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Should we shop until we drop - Essay Example

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Should We Shop Until We Drop Question # 1 – Identity is linked to shopping As Leonard and Conrad mention in their book, “We have become a nation of consumers. Our primary identity has become that of consumer, not mothers, teachers, farmers, but consumers…
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Should we shop until we drop
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Download file to see previous pages Victor Lebow gave the solution that “Our enormously productive economy…demands that we make consumption our way of life that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption…we need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate” (Leonard and Conrad, pp. 215). Therefore, the current wave of materialism and consumerism is not natural but something, which was planned. According to a research conducted in the start of the century, American households are currently spending 1.22 US dollars for every 1 dollar earned. There is all the probability that this difference, considering the historical and currents trends in consumerism, would have increased (Woolf, pp. 124-125). Therefore, the point here is that there are no doubts that with a systematic and strategic process, Americans have become a nation who have lost their inner self worth and the only way to gain the same has become through publicizing our ownership of goods and materials. Everyday, we find ourselves in a silent war with ourselves, forcing us to buy more, consume more and stock more so that our neighbors could see our superior lifestyle (Kukathas, pp. 85-89). Deeds, ethical norms, morality, dignity, achievements, intelligence and others are quickly fading away as the measures for one’s identity and social status. We do not know or picture others with their names and achievements but with what they own and what they have the potential to buy, the boy with iPhone 4, the woman with Porsche, the man with limo and so on. Therefore, we are not we are but we are what others think we are. As Leonard and Conrad mention in their book, “That is why, after 9/11, when our country was in shock, President Bush could have suggested any number of appropriate things: to grieve, to pray, to hope. NO, and He said to shop.43 TO SHOP” (Leonard and Conrad, pp. 215). Question # 2 – Consequences of our love for consumerism If our love for consumerism was only destroying our disturbing our own lives then this should never have been a problem at all. However, the problem here is that this is not only we are destroying our selves, our societies, communities and nations but the entire planet (Woolf, pp. 124-125). Leonard and Conrad in their book come up with a few examples on how the entire planet is paying the price for our love of products and materials. For making products such as rubber, furniture, paper and others, we have destroyed more than 80 percent of the world’s forest. More importantly, we are losing our rainforests. Once, rainforests covered more than 16 percent of the total land but today that percentage is less than six. Furthermore, the destruction rate is so high that we are losing 75 acres of rainforests every minute (Woolf, pp. 124-125). More than 25 percent of the current drugs sold in the America and Europe come from the ingredients derived from rainforests. The loss that we are incurring to the human king becomes clear examining the statistics. Leonard and Conrad quote, “And the plants and other life we have discovered so far are just the beginning; most scientists estimate that only 1 percent of the species that exist in the rainforest (and only there) have been identified and examined for their beneficial properties” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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