Consumerism in the United States

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Executive Summary Defining consumerism can be complicated. Consumerism is a term used to describe the effects of equating personal happiness with purchasing material possessions and consumption (Fritsh). In other words, consumerism is the wants and needs of people based upon standards that are set in a given society and how those people acquire wealth. Throughout history, consumerism has evolved drastically since the first records of civilized society were recorded. The evolution of consumerism in the United States can be understood by dividing it into three basic components; trade, monetary policy and the digital economy. These types of economies can also be described as the agricultural economy, the industrial economy, and the…show more content…
A culture that has a high amount of consumerism is referred to as a consumer culture (Fritsh). It's the basis upon which our economy has been established. The reason people founded North America was to locate a new trading route for India. Europe's intentions when investing time into North America was to generate some sort of profit for themselves. The reason the North American colonies became a self sustaining society of the United States of America was when there was a need for a free enterprise economy. According to the Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia; there are, of course, major differences between American consumerism and global economics. These differences concern the personal ownership of factories, farms and other enterprises (Phillips, 24). Before the Revolutionary War, there was nothing that could compare to American Consumerism. A free trade based agricultural society was the foundation of capitalism as we know it today. People trading each other goods and services for what they want or needed with minimal government interference. This was the beginning of American consumerism. The Civil War in the United States was a huge turn for the American economy. Before the Federal Reserve System, people relied mainly on gold and silver for trading if they did not wish to trade something else of value. The Federal Reserve System is regulated by the United States Treasury. It provided security for paper currency though
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