When did we stop being citizens, and start being consumers? I must have missed the memo.
It may have started with Edward Bernays who made a huge fortune teaching merchandisers how to sell things to people who don't need them. Adam Curtis' production of The Century of the Self is on YouTube, profiling Bernays' methods.
I find the term consumers somewhat offensive. When I think of consumers I think of cattle in a feed lot. Perhaps the comparison is apt. (See my YouTube video production link at the end of the post.)
There is no doubt Americans are "the biggest winners" when it comes to packing on the pounds. It is regularly reported that one third of the population is overweight and another third is clinically obese. Charles Hugh Smith had a neat graph depicting this situation in his blog today (reproduced below, click for clearer image).
But this post is more about our general spending habits, not poor dietary choices. It would appear that Bernays and his followers have been remarkably successful in getting us to confuse wants with needs, to the point where we have gone deep into debt to purchase nonessentials.
Just before the last recession rental storage units were popping up everywhere like mushrooms after a summer rain. People just had too much stuff, as George Carlin used to talk about in his stand up comic sessions.
So now that we've "pigged out" on credit and simply can't eat any more, it's time for our owners to send us to the slaughter house for debtors. But not before force feeding us more debt. The private sector is in the process of transferring its debt to taxpayers via increasing government indebtedness with help from the Federal Reserve Bank.
When the system collapses the top few percent of society will be relatively unaffected while the large majority, the working class who like to think of themselves as "middle class", will be wiped out financially. This game has been played out all over the world, particularly for the last 40 years. The latest victim is Ireland; I expect America's economic collapse will be within 10 years.
I posted a YouTube video slide show entitled "Stampede" which shows my morbid sense of humour with respect to consumerism.