Last modified on September 26, 2018, at 15:00


Consumerism is when the consumption of goods and services in a culture increases to an extent beyond what people need. The term also has the positive meaning of a consumer-friendly climate.[1] However, the term is usually negative, particularly when modified, e.g. "excessive consumerism."


Anti-consumerists generally argue that preoccupation with material goods is damaging to the humanity of our social interactions and damaging to the environment. Often the implication is that an overly consumeristic society will eventually implode on itself; Rome is sometimes cited as a similar case of this.

Those who support consumerism, such as marketers, manufacturers, and many consumers, argue that the United States has the world's best standard of living because it of its consumer economy, and that the only other choice is poverty. It often claimed that the United States economy is dependent on ever-increasing consumption, or else it will collapse. One book by a marketer states, "Our whole economic system, even our way of life, depends upon the continued, sustained practice of "excessive," as some see it, American consumerism."[2]

See also


  2. Why People Buy Things They Don't Need, Danziger, Pamela N., 2002; pg. 2