It is widely believed that consumerism is vital for the economy well-being of a country. However others feel that consumerism has unacceptable social consequences on a society. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion
There have been many studies on how some economies are so successful while others are still struggling to survive. Many economists advocate consumerism on the grounds that it is the prime factor of a wealthy economy. However, socialists argue that consumerism would also cause adverse effects on a society. I am of the mixed opinion.
Regarding the economic benefits, consumerism would help an economy to be more sustainable. Lessons learnt from recent financial crises such as the collapse of the Lehman Brothers’ bank or Greek debt crisis have shown that countries with a large domestic buying force would recover better. Nowadays, many governments have chosen to boost the internal spending as an important strategy to stimulate their economy. China, Japan and the United States are good examples. On the other hand, countries such as Singapore have a relatively small pool of local consumers and have to rely much on international trading. Those countries are more vulnerable to the health of the world economy.
However, in terms of social impact, consumerism would create societies that value commercial contributions over social contributions. In such societies, people who spend more money such as the rich would be considered to be more important than scientists or artists. As a result, despite some short-term economic success, the well-being of the society will suffer in the long term due to social issues such as the gap between the rich and the poor or lack of science and cultural development. People who live in those societies would have a more stressful life.
In conclusion, although consumerism has some economic advantages, it has negative effects on the society that should not be overlooked. Therefore, a balanced socioeconomic development strategy would be of great importance.