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Interesting article: consumerism and want vs. need

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Marge_Simpson, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    What is a cake pop maker? I'm imagining a cake with a pop top? Or a cake that goes pop?
  2. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

    ^^ It's a pan that you pour cake batter into these little round cuppie things and it makes the cake into little round balls. Then you put a stick in it .... .cake pop. Get it? :lol:
  3. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    Spending money on figure skating events could be seen as luxury spending, although sporting events and movies aren't branded as such. But it's a luxury in the sense that really poor people usually can't afford to travel to figure skating competitions or other such events.

    Also, it's more conscious consumerism I would think, as compared to the consumption of many other things.

    Does that make it better consumption? No. I don't travel to many skating competitions but find them ridiculously expensive in terms of the money spent at restaurants and on coffee and snacks like chocolates
    When all that is added to the hotel and the ticket, I do have to evaluate whether it is worthwhile expenditure.

    Though for me seeing skating live is a serious want, almost a need in fact. This year I'm not attending any and really do feel very :(:(:(

    I know I'll break down sometime in the next few years and travel to a competition, even if the airfare is expensive.

    It's kind of non-negotiable, like a vacation. Having things to look forward to and getting away from the daily grudge is important to my mental well-being. That's a need, but being able to consider it as such is in itself a luxury.

    The problem is that our production and consumption practices are not sustainable and are depleting the world of its resources. The price for that will be paid collectively.

    The current economic paradigm is such that consumption is essential to economic health. Collective consumption ensures that the whole chain of production keeps moving. Sweat shop workers in the third world, factory workers, delivery truck drivers, and retail clerks keep their jobs. The fact that the people at the top of food chain are fabulously wealthy doesn't matter that much to the common person, who is better off earning a minimum wage than no wage. And even fair trade is a bit of a joke, as it just gives the person at the bottom a slightly bigger piece of the pie, not an equal one.

    But capitalism's hey day is over - not that you would know it by looking at the production and consumption of technology. The system isn't sustainable and its cracks are starting to show.

    We are all part of the problem, particularly those of us who do most of the consumption (the developed world). Likewise, we all are part of the solution.

    But I don't think there will be any real change until things get much, much worse. In the mean time we'll just keep on working, consuming, and wasting because that is the way we live. We don't have time to make our own stuff so we buy stuff. We don't share much of what we have with others, because there is never enough just for us. Our time is measured in dollars, so we can't all give freely to community. We don't compost because there is no time or space. And so on.

    That's speaking generally of course, but it's all part of the current production/consumption system.
  4. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

    If people didn't ever stick their big critical snouts into other people's spending habits then Monty Hall and Bob Barker would be bartering over a suitcase in the retirement castle today.
  5. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    Japanfan, I think by even semi-seriously trying to argue that traveling to figure skating competitions is a need, you have proved Matry's point.

    Of course going to figure skating competitions and the movies is a luxury and a want, not a need. Needs are things like shelter, clothing and food, medicine if you are sick. Pretty much everything else is a want and we can decide not to want it.
  6. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    Where is Maslow when you need him? :lol:
  7. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    How weird - my sister makes hers by baking the cake first, then breaking it up and mixing with a can of frosting, out of which the balls are made with a little melon baller. That's what makes it so delicious.
  8. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    When you figure out how to do that, let me know. :lol:
  9. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    I don't want icing in mine because between the icing and chocolate covering, that's too much sugar for me. (I like sweet stuff, but not that sweet. I'm not even big on icing on cake a lot of the time.)

    And a cake pop maker is completely a want! I'm sure the author of the original blog post would be horrified that (a) I bought something with such a limited use, (b) new, (c) and waited in line for an hour to save $9 on it (okay and on a few other things as well).

    But I don't care! I can't wait to make cake pops.

    Well, the first step is to lose your job... it's amazing what you don't "need" when you can't pay for it. Not that I'd wish that on anyone but between having my own business for 2.5 years and being out of work for 6.5 months, all in the past 7 years, I've had lots of practice doing without things.

    Which is not to say that I don't engage in consumerism and waste money. After all, not only do I have internet, but an iPhone, an iPad and a desktop computer. I also have some expensive hobbies.

    But I know I can do without if I have to and I know these are wants, not needs. I guess it helps that I don't think there is anything wrong with buying things you want as long as you aren't being financially irresponsible. Therefore, I feel no need to justify my purchases either to myself or others.

    I do think there are things that I have that aren't needs that seem like needs because they get me other things I want. Like internet access.
  10. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    Yeah, they're usually so sugary that I can only have one or two. And I take small bites of them. Some people just throw the whole thing in their mouth ... :yikes: But they are soooooo gooooood :)