Is Most Of What People Buy Unnecessary?

Lesson 61

In this day and age, you must understand the overwhelming importance of owning unnecessary material. In the way we live now, you are not what you produce. You are what you buy. And outside of that which is found in a few aisles in the grocery and hardware stores, most of what you consume is totally unnecessary.

~Adapted from James B. Twitchell, Living It Up: Our Love Affair with Luxury

Lots of people love to buy things. Some guys may like the coolest, newest, most advanced, video game. Some girls may like shopping around at clothing stores for the latest fashion. However, is most of what people buy really necessary? In fact, is most of what we buy completely unnecessary?

If you have followed my blog and have been with me from at least pretty near the beginning, you may know that this is partly a school blog, and that I have found this with several of my questions that sometimes you might need to commit the fallacy of generalization in order to answer the question up front. You may also know that I sometimes respond to this with a, “It depends on the person” which is how I am going to answer this one.

It really does depend on the person.

My parents buy pretty much everything we need (I do not feel that I am lacking at all), but my Dad does not like to have useless stuff around; he does like it when it’s gone.  So for my Dad, I don’t think that most of what he buys is unnecessary, he gets us what we need and he gifts us with more.

However, my Dad is not like a lot of people in several ways. My Dad grew up having about two pairs of pants, but people today can go to certain stores and pick things up for relatively cheap because of discounts, material and brand differences, and second-hand shops. This is a problem because people can tell themselves, “Ohh! This is 20% less then it was over there, therefore, I should get this before this deal goes away.”

I am not the general populace and so I cannot speak for people in general.  I would say, however, that a lot of what people buy they don’t need, but then again, you don’t need a lot of things. You don’t need a house, you don’t need a car, you don’t need a phone; you need even less two of these. I know I don’t know your exact situation but I think what I just wrote applies to you. You could survive without a lot of things.

So now it depends upon the person, their definition of the word “unnecessary,” and their situation.


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