Consumerism Essay

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In the fourth era of the consumer movement, the key marketplace features include concern for the environment, increasingly complex technology, a diverse market, and a global market. Concern for the environment has manifested itself in a number of different ways. One example is the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which caused many consumers to become disappointed in Exxon. Exxon has had to work at improving its environmental image after this accident, and there are still individuals who will not buy gas at Exxon as a result of Exxon’s handling of this situation. There has been a trend in the past ten years or so to protect the environment and to also buy products that are more natural and environmentally sound. In our era, Fresh Fields, a …show more content…

For example, genetic engineering has made it possible to buy produce that is bigger and lasts longer than non-engineered produce. Questions of safety have been raised with respect to this practice, and some consumer groups have voiced concerns. Advanced technology has also made a business of fertility problems, making fertility treatments a possibility, and the selling of human eggs has become a booming business. All this poses new challenges and ethical dilemmas to the consumers of today.
Credit has become another key feature of the fourth era of the consumer movement. Direct marketing is widely used to target individuals who may be eligible for credit, and these individuals are aggressively pursued. Credit abuses exist, including giving credit to students who are not in a financial position to acquire such debt. In addition, companies exist that claim to be able to fix credit problems for a fee, and in fact, they do nothing that consumers cannot do themselves, by writing the credit bureaus, for example. Claims that a company or agency can miraculously clean up bad credit are simply false. The use of credit as a way to purchase goods and services has greatly altered the world in which we live, and has changed the way that consumers operate in the business world.

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