Consumerism is something most of us can be susceptible to. Whether people realize it or not they are emotionally dependent on a reward at least psychologically from buying something. There is marketing everywhere from cradle to grave, to instruct us in how we can be happier by buying a gadget, or how our love can be measured by the jewelry that we buy, and the more exclusive the items we own, the higher place in society that we hold. Meanwhile most items we buy have become more and more disposable, so that we are forced to buy things even more regularly.
In our lust for a bargain, we shop at retail stores that promote horrible labor practices. These stores use their incredible profits, based upon the volume of what they sell, against the average american through their financial ability to lobby our government. Let alone the manufacturers etc., that have shipped our jobs to other countries for lower labor costs, and lower safety requirements.
One thing that people can do, is to use less disposable items. Items that can be reused multiple times can not only save money, but can also be a bit kinder to the environment. Buying recycled, or pre-owned items can also make a difference, this also cuts out the large retailer. Buying a pre-owned item also tends to keep money local, and supports your local economy. Buying something that is stamped Union-Made, or Made in U.S.A. is also beneficial to the interests of the 99%, as it supports workers rights as well as fair and safe labor practices.
Many things that people purchase can be made one way or another at home, or locally, sometimes even better than what you can buy that has been mass-produced. People generally don’t have the time to make all of these things though. We all have something that we are good at making or doing, be it prepared food, or produce from a garden, be it labor, a service, or a product. Through communication in our communities, and support with our dollars locally, there is a pathway for the people to gain their independence from the corporations that hold them in such contempt. A person may not feel as though the contents of their wallet may make a difference, but collectively, the wallets of 99% of us can.
You can listen to ‘Occupied Nation’ on Thursdays each week on http://www.obr.fm 5-8pm EST. Obr.fm is a radio station for the 99%, and by the 99%