DEFINITION of 'Consumerism'

The theory that a country that consumes goods and services in large quantities will be better off economically. Consumerism for example, is an industrial society that is advanced, a large amount of goods is bought and sold.
Sometimes referred to as a policy that promotes greed, consumerism is also coined as a movement towards consumer protection that promotes improvement in safety standards and truthful packaging and advertisement. Consumerism seeks to enforce laws against unfair practices implement product guarantees.

BREAKING DOWN 'Consumerism'

Over-consumption is sometimes negatively attributed to consumerism. For instance some people might argue that Christmas holidays are a time of consumerism due to the large amounts of goods that are purchased during this time. Consumers strive to find the perfect gifts and this creates a demand for goods and promotes greed. Consumerism causes a materialistic belief that the more materials acquired the better, implying an increased value placed on material possessions.

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