Entitled to Consumption
December 3, 2012 2 Comments
Our reality is tainted by our own sense of entitlement to luxury. Even a view into the deprived lives of those in third world countries, or the suffering of refugees, from countries at war, has little to no effect on our sense of entitlement, and it’s practice of consumption.
Before Starbucks, advertisements pleaded for assistance. The claim, for just the price of a cup of coffee you could make the life of an impoverished child a bit better. Now post Starbucks creation, millions of children are still starving, and the price of a cup of coffee is 3-5 dollars. The strange thing in this situation is the coffee Starbucks uses for its 3-5 dollar cup of coffee, came from a country were non-profits seek to aid impoverished and suffering populations.
Our world is ripe with these counter intuitive situation, under which people and families struggle to survive. Petroleum and Mining are two major players, in conflicts between a local populations need, and the power of multinational conglomerates. This situation of suffering populations makes no difference to the entitled. This is proved true by all the gas guzzling SUV’s on our roads today. Funny though, most will never take their off-road work horses off paved roads. The roads we’re lucky enough to have, yet every driver complains about.
This is yet another oddity I find elsewhere, when looking at our perceived entitlement to consumption. The oddity is a relatively new phenomenon I call, “The Upgrade Entitlement”. This is almost a competition between associated consumers to see who’s electronic technology is the newest. Just think of all those lines of consumers with quality working telecommunication devices, queuing to replace all their working devices. However, the devices the upgrade entitled have, and will re-purchase, rely on rare earth elements from mining and close to slave labor for manufacturing device components. But the issues are either ignored or unknown to the upgrade entitled.
Another type of entitled consumption, that’s usually forgotten, is that of the recreational shopper, fashion slave, clothing horse, or shoe collector. A simple look at the tags inside the clothing shows the issue with this type of compulsive entitled consumption. The News of recent, also tells the tale. One of workers locked in at clothing manufacture sweat shop, when fire broke out. The fire causing a loss of life tragedy.
I use these three areas as examples, but they are not the only examples. I have commented on consumption in other opinion pieces and need to reiterate, there is nothing wrong with intelligent consumption, as we are all consumers. The issue here is consumption for consumptions sake, with no acknowledgment or understanding of real value, or a balancing of want with need. So I write, and hope maybe one person might be affected, and change their personal habits. I also plead with my readers, please take an intelligent look, at value based consumption. As opposed to the ever present, mindless habits of the entitled consumer.