I question, to what end do we pursue consumerism.
At what point have we consumed enough?
At what point does consumerism fail the US?
I would argue that consumerism has failed the US. I would argue we’ve gone too far. The positive to capitalism is that the winner takes all. It’s also a negative. But that’s a whole other point to be made on another day.
Example. I create this unique product. There is no patent on it (it wouldn’t really matter anyways these days, thanks China!), it flys off the shelf. I make millions of these products and I can’t keep them in inventory. Then someone or someones, send the product to china to be duplicated. They start selling it, its nearly the same but not completely. Then the company in China that duplicated the product, offers it on online and then other manufactures in China duplicate it as well and place it online. Now at this point, you have 100 or so knock offs of the same product. Demand for it fades and now you have a bunch of inventory all over the world, mostly useless, and everyone is still trying to chase the same dollar.
This happens so often it’s probably unquantifiable.
At some point consumerism puts us in a place where we can’t do anything without buying more. In the example above, companies in the US solution is to find a recurring revenue stream. How do they do that? Look at the Keurig. They developed a label so you had to buy their K-Cups in their coffee makers. This solves a few problems, it knocks off competitors a little bit, it keep recurring revenue flowing, and it gets the users stuck to the product so they keep buying the cups and possibly a new machine if need be.
Because business is always striving to solve the next issue and that includes handling global competition it sets a stage so that consumers are required to buy more. It gets to a point where it never ends.
Going back to say my grand parents days, yes you had consumerism. They bought groceries like everyone else. But they bought one coffee maker that lasted 20 years. They bought a TV and kept it for at least a decade or more. They bought a car and kept it for at least 10 years. I have a hard time these days seeing this in peoples lives today. Why? Because we were told to buy stuff to be something and let’s be honest, stuff doesn’t last anymore. Which is outright a failure as a group of people. Whether you blame the US or the globe.
We ought to strive to create the best. To create something that lasts forever. Buyers will always be there when your products last forever. We lost that ideal long ago and I hope to bring it back.