Consumer is one who specifies the consumption of something. The verb consume, on the other hand, is associated with the use of goods to cover a need, the expenditure of energy or destruction.
For example: “Adela is very worried: she discovered that her son uses drugs”, “I think Argentina is the main consumer of red meat in the world”, “Vegetarians are big consumers of soy”.
The notion of consumer is very common in economics and sociology to name the individual or entity that demands those products and services offered by another person or company. In this case, the consumer is an economic actor who has sufficient material resources (money) to satisfy his needs in the market.
There are different streams to analyze consumer behavior. The usual thing is to consider that the consumer is rational and spends in order to maximize the reward obtained for his purchase. This reward can be the satisfaction of a need, the obtaining of pleasure, etc.
However, more and more people maintain that the consumer is irrational since he buys more than he needs. The pressure exerted by marketing, advertising and various social mechanisms causes people to end up wanting and acquiring unnecessary products or services. By adopting this behavior, not only does money management become irrational, but the destruction of natural resources is accelerated.
Consumer rights, on the other hand, are those linked to regulations and standards that protect people when buying or making use of products and services.
In the sea of confusion that the market represents, understood as the set of different industries, it is very common for advertising campaigns to lead us to think that we need a product or service, even when this is not true. The line that separates a conscientious and moderate consumer from a consumerist may be too thin today. They try to convince people that unnecessary purchases are so-called luxuries: a second home, a massage session or an elevator in a two-story house. Without entering into judgments about the aforementioned consumer objects and their need in a person’s life, it is possible to warn that the set of luxury expenses has changed significantly in recent generations and will surely continue to change.
Thinking of a society whose economy has not undergone major changes in the last thirty years, it goes without saying that the articles considered basic today, had they existed three decades ago, would have belonged to the list of unnecessary luxuries. Some examples include a mobile phone per member of a family group, as well as several computers and televisions, air conditioning to withstand the harsh summers, a minimum of two cars, not counting the need to follow fashion trends not only in clothing but in the decoration of the house. All of this is accessible even to a typical middle-class family, given the decline that mass production has seen.
The big monsters decide what we need and kindly provide us with chain stores (for some reason, always coming from abroad) to be able to get the latest of the latest at the best price, and with the convenience of paying in several parts. In this way, they make us think that we spend less money, but at the same time they offer us products of a quality that in the not too distant past would have been considered disposable. In addition, by implanting in people’s minds the obligation to buy more and more so as not to stay in time, the feeling of never earning enough is fed, which generates an inevitable job dissatisfaction that, of course, leads to “blaming to the world crisis ».