Consumerism In'shop Soil You Drop States

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The narrator of Shop Til ' You Drop states, "we 're no longer defined by the work that we do, but by the objects we consume. Industrial society has morphed into the consumer society." Consumer culture is a form of capitalism in which the economy is focused on the selling of consumer goods and the spending of consumer money. Consumer culture is a culture that is displayed in the United States which affects most individuals lives, more specifically the idea of the American Dream. The evolution of consumer culture has been flourishing since the 1900 's and this increasing importance of consumerism in the United States has challenged the core values and beliefs of what the American Dream is and how best it is to achieve it. At the beginning…show more content…
The increasing importance of consumerism in the U.S. has challenged the core values and beliefs of the idea of the American Dream. Many Americans imagine the American Dream as unchanging, universal, and open to everyone. Also, many Americans identify the values of the dream as individualism, hard work, self-reliance, and where the government is small and stays out of individual lives(Copeland 6-7). These values and beliefs of the American Dream are essentially not the case for many Americans due to the importance of consumption for many business and companies. For example, the multi-billion dollar company, Wal-Mart, demonstrates how consumerism can lead to the downfall of the core values of the American Dream. Wal-Mart is a company where their profits depend of their poverty. Wal-Mart 's massive profits also depend on the funding of food stamps and other public assistance programs. It is shown that Wal-Mart puts their stores in poor and rural locations so they can get low income individuals to shop there and even work there. According to Stacy Mitchell, a senior researcher with the institute for Local Self-Reliance states,"This is a company that everywhere it goes it creates poverty.(McCauley)" This can proven due to the state of the employees that work there. It is shown that the employees that work there hardly earn minimum wage, even while working full time. Wal-Mart even encourages their employees to take advantage of social programs such as food stamps(Copeland). People believe that working can get them out of poverty and in return get them out of social programs from the government, but the employees at Wal-Mart are instead being pushed into these programs, and in return are contradicting all the values and beliefs of the American Dream such as self-reliance and

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