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View Diary: An Economy cannot be based on CONSUMPTION (285 comments)

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  •  Consumption economy = argument for middle class (5+ / 0-)

    I think this diary is a bit off base.   A consumption based economy is a very strong argument for a strong middle class.  How many times have Republicans derisively said "I've never seen a poor person create any jobs".   But that's assuming that the ability to produce a product is the only thing that matters in creating jobs.  

    But that's backwards - you can't create jobs if you don't have a market for your products to begin with.  It doesn't matter how great Apple is at building gadgets if there's no one that can afford them.   It's the consumers that create demand for a product and therefore give producers incentive to create products in the first place.  

    That's all that's meant by a "consumption driven economy" - it doesn't have to be a bad word.   It's one of the best arguments for having a strong middle class that even conservatives can understand.  What's happening now with Republican policies is that the middle class is disappearing, thus causing tremendous damage to the health of the economy by reducing the purchasing power of the majority population, therefore lowering demand for products and therefore making it more difficult for the "job producers" that the Republicans love to idolize to sell their product.

    •  Too Bad Consumption Does Not Give Back (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xrepub, NoMoreLies

      I cant even 'consume' a new pair of socks without sending the benefits overseas in a massive trade deficit.  Who benefits from me 'consuming' a $1000 flat screen TV?  Some low paid retail and warehouse workers, possibly some well paid stevedores and teamsters to deliver, but those are under the gun also.  The industrial workers who actually 'produce' the product are not even in the equation.  The highest benefit goes to the bank if I use a credit card and carry the debt (and sorry US economy, that ain't EVER going to happen for ANY discretionary purchase)

      So we're all supposed to 'consume' perpetually for the benefit of bankers and offshore production workers?

      •  The idea that industrial workers (0+ / 0-)

        are more valuable than other kinds of labor is plainly absurd. (Frankly, it's contrary to the evidence). You insult everyone who doesn't work on a factory line by implying otherwise.

        Ok, so I read the polls.

        by andgarden on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 09:04:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow, That Was A Stretch (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NoMoreLies

          I re-read it but couldn't see that.  If there was a way to throw the retail and distribution workers off of a cliff and replace them with 12 year old Phillipino orphans earning $3 a week in scrip and living in an industrial sewer, it would have been done already.  I want the entire labor chain for what I buy to be domestic as much as I want things like the profits of Jamaican bauxite mines to stay in Jamaica.

        •  It's about CREATING VALUE (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NoMoreLies

          PRODUCING GOODS - and even services - but doing so HERE

          If all you do is CONSUME goods and services originating elsewhere (who read your latest Xray - a radiologist in India, Who answered that customer service call?  Who runs your company's DP operations - and where?), you do NOT create wealth HERE.

          And - wake up - the US Middle Class originated with good paying production jobs in factories.  Before that the US middle class consisted of a handful of artisans, tradesmen and merchants.  

          And likek it or not there are NOT enough substitutes for those jobs that provide comparable pay and benefits.  

          Wake up - we're also shipping comp sci., programming, accounting , service center and all kinds of other jobs overseas as well.

      •  If we had not stopped in our demand for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnnySacks

        US made goods, then they would still be produced here. But we started putting all our eggs in the production (supply) side of the equation. Instead we should go out of our way to buy American products. Buy a Chevy, not a Toyota (even though the Toyota is made here, the profits go to Japan) and if we all bought Chevys, Fords and Chryslers, then the workers at the Toyota plant could get jobs at the expanded GM, Ford and Chrysler plants.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 12:10:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How to Prevent Repeat of 70s/80s? (0+ / 0-)

          I'd rather some sort of 'fair' trade to avoid a repeat of the 70s and 80s of the big 3.  They produced utter crap at best when fuel prices went through the roof.  Germany, France, Italy, all had auto industries, some crap, some good, but their workforce, environment, social protections were on par with the US.  Even Japanese workers had a good standard of living while they were killing the big 3 on quality and mileage.  The US auto industry failure was borne not out of worker cost, but complete management and engineering incompetence/ignorance and without competition, the Pinto and Vega would have burdened us even longer.

          Four models - the engineering resources of two of the largest companies in the world focusing on over decades:  Accord, Civic, Camry, Corolla  - Perpetually synonymous with quality and durability.  Vs. Citation, Celebrity, Lumina, Corsica, Beretta... etc.  for GM, model after model, burn 'em and dump 'em.  Repeat for Ford and Chrysler.

          •  That is certainly true about US cars in the past; (0+ / 0-)

            however now they make some of the best cars. Hopefully, their management has learned.

            It is very hard to buy only  US made goods in lots of areas, which is why I used automobiles for an example. Another place to start is food, especially sea food. You have to look at labels to make sure you are not buying Chinese products, but there are US sources available.

            You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

            by sewaneepat on Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 11:31:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You should maybe choose to 'consume' different (0+ / 0-)

        things.  For the last few years, most of my consumption has been domestic.  My largest purchase in that time 'benefited' the Amish craftsman who made what I purchased.

        And there are certainly US made clothes available.  Try www.unionlabel.com or www.allamericanclothing.com or quite a few others.  You seem to be saying you choose to spend your money on things that increase the trade deficit while saying you're being forced to.

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