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Human Culture on Consumerism

In the article, “Your Lifestyle has Already been Designed,” the author, David Cain, argues that the culture of consumerism has been created specifically to entrap people in buying things they do not need for a comfortable life. The requirement to work for 8 hours a day from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. is not by default, but by design so that people could have less time to engage in meaningful and fulfilling activities such as self-development and reconnecting with nature. Therefore, people resort to convenience gratification as a way of buying relief from their depressing lives.

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The author argues that the work that people accomplish in 8 hours could be done in 3 hours. Therefore, when people remain at their workplaces until 5 P.M., they are trading their time with big corporations that make profits when the public is lost in the purchase-happy culture. Cain claims that the Western economy has been designed around addiction, insatiable gratification, and useless spending. If people stopped spending unnecessarily, the trillion-dollar economy would collapse. This economy depends on a culture of obesity, corruption, pollution, and depression among other unhealthy issues that keep the public ensnared in these unending spending habits.

Cain uses Parkinson’s law, which says that work will expand or shrink to fit into the allocated time, to explain the culture of consumerism. Given that people do not have enough time outside their workplaces, they spend exceedingly whenever they get a chance. According to the author, a cultural climate in developed countries would be defined as a socio-economic construct created by big corporations to promote consumerism among people.

The culture of consumerism helps to create humans that are dissatisfied but hopeful people, who are normally uninterested in any meaningful personal development ventures. Such individuals are habitual television watchers, they work full-time, earn good money, indulge in the evening and on weekends, and they are barely getting by (Cain). When people are engulfed by a consumer lifestyle, they become politically involved as a way of influencing market-based institutions to effect social change. For instance, the public would oppose certain politically instigated tax reforms if they affected people’s spending habits.

Consumerism is as problematic as suggested by critical theories on the subject. People buy things that add no value to their lives. According to Cain, this behavior is caused by having an unhealthy population. Healthy people do not have the urge to acquire more for their lives to become complete. They are contented and happy with life, and thus they can survive without buying junk or spending their time watching television where they are exposed to unnecessary commercial advertisements.

One indicator of the critical levels of consumerism is the number of useless things that people have bought in the past years. This problematic consumerism supports the economy, which is currently flourishing because people are spending more than ever.

This article is related to the textbook content on public opinion and political culture in America. It complements what is discussed in the textbook by insisting that people are influenced to make certain decisions, whether in political or socio-economic matters. The culture that people propagate is not of their creation – it has been designed in a certain way to favor the main political parties and big corporations. In other words, people’s lifestyles have already been designed to take a certain course.

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Work Cited

Cain, David. “Your Lifestyle has Already been Designed.Raptitude, 2014. Web.

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