BETTER WORLD QUOTES

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CONSUMERISM Quotes

In our hectic, fast-paced, consumer-driven society, it's not uncommon for people to feel overwhelmed, isolated, alone, and even alienated. Many are re-discovering the healing and empowering role that community can bring to our lives. The sense of belonging we feel when we make the time to take an active role in our communities can give us a deeper sense of meaning and purpose.
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

For the economy I want workers and consumers to have control over their own economic lives. I want everyone to have fair conditions that fully utilize their talents and potentials. I want incomes that accord with the efforts people expend in their labors. I want what is produced, by whom, under what conditions, and with who consuming the result--all determined in accord with enhancing human well-being and development and all decided by the people involved and affected. I want an end to hierarchies of power and wealth and to class division with most actors subordinated to an elite few. To accomplish all these ends I favor the institutions of participatory economics -- worker and consumer councils, remuneration for effort and sacrifice, balanced job complexes, and participatory planning. If someone should demonstrate that those institutions somehow fail to accomplish necessary economic functions or have social or personal by-products that outweigh their benefits -- I would simply return to the drawing board. Exploitation, alienation, poverty, disempowerment, fragmenting and debilitating labor, production for the profit of a few -- much less harsh homelessness, starvation, and degradation -- are not like gravity. They arise from institutional relations established by human beings. New institutions, also established by human beings, can generate other vastly superior outcomes. Defining and working to attain those new institutions ought to be our economic agenda.
-- Michael Albert

* "The role of the market place is to be an instrument of environmental change and policy making. We are all consumers with a great potential for change. Environmental protection begins at home."
~ Noel Brown, Former Director of the UN Environmental Program

* "Solid wastes" are the discarded leftovers of our advanced consumer society. This growing mountain of garbage and trash represents not only an attitude of indifference toward valuable natural resources, but also a serious economic and public health problem.
-- Jimmy Carter

 

The ever-mounting glut of waste materials is characteristic by-product of modern "consumer society." It might even be argued that capitalism's continual need to find of generate markets means that disposibility and waste have become the spine of the system. To consume means, literally, "to destroy or expend," and in the garbage crisis we confront the underlying truth of a society in which enormous productive capacities and market forces have harnessed human needs and desires, without regard to the long or even short-term future of life on the planet.
-- Stuart Ewen

 

* "I feel more confident than ever that the power to save the planet rests with the individual consumer."
~ Denis Hayes

 

American consumerism is about buying things we don't need,
with money we don't have, to impress friends we don't have time for.
-- Leo Horrigan

"But once we concede that people do care about status, it necessarily follows that the status competition that makes people buy expensive consumer goods in order to impress other people constitutes a failure of the market economy - a failure as real as traffic congestion, or pollution, or any other activity in which the individual pursuit of self-interest leads to a collectively bad outcome. Suppose that we could somehow agree to stop competing over who has the fanciest car; everyone could then work a bit less, spend more time with their families, and raise the sum total of human happiness. Or to put it a bit differently, Americans (or at least the top few percent of the income distribution) have gotten into a sort of arms race of conspicuous consumption that, like most arms races, consumes huge quantities of resources yet in the end changes little. "
~ Paul Krugman

 

* It is time for a sustainable energy policy which puts consumers, the environment, human health, and peace first.
-- Dennis Kucinich


I feel privileged to work at an organization that is part of a growing movement to help people adopt environmental and social justice practices into their lives and helps them encourage these values in the broader economy, where our consumer and investor dollars can "vote" for sustainability. At a time when corporations are exerting increasing power over people's lives and the environment, it is vital that we work directly with companies to promote greater responsibility.
-- Todd Larsen

"It is advertising and the logic of consumerism that governs the depiction of reality in the mass media."
-- Christopher Lasch

* "It's a measure of the depth of our consumer trance that the death of the planet is not sufficient to break it."
-- Kalle Lasn

* ... the aim of development must be neither producerism not consumerism, but the satisfaction of fundamental human needs, which are not only needs of humanity...
-- Manfred Max-Neef

* The essence of globalization is a subordination of human rights, of labor rights, consumer, environmental rights, democracy rights, to the imperatives of global trade and investment.
-- Ralph Nader

Consumers have not been told effectively enough that they have huge power and that purchasing and shopping involve a moral choice.
-- Anita Roddick

Since the governments are in the pockets of businesses, who's going to control this most powerful institution? Business is more powerful than politics, and it's more powerful than religion. So it's going to have to be the vigilante consumer.
-- Anita Roddick

 

A key issue in managing globalization is therefore how we organise the global investmentand labour markets to meet the needs of flexibility for enterprises, security for workers and quality for consumers. We need new proactive policies that focus directly on how authorities in the public and private sphere can blend economic and social policies with an enabling environment for private initiative to create market opportunities for Decent Work.
-- Juan Somavia

* “Our personal consumer choices have ecological, social, and spiritual consequences. It is time to re-examine some of our deeply held notions that underlie our lifestyles.”
-- David Suzuki

Fair trade benefit many. From farmers in producer countries to students in a U.S. school studying the environment, the concept and practice of fair trade connects producers and consumers in new and powerful ways. It is the nexus for: meeting both environmental and economic considerations of indigenous peoples; re-balancing the trading relationship between North and South; building a link between U.S. policy and publics to a larger world community that is knocking at the door
-- TransFair USA, 2002

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