Business Ethics : American Consumerism At Fault

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Gaby Santiago December 12, 2014 Business Ethics American Consumerism at Fault It’s irrefutable that the United States of America is the world’s foremost economic and political power. The combination of our country’s “Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 15.7 trillion dollars being almost a quarter of the total world’s GDP,”(Singh) coupled with being the leaders of the free world create an unparalleled nation. However, blinded by our convenient accessibility to everything and anything, we often forget that our consumer choices have repercussions to others across the globe. For many products, including apparel and food, we overconsume and underpay at the expense of the poor, our health and the environment. It’s time we, as a nation, shift…show more content…
We don’t believe that our world has any limits. It’s part of what has been engrained into us as the American dream. We believe in limitless growth, wants, wealth, natural resources, energy and debts. In her piece, Toward a New Politics of Consumption, Juliet Schor defines the conventional view of consumption. It assumes that individual consumers know best and will act in their own best interest, that no consumer policy is the best consumer policy, and that consumption is social (Schor). Conventional consumption is a problem because we unintentionally create a hell on earth and diminish ideals such as responsibility, accountability and neighborliness. It allows us to have wants and demand that they be instantly fulfilled. Our selfish desires are to blame for the systems in our world today that are responsible for the subjugations of humans in third world countries, the prominence of fast food restaurants and the availability of out of season produce in grocery stores across America. When thinking and acting like American consumers there are many ways to make better choices. Philosophers, like Wendell Berry, propose that to fix the problem we shift our ideas and create a world where we not only consider limits but also live within them. Moreover, Juliet Schor, in her alternative way of thinking, proposes some basic elements such as “a right to a decent standard of living, quality of life rather than quantity of stuff, and ecologically sustainable

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