Difference Between Consumption and Consumerism

The difference between consumption and consumerism is that the second is the excess of the first. In other words, consumerism is excessive and, normally, unnecessary consumption.

Consumerism is a trend. Some economists even consider it an economic system. That is, just as there is communism or capitalism, they believe that consumerism is a variant of capitalism .

However, if we review the economic literature, we can see that consumerism and capitalism do not coincide. Although it is commonly used as a synonym, it is used erroneously. Capitalism defends saving and investment, while consumerism proposes an excessive consumption of goods.

For its part, consumption is simply an action. That is, while consumerism is considered something negative and immoderate, consumption itself is not. For example, when we buy bread to eat, we are consuming. When we buy clothes, we are also consuming. Therefore, consuming does not necessarily have a negative connotation.

Need, consumption and consumerism

In general, what we consume largely responds to needs. It does not mean that we buy or consume only what we strictly need. There are things that we do not need but they bring us satisfaction and for that we pay a price. However, when we excessively and impulsively buy things that we do not need and that we will not use, we are falling into consumerism.

Why does consumerism exist?

Go ahead that each economic agent can do what they consider. That is, if you want to buy two shoes even though you only need one, it is your money and you can do what you want. That said, it is worth reviewing why consumerism exists.

The main cause is its profitability. Any company is interested in your consumption, since when you consume their products you generate profit. Hence, some brands release new models every year, even if the model changes are small. It is a profitable business model. Of course, it also carries its risks. To do this, many companies use advertising persuasively, encouraging consumers to buy more and more on an ongoing basis.