Last week’s Media Log is evidently about consumerism and its role in media. The video above is a musical entitled Consumerism! The Musical. I came across this video upon the advice of my Economics teacher. This video is satirical, meaning that it pokes fun about how Americans (being the most consumerist of all the capitalist countries) have this philosophy or idea that they happiness achieved through excessive purchases of material goods. The musical implies that with how consumerism works, they could buy whatever they want and as many as they want, use/consume these goods now and pay later. This would sound very appealing to people who want something immediately and that they could pay for it later on (or “utang” as it’s known in the Filipino language).
This is evident throughout the lyrics like when the singer sings “my credit cards, they never fail” and “... which means I don’t own a thing and I buy even more” supports this mentality. This could be because of how credit cards work, where they say to pay a small amount of the full price at the time of purchase then pay the rest over the period of (usually) a month. An example would be like if I buy the new Xbox One gaming console. The console would cost approximately $4000. If I pay with my credit card, I could pay $200 for now (this is called the downpayment) then pay the remaining $3800 in installments over the course of one month. This method is a fallacy in a sense because it would lull people to believe that they it would be better to postpone paying the full amount so that they could save money at that moment. However, credit card companies anticipate this since they believe that the customer would either pay the money that they owe at the last minute or if the customer can’t pay at the allotted time, the bank would allow payments made after the due date but these would come with an ‘interest rate’ or a penalty fee so that they could make a little more income.
Another fallacy that we could incorporate in this musical video is an appeal for Ad Populum (a fallacy wherein when something that is popular then is is immediately true). If we look throughout the duration of the video and the lyrics there is a message there where the singer is saying “It’s a wonderful life because you can buy all of these things you want and pay it back later so that you could enjoy the thing that you bought NOW instead of worrying on how to pay for it later on. In this type of modern world that we live in today, through technology, we have this luxury on convenience: where the things we want are attainable instantly and with no restrictions in terms of quantity (unlimited), These two factors of consumerism were very hard to obtain in the past years.
My theory is that, because of these two factors that lead to consumerism, people that don’t practice capitalism, consumerists are looked down upon because they consume goods excessively (as stated in the lyrics “I’m the king of success”) and therefore waste goods that should have been appropriated equally. This discrimination is a fallacy because the focus only on consumers who buy goods on credit and forget to pay the loan later on. Effective consumerism is achieved only if the person controls his credit spending proportional to that of his income, so that he can easily pay his credit loan safely, knowing that he has enough money to do so.