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Needs and Wants in American Society - Essay Example

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(Name) (Professor) (Subject) (Date) Needs and Wants in American Society When Anna Quindlen said, “By 2010, Americans will be a trillion dollars in the hole on credit-card debt alone” (Quindlen 509). If this isn’t serious, then what is? Consumers anywhere in the world, including those in America, are believed to splurge money on either trifles or stuffs with momentary value…
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Needs and Wants in American Society
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"Needs and Wants in American Society"

Download file to see previous pages One reason why there seems to be a discrepancy in the definition of need in American society is that people do not seem to care even if such a so-called “need” would actually “[reach] the point of being physically harmful” (Sowell 189). One would basically whine that he “needs” more chocolate although he has just consumed five bars of Mars in an hour. Perhaps, for a lack of a more appropriate word or for some problem with semantics, the English language would simply let us use the word “need” for anything that we want including desires, cravings and addictions. Indeed, Americans have “an addiction to consumption” that may even qualify as a “sickness” (Quindlen 508). This “sickness” is more like a neurosis about having the latest Marc Jacobs bag, or a paranoia about not having an iPhone 5. The phrase “I need something” can now therefore be replaced with “I am paranoid about this” or simply “I am sick.” Moreover, part of this sickening addiction to consumption which American consumers conveniently call “need” is the idea of overusing credit. ...
American consumer continues to rationalize, what he believes he “needs” are actually only his “wants.” Second, there is a problem with how the word “need” is defined because American consumers do not seem to recognize the idea behind trade-offs. Understanding and doing a trade-off is simply a making that small sacrifice of giving up the purchase of one thing considered to have an advantage for another which is actually truly desirable. The problem with the average American consumer nowadays is that he does not realize that “at other prices [he] can get along with what [he has]” (Sowell 190). A huge factor in this lack of ability or responsibility to do trade-offs is the addiction caused by the media, but an equally great factor is the laziness on the part of the consumer in filtering out various product information from the media. Consumers who do not think will naturally adopt the “acquisition habits of a 7-year-old” and a 7-year-old definitely has the faintest idea of what a “need’ is (Quindlen 509). One can therefore not expect that a 7-year-old has any idea about good trade-offs. Naturally, if all consumers were of this age, then tons of useless “trifles” would replace good and useful products that could have resulted from sensible trade-offs (509). In short, those who perpetuate the misuse of the word “need” are actually those who not only believe that “Marc Jacobs is God” but especially those who have not realized that “stuff does not bring about salvation” (509). If one considers shopping and consumption as religion, then it follows that he is very much willing to heed its gospel and even do everything to attain enlightenment and salvation with it. Anything proclaimed by this gospel as important is therefore merely a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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