Is the “consumer” good or bad? The word, it seems, is not a dirty word. But its derivatives: "hedonism", "money-grubbing", "greed", "consumerism" and so on - already with a smell. Humanity has definitely become richer, fatter, but has it become happier? The insanity of consumption has imperceptibly brought people to the line, beyond which they are threatened with a complete depletion of non-renewable natural resources, as well as intellectual and spiritual poverty.
About 1.7 billion people, that is, more than a quarter of the world's population, make up the "consumer class" today. In the 21st century, the developing part of the world adopted the standards and lifestyle of the developed countries of the 20th century.
In 2000, the amount spent by housewives was $ 20 trillion, four times what it was in 1960.
With the growth of the income level of the population, the demand for various and, above all, high-quality consumer goods increases. In 2002, already a third of the population had at least one TV set per family.
The rise in consumer power may be partly attributable to the growing population of the planet. By 2050, the consumer population is projected to increase by 41% to 9 billion people, with most of the increase coming from developing countries.
The population of the United States, one of the few developed countries that is experiencing rapid population growth, is projected to increase by another 100 million by 2050. Therefore, if we assume that the average American will eat 20% less meat, then meat sales will increase by 5 million tons.
India and China from "world factories" are turning into a colossal consumer of goods and services, where the number of consumers is 352 million citizens (more than the whole of Eastern Europe).
In developed countries, for example, Europe, consumers make up 89% of the total population, in the developing class of consumers - 16% of the total population, but this figure is growing every year.
The consumer spending of 12% of the population in Europe and North America is 60%, while the consumer spending of 60% of the population of South Asia and Black Africa is barely 3%.
This imbalance is beginning to gradually smooth out, but for the standard of living of most of the world's population to be called decent, the volume of consumption and real income per capita must increase significantly. It is inequality of property that is the main reason for wars and spending on defense, peacekeeping missions and ensuring border security.
If all social and environmental problems were solved, as well as economic inequality were eliminated, states, instead of spending on defense, could invest in improving the quality of life for their citizens.
The overwhelming majority of the world's population (71%) are people with an average income of $ 2 to $ 10 per day. The UN estimates that more than 2.8 billion people live on less than $ 2 a day, of which about 1 billion do not have access to safe drinking water.
According to the UN, more than 800 million people go hungry in the world.
Despite skyrocketing spending on goods and services in developing countries, industrialized countries still account for the majority of global consumption. Obviously, even in rich countries, it is impossible to satisfy consumer appetites. It seems that the whole world has become like a ferret, which, having penetrated the hen house and intoxicated by rich prey, can easily strangle all living creatures, and the chance that the desire for enrichment will not lead to a complete depletion of the planet's natural resources is very small.
Although the US population is only 5% of the world's population, it consumes 25% of the world's energy.
If at least half of the projected population of 9 billion will be provided with the standard of living of modern Europe and North America by 2050, then the resources of soil, water and air will be practically depleted by that time.
Statistically, one inhabitant accounts for 1.9 hectares of productive land surface, but today man uses 2.3 hectares.
At the same time, the land fund of the average American is 9.7 hectares, and that of a resident of Mozambique is 0.77 hectares.
A person should understand that fruitless attempts to satisfy the material needs that are growing every day can give a lot, except for what he really needs, and certainly will not make him happy and healthy.
The growth in consumer spending of the population turned into a deterioration in the indicators of health and well-being of people, in particular, an increase in the death rate as a result of cardiovascular diseases.
A person spends a huge amount of energy, time and effort trying to earn as much as possible in order to get new, not yet experienced, but so desired, pleasures. Instead, he gets obesity, stress and cardiovascular disease - the inevitable companions of the pursuit of enrichment.
65% of the US population is overweight or obese, resulting in 300, 000 deaths annually, as well as hundreds of billions of dollars spent by the government to combat obesity and treat its associated diseases.
According to studies conducted by employees of the banking system in the United States in 2002, 60% of the population, when buying goods, ultimately, more than 16% of the amount paid for an interest component, that is, the overpayment was $ 2, 000 per year, which is more than 40 per capita annual income. countries.
The quality of life of the population in the 20th century was achieved by meeting consumer demand. In the 21st century, the scheme failed, and it will be necessary to find other ways to improve the quality of human life, perhaps even by limiting consumption.
Transport, education, healthcare are becoming paid market services purchased on a massive scale.
Remember what your grandparents dreamed of? And what do young people dream about today? A fashionable car, a spacious apartment, a new iPhone, the opportunity to relax in new places and countries at least once a year - the list goes on and on. Who convinced you to spend money that is not there on things that are useless in order to make a fleeting impression on people whose opinions do not care?
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