Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Consumerism is a greedy society's religion

I'm not religious in the least, but this article got me. The author's point is that consumerism is rapidly becoming a religion in and of itself, and I'd be very hard-pressed to take issue with that. We scurry to the store whenever we see a good deal. The day after Thanksgiving is probably more of a holy day to some people than Christmas itself.

Take this stimulus package. The people in Washington are expecting to stave off a recession by sending us checks and hoping that we go out and spend. And I have no doubt that many people will do exactly that. That XBox or HDTV is just too hard to pass up, even when you're falling behind on your mortgage or credit cards. Because the compulsion to buy is just too strong, it's like a religious experience in a lot of ways.

According to the House minority speaker, it's "our job" to be good consumers. I thought it was our job to be good citizens, to look out for the welfare of this country and our fellow citizens, and stay vigilant in the affairs of our government. But I guess I'm still old-fashioned in that aspect. Our economic system is just one big Ponzi scheme, and the way to feed it is by spending more money and accumlating more debt. I'll be spending my stimulus on paying down my remaining credit-card bills. Sorry, Washington.

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