Assigned reading for Monday Feb. 22

Please read the following two short articles for Monday, Feb. 22 and bring copies to class. Be prepared to discuss the following questions on the readings: (No Post is Necessary this week)

1.Sharon Beder, “Consumerism – an Historical Perspective,” (excerpt)     Consumerism an Historical Perspective_Sharon Beder

2.William Emmons, “Don’t Expect Consumer Spending to be the Engine of Economic Growth it Once Was” Consumer_Spending_William Emmons

Questions for discussion on Mon 2/22:

  • William Emmons presents five major arguments as to why he believes the U.S. economy can no longer rely on consumers to drive consumption and growth in the U.S. economy. He points out that American consumer spending was the major source of the prosperous post-war era from 1945 – 1980.
  1. Why does he now believe that consumers can no longer contribute to this growth?
  2. Sharon Beder presents a history of consumerism in the U.S. and some of the influences on consumer behavior. What does she identify as those influences?