Ep 25: Consumerism as an Ethos; Why Can’t Money Buy Us Happiness?

Welcome one and All to Professor Metal’s Irate Debate and Calamitous Commentary with the Philosophical Chain Gang

Today’s Episode is Consumerism as an Ethos: Why Can’t Money Buy Happiness?

Sean explains how consumerism could be considered an ethos

Ryver talks about the idea of the Loss Leader ideology

The Philosophers talk about the replacement of certain societal values with consumerist values

Bruce and Sean discuss the difference between improving quality of life and just gathering more possessions to have more possessions

Ryver explains Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Sean brings up the basis of Maslow’s Hierarchy and how it does and does not apply to our society

Bruce discusses these from a utilitarian perspective

Sean and Bruce debate where the line between our needs as humans and our needs as participants in modern society lies

Bruce talks about the effects of economic decline on consumerism and the inverse

Ryver counters with an explanation of our recent economic decline

Sean talks about the effects of increased production without increased consumption, specifically in the wake of economic decline

Bruce and Sean discuss economic bubbles and how it effects the economy as a whole

The Philosophers talk about the housing bubble and who made it out ahead as a result of this

Bruce brings it around to intangible values

Sean discusses opportunity costs as they apply to these values

Ryver and Bruce talk about status symbols and the role of rational actors in the economy

Sean and Ryver explain the effects of badge value in status symbols and ways in which that can be controlled

The Philosophers discuss the impacts of badge value on modern marketing

Sean talks about the history of marketing, as well as Edward Bernays and his role in the evolution of marketing

The Philosophers discuss the importance of both education and introspection to understanding how marketing effects both consumerism and psychology

Sean and Ryver talk about the way marketing shows objects that are not significantly better than what we already have as being things we cannot live without

Bruce takes the last word to talk about what it means to be an “informed consumer” and the role of introspection into what actually makes you happy, as well as where you can acquire happiness

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