Nov 11 2012
Juliet B. Schor notes that products no longer carry any significant value for consumers as it did years ago. In Plenitude, she mentions how toothpaste and detergent are labeled as FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), or products that are purchased and used fairly quickly. Now, as the advancement of technology and trends change over time, it seems as though every product could be identified in this manner. Consumers are constantly abandoning items and seeking new, inexpensive goods. We are more concerned in how goods construct our social status in society rather than examining other factors such as where the product was manufactured or the hours of labor used to produce it. Therefore, businesses try to keep up with consumers needs, causing greater demand for fossil fuels and natural resources. Many fear that our lifestyles and growing population will cause inadequate food supplies, pollution, and expensive nonrenewable resources. Schor calls for a drastic change in our economy for the sake of the environment and well-being for the population. However, it’s sad that others are reluctant to begin this approach due to the risk of losing jobs to preserve forests or using taxpayers input to save species from being extinct. I agree with Schor’s suggestions for change but it’s a broad issue with few solutions (for those unwilling to make a change). It will be interesting to see what other advice she offers in the next remaining chapters.