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Consumerism in America

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Consumerism in America

Consumerism in America is a problem that continues to grow due to the massive amounts of goods and services which are available today. The massive amounts of goods and services have been created by the American people themselves due to their reliability on new material things as well as services. Consumerism is practiced by a majority of the American public, but some Americans practice it heavier than others. Therefore, consumerism and capitalism do take advantage of a person's weakness of will.

In William T. Cavanaugh's book entitled Being Consumed he says, "Consumerism is not so much about having more as it is about having something else" (35). This shows that in the mind of a consumer it is not about having a lot of stuff but it is about having the newest and the best stuff. This is seen perfectly when you walk through stores now days and you see displays of the newest and latest technology to catch people's eyes. Cavanaugh goes on to say, "It is not simply buying but shopping that is the heart of consumerism" (35). Meaning it's not even about buying the newest stuff as much as it is to go shopping and find it. The American's who have a weak will are the ones who end up buying the newest and best stuff because they can't say no.

Capitalism goes along with consumerism in terms of taking over people to possess a weak will. This can be seen by Apple with the iPod. The iPod originally started off as an mp3 player and since they have come to create one that can do just about everything a computer can do, not to mention they have also come out with a phone. This is seen as capitalism because they have total control over the mp3 market and even while people continue to buy them it seems as if they come out with a new one every month. This is all part of Apple's plan because once they hook someone into an iPod they upgrade with everything ne that comes out. This is a perfect example of the weak willed being taken over by capitalism.

"Some critiques if consumerism are content to complain about the greed and materialism of the present age: people have abandoned God and the higher, more spiritual values of life for the base pleasure of material goods," (36) said Cavanaugh. This shows that some critiques of consumerism are worried that some consumers don't think about anything other than what the next new thing to come out will be. They are afraid people like this have detached themselves for their spiritual values and have instead attached themselves to everything in the material world. Cavanaugh agrees that there may be some truth behind the earlier statement but they aren't fully true. The statement isn't fully true in two ways, "First, they set up a false dichotomy between the spiritual and the material" (36). Meaning that the parts they use, spiritual and



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