The Consumer Mindset

Each and every one of us in society can have a net positive effect towards ourselves, family, neighbors, and our country: lessen consumerism and increase production.

MORE, MORE, MORE

Many Americans are too consumer-centric; having all but lost the ideals which laid the foundation for the great experiment to blossom. We did not become the most prosperous, generous, innovative nation through our consumption. No. It was our innovative production within a myriad of industries that catapulted America into greatness.

One may think of the Industrial Revolution while another conjures the ongoing technological advances of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Some may reference the advances in modern medicine while others contemplate the amazing civil engineering feats that have come of age in the last 125 years. A few may specifically point to the advances in locomotion and how efficiently we can transverse the landscape among land, water, and air. Many will speak of space exploration and what the consolidated focus of a nation brought forth to its expansive discovery.

Whatever phenomena that comes to mind when contemplating what made America great will always bear the same construct no matter the idea or individual: It was derived through production, not consumerism!

PARADOXICAL CORRECTION

One may argue that necessity is the mother of invention. Through consumer action, current technologies are challenged within any industry thus driving manufacturers to innovate and extrapolate greater efficiencies and heighten value for the end-user.

I respectively disagree.

Manufacturers create efficiencies within their supply chain for the sole purpose of expanding their net worth, i.e., grow capital margins. Consumers just so happen to be the fortunate receivers of manufacturer’s/producer’s zeal to grow their business. This is not the case in every industry but its a fair stereotype of a majority of manufacturers within the United States of America.

ACTION OF ONE

In my previous post I spoke of the omnipresent few who drive, what I’ve coined, The Shadow Economy and how its become an economic giant. Now, through simplicity, we can have a greater net effect to become less dependent upon this economy and stop feeding it capital. How?

Shift your mindset from a consumer to a producer.

Ask yourself, “What can I do to add production for the betterment of myself and loved ones?”  Let me help launch your efforts by providing a few of my own ideas:

  • Every month, replace one of your consumptive commodities with something that you produce on your land.
    • No land? Don’t worry. Shift the common consumptive from a large conglomerate to a local store, or better yet, your local farmer’s market.
  • Take stock of consumer items in your life and systematically divide them into two categories: wants and needs. Upon completion, remove a want item every month. Do this until you only have the wants that bring measurable value to your family.
  • Once a month, shift your purchase power to buy an item that is “Made in USA” vs. “Made in China” or elsewhere. Expand your awareness by understanding that your consumptive behaviors have a net effect on the consolidation of power. When you buy something, that profit helps someone, somewhere. It might as well help the country in which you live.
  • Write/Phone/Email your legislative representative both at the state and local level. This is production. If everyone within the citizenry took a small step to become more engaged within the political process, we the people could move any political mountains we see fit.
  • Finally, simplify, simplify, and further simplify. Gear your mind and steer your conscience to harness the power of simplification. Focus your efforts on production whether through your work or your personal life. Lessen the amount of “stuff” in and around you. Share the wealth by selling it cheaply, or better yet, donating that which you really don’t need in your life.

PRACTICAL MEASURES

As you can see, I’m not asking you to radically change who you are and how you live your life. Instead, I’m asking for baby step changes in the way that you consume.

In my heart of hearts, I know that if each one of us took a more proactive role in the understanding of our consumption and how it affects ourselves, friends, families, and the nation, we’d be back on a corrective path towards regaining America’s greatness.

Mountains aren’t moved by the Herculean efforts of one. It’s the minuscule efforts of many.

8 Responses So Far... Leave a Reply:

  1. Charleen says:

    I drop a comment each and every time I like a article on a web page or if I have something to valuable to contribute towards the conversation. It’s a result of your fire communicated in the article I browsed. And after reading this post I was basically moved enough to drop a comment here

    • Matt says:

      Charleen, I’m glad that the article “The Consumer Mindset” met your requirements worthy of a comment. I do appreciate all comments, especially ones that engage and push the dialogue forward. This arena is meant to harbor intellectual sharing while promoting ideas not normally found in common media outlets. I’ve worked hard to provide an arena where readers are confident that what they read will make them think, and ideally, inspire to participate.

  2. Jan Miller says:

    Keep it local!

  3. wonga says:

    Keep functioning ,impressive job!

  4. Jose Charlez says:

    Maybe some of us don’t want to change and we think that problem is politics not people.

    • Matt says:

      Politics are legislative beliefs enforced by people. If we persuade those closest to the legislation, we make a difference.