Too many people are going around in these harsh economic times blaming consumerism for what ails us. This constant buying, they say, this constant spending, this constant want and desire, this will ruin us. I say, bullshit.
The rich complain about the lower class, formerly the middle class, as if those with the smallest portion of the wealth are responsible for recession or depression. They complain that the poor don't save their money and expect the rich to pick up the slack for them when the bottom falls out. How do they live, the rich ask, without a safety net? I say, fuck you.
The poor know the reason for the recession or depression (which are both words that pretend they have actual meaning but live in jealousy of words whose definitions are perfectly understood, words like unemployment, like repossession, like starvation). The poor walk amongst the poor, which would make sense if anyone bothered to think about it, and the poor cannot keep themselves from spending.
It is not because they want more possessions. It is not because spending makes them feel less desperate. It is not because they don't understand the concept.
Quite simply, the poor spend their money for one very simple reason. They realize others need that money too.
This should be a rather easy concept for most people. The way the economy works is that money passes from one person to another to another. For the nine-plus percent of the country that has been collecting unemployment benefits, each dollar given was worth two for the economy. And it's very simple. If one person saves money by not getting a haircut, a barber or stylist takes a pay cut. If nine percent of a customer make their own coffee in the morning (or stop drinking it altogether), a coffee shop's rent goes unpaid, and another business closes, and another person becomes poor.
This is why the poor spend, not that it makes that much difference. They don't have that much money to send around, but they do what they can anyway. The rich have not only the means to invigorate the economy but also the resources to make that money back. That money, however, sits in overseas savings accounts, hides in vaults, or, worst of all, gets used on Wall Street to legally bet on businesses failing.
The rich complain relentlessly about the government and its infernal desire to redistribute their wealth (as do many of the poor, even though they have no wealth, but that's another matter), when it is their money that could save this nation, that could spare every citizen from poverty. Rather than giving their money away, as the government would have them do, all the rich need do is spend.
By infusing that money into the economy, the rich can accumulate non-monetary wealth in art, property or even precious metals, and it would provide a much needed influx of cash. They could spend their money on expanding businesses, employing more people and producing more product, which would be easier to sell with the extra paychecks being spent. They could do almost anything they wanted, so long as their money kept moving.
So it's that simple. Fuck you're hearts; just open up your bank accounts, and let the money flow. We'll all be better off for it.