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Crisis and Consumerism

Consumerism in the Philippines

We’ve seen hard times as a nation and in fact we are immersed in it right now. And in these times of crisis what would be the best thing to do? Saving money would be the first thing to come to mind. But not to the economists. Believe it or not you would be encouraged to break that piggy bank of yours and spend more. This is because spending more money would facilitate cash flow which is much needed by an ailing economy to rejuvenate itself. And of course this would likewise make companies to gain more profit due to the increased demand that will be dominoed by the healthy cash flow. And if these companies are healthy no job would be laid off. And if no jobs are laid off more people would be earning as well.

Saving would just hoard money, and if money, the blood-life of the market system, is held in our piggy banks then the market system will be paralyzed and everyone would be disadvantaged. This is the paradox of thrift as they term it and the best time to save would be during times of abundance or progress.

Does this sound fair? Would that mean that in times of crisis we (the common tao) would have to keep that same consumerist attitude for the sake of the market system? Would this not only enrich the rich and make the poor poorer. Would this not only affirm the status quo. Definitely there is something to criticize about this idea laid down by the economists. Besides, if we do follow this advice, what would be left of us? We’d be left with lesser cash and the rich would end up earning more.

I cannot help but think that this idea is being propagated by the corporations themselves to encourage business. By proliferating ideas like these, the big corporations will not lose a dime and earn more at the expense of the ordinary worker or consumer. This would make these companies in abundance all year round and unaffected by any crisis because the burden is automatically handed over to the consuming public.

In the first place, why is such a solution offered? The economists should have instead encouraged these companies to do their own share of extra shedding like drawing their money from the large Swiss banks and increase the salaries or wages of their workers so as to increase the buying power of the common tao. Why don’t they allot more to the welfare of their employees so as to elevate each and everyone’s lifestyle? These companies are just so afraid to lose even a single cent of their humungous wealth. Instead of making the smaller people take the burden of rejuvenating the society why don’t they do it given the fact that they do have the wealth and power for it. They should learn to give back to the people because they owe the common tao a lot.

This other solution is not even impossible to work out. It just takes economic will and a sense of being one with the people. All it takes is that these corporations be less greedy with their money and do their own sacrifices not only for the welfare of the common tao but also for the benefit of the market system. Just imagine an economically empowered multitude of consumers, isn’t it that this would better facilitate progress hence curbing down the crisis? Or maybe the companies or the elite are simply afraid of the growth of the common tao?

About the author

Howard Chan (The Student)

Howard considers himself as an armchair activist. Though his street rally days are in a slumber he still advocates changes via social media. He is a strong believer that awareness of various social issues is a good starting point in order to break out from the stranglehold of an oppressive system which only benefits the few. He is also a full time student and a part time blogger, part time web designer, part time web manager/designer for various clients. (Note: Howard Chan passed the 2014 Bar Exams and was admitted to the Philippine Bar on April 29, 2015. That being, all posts after April 29, 2015 authored by him are now under the name Howard Chan for the purpose of distinguishing posts he made as a non-lawyer from posts he made after admission to the bar).

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