Is The American Consumer Irrelevant? (December 12, 2011)

. . .

P          “Another holiday season and consumers are consumed with consumption.  They say that seventy percent of our economy is or has been driven by consumer spending.  They also say that something that cannot go on forever will not go on forever.  And it can’t go on forever.”

L          “It can’t.  The consumers have not paid for their past consumption.  The Chinese have provided the goods and the money to get the goods and deferred payment but not forgiven the debt.  The American consumer is becoming an afterthought in the world market.”

P          “They say that saving is up in the aggregate, yet only very slim sliver of individuals who actually have money, distrust the stock market and seek to protect principle are saving.”

L          “Consumption is an addiction.  Advertising provides the shallow inducements and exploits deep fears and anxieties.  Economic health warnings should be added to all advertisements.  ‘Purchasing this product may be dangerous to your economic health.’”

P          “For so many today, keeping up with the Jones is not adequate.  Vanquishing the Jones is the goal.”

L          “And the Jones cannot afford to keep up with let alone vanquish their neighbors.  From another perspective, the parvenu of the last few decades are a sign of a society with upward economic mobility.  The economic mobility has reversed direction and is rapidly moving down.  Few are arriving.”

P        “Too many individuals are gullible.  There are too many iPhones, iPads, iPeds, iPods, iBooks, iMacs, iMeMines.”

L          “Individuals must take more responsibility.  If you circumnavigate the grocery store and only acquire goods from the shelves and refrigerated cases along the outside perimeter, you will find a variety of tasty and nutritional foods.  The junk food is piled in the middle of the store.  The market works if you understand the layout of the market.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” titled “Consume, Don’t Invest? (Nov. 9, 2009)”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

He who dies (having played in a responsible way) with the most toys wins

Live simply so that others may simply live

Trade in a credit card for a library card

Bernays was right on the money

Plan B Is Part Of Plan A

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