Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Consumers on Credit

We live in a 'have now' and 'pay later' society. There is nothing wrong with consumerism per se. Indeed, without consumers there would obviously be no demand for producers. It is the constant 'pull and tug' between the producer and consumer, that drives business forward, and this constant pull and tug, also drives the technological upward curve, that leads to next generation products. Of course, competition between producers, drives this upward curve too.

Yet, there seems to be an odd 'kink in the tail' ...Why is the consumer seen as king? Yet, the business owner is often seen as a 'working stiff', an emotionless producer, just punching out the next widget...

The fact is, that most business owners are not passionless at all... indeed, their business is their passion, and their next product on the market, that could 'maybe' beat the competition, is their next little 'baby'. Something to be passionate about. Without that passion, the business owner would have no inner-drive, that pushes their business onwards and upwards.

Could the beautiful angular curves of an Apple Macintosh computer, have arisen out of the mind of an emotionless 'working stiff'? ...No more than a Rembrandt could be created in the mind of an 'empty container'.

The fact is that the consumers, have become the none thinking, passionless stiffs, 'must have it now, junkies'. Consumer spending has become the new drug, and the credit card, has become the spending addicts best buddy.

While the business owners passionately drive the economy. The consumers, through consumerism on borrowed money, pull the economy down. Consumerism has become the new religion. To be a consumer, is somehow, a noble pastime. The television airwaves and magazine racks are filled with adverts, of tacky second rate 'must have gizmo's' With names like, the 'super wizzo supreme coffee machine' or the 'fantastico waffle maker' ...The next new toy to be had, just to 'keep up with the Joneses'.

There is nothing wrong with buying these gadgets of course, even if they do end up being used once and then forever lay at the back of a cupboard. The consumer, producer relationship, is what drives the economy. That is not the problem. The problem is that we have become a society of borrowers, not realizing that sooner or later, what was borrowed has to be payed back. The consumers, are the problem, at least some of them. There ethics is an ideology of spend, spend, spend... with not a thought on how to pay it back (and of course, not forgetting the interest too).

Note, I am not anti-consumerism. Spending is good for the economy. My only critisism, is consumerism on borrowed money and without the forethought of paying it back.

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