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Consumption in America

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Many people usually think that they will be happy if they add one more thing to the already full list.  They spend more time looking for the money to buy that one more thing. Eventually, in America such tendency is developing. Sixty million Americans are addicted to shopping. Even though most of these addicts are females, the males are also picking up quite rapidly. The advertisements present at every turn of the head and the peer pressure to have the latest is too much for most Americans to handle. Although consumption is necessary for existence, the consumerism culture in America is doing more destruction than developments. Jamie Bentley, in her article American Consumption states the negative effects of consumerism in American culture. I agree that this notion is destroying consumers. However, it should not be done away with, but rather it should be controlled.  

Bentley states that, “there is no doubt that we are harming the environment somewhat; however, more than harming the environment, this consumerist culture is causing individual economic problems and contributes to the breakdown of the family” (Bentley 1).  In her analysis, Americans consume at the expense of family time. She states further that in 1991, Americans spent forty percent less time with their children than in 1965. Unfortunately, the percentage of people willing to give up promotions and raises in order to spend more time with their family is only thirty-four percent. This is in accordance to New Road Map Foundation (Bentley 2). Bentley concludes that people should consume less which will lead to spending less than they currently spend. Moreover, they will have less environmental problems to worry about.

The consumerism behavior is deeply engraved into the characters of most, if not all Americans. It may be impractical if one asked the people to stop consuming, but it is practical if they were asked to stop consuming as much as they do consume. Humans, and especially the Americans, are fond of waiting to be led.  Although this seems like a challenge, it is not as much a challenge as perceived. The government is the most influential. The government encourages consumers to spend more, as the consumers play a crucial role in improving a country’s gross domestic product. However, the government should understand that the people destroy the environment more than they are paying for it.

The destruction done by the carbon fossils released into the environment cannot be reversed. Some of these chemicals released such as those used to make plastics and other non-degradable products harm the environment for hundreds of years. These same products are cheap thus encouraging customers to spend more. The government should take the initiative to encourage consumers to spend less or spend on products that do not harm the environment and thus the consumers will follow.

The consumers should take control of their own lives and lifestyle. More than three-quarters of the Americans can access the Internet at their workplaces or residential homes. This encourages them to shop even in the comfort of their homes or workplaces. Groups or organizations, which are against the consumerism behavior in the United States, should bring sensitivity to this issue across America in case there are people who are not aware of their situation. The people and the government can lever the consumer circumstances in the US. Every individual should understand that in every coin spent there is more destruction done than the coin can develop or improve. Since consuming is necessary, people should limit themselves to the necessary.

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