatly affected by our economic health. Not having enough money can really stress you out. Or, trying to beat the Joneses, trying to live the American dream. All of those things can cause a lot of stress, which can affect your emotional stress. People in the US have more issues with depression, anxiety, and other stress-related emotional issues than any other country in the world.
There’s good news though! I read an article this week about “Generation C” and it talked a bit about how the mindset of this generation is changing, and that only about 11% of this generation thinks that you need money in order to be happy. Could this possibly change the future? Could this change in mindset be the very thing that we need in order to get the economy back on track.
What do you think? Is consumerism affecting our economy for the worst? Or is it what drives our economy, meaning that we need it in order to continue moving forward? Leave your thoughts in the comments, have a great weekend, and until next time, spend smart, save smart!