Do Americans Shop Too Much?
Publication Date: April 2000
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Juliet Schor breaks a taboo by exposing Americans' shopping habits to moral society. Schor disapproves of unfettered private consumption, not only because we already use up so much, but also because overspending to bolster a sense of self does not lead to happiness. Along with her critique, Schor suggests intriguing ideas for making 'status' goods accessible for all--for example, imposing high taxes on expensive items to subsidize lines of affordable 'luxury' goods. A firestorm of responses follow from economist Robert Frank and others.
The New Democracy Forum is a series of short paperback originals exploring creative solutions to our most urgent national concerns.
"A civic treasure. . . . A truly good idea, carried out with intelligence and panache." --Robert Pinsky
Cohen is Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Editor in Chief of Boston Review.
Joel Rogers, a MacArthur Foundation "genius" prize-winner and identified by Newsweek as one of the 100 living Americans most likely to shape U.S. politics and culture in the twenty-first century, is professor of law, political science, public affairs, and sociology at the University of Wisconsin Madison. The common thread in his academic work is democracy: how to define and measure it, what makes it work, how to make it work better. Rogers spends a lot of time outside the university advising people in politics, government, business, and social movements. He runs the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, which promotes high road (i.e., equitable, sustainable, democratic) economic development and governance, and has produced a stream of influential innovations in worker training; business and labor strategy; and local, state, and national policy.