Saturday, February 17, 2007


What do the things we consume say about who we are? Do we consume to live or live to consume? Economist, Donald Hay writes, “The basic hypothesis about household consumption and saving behaviour is that households prefer to smooth out their consumption over time.” Thus, we will save in times of excess and borrow against future earnings in times of financial difficulty.I have been working on a paper looking at Household consumption and am amazed to see the number of advertisements we are exposed to everyday. Author Rodney Clapp notes that, “The average American is exposed to 16,000 commercial messages, symbols and reminders every single day.”[1] David Loy correctly demonstrates our cultures emphasis on advertising as he reports that, “in 1994 the U.S. spent $147 billion for advertising – far more that on all higher education.” Some of the books I have been using include Juliet B. Schor, The Overspent American and David Lipsey's Economics textbook.

[1] Rodney Clapp, “The Theology of Consumption and the Consumption of Theology”, In The Consuming Passion: Christianity and the Consumer Culture, ed. Rodney Clapp (Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press, 1998), 170. Here Clapp cites Leslie Savan, The Sponsored Life (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994), 1.

1 comment:

runningtwig said...

Good to hear from you, Tara! Please do keep in touch. Either through the blog or email. When are you guys through up there?