According to Benjamin Barber, our economic environment prioritizes consumerism over satisfying genuine needs. Capitalism refuses the poor the right to share what the elite have. In his essay “Overselling Capitalism,” he argues that capitalists have produced too many commodities to satisfy less social needs. As a result, it sets the foundations for a long-term catastrophe from which the planet can never recover.
I comply with Barber’s estimation of how society treats the less fortunate. There is a desire to move beyond and above what capitalism offers. The global economic discourse centres around how to bring the poor out of poverty as the divide between the wealthy and the poor widens. However, I do not agree with the idea that that the pharmaceutical companies will defer profits to supply cheap drugs to developing countries. The only way to cause such action would be to provide economic incentives to businesses. The companies must still work within the bounds of capitalism, and we should not expect anything different. There is no possibility of a sudden change in human nature or altruistic behavior.
I do not think it is right to assume that impulsive consumption affects the current imbalance in capitalist economies. Infatalist ethos may have changed the democracy and rules of engagement in business. However, it is reasonable to question the current spending. However, the imbalance in the current economy has nothing to do with the fundamental changes in consumption behaviors of humans several decades ago. The correction of our consumption mix lies in the future economic systems. Saving did not decline because of partying and playing as stated in the article. Economic forces such as interest rates generate these changes. Other forces such as globalization are beyond our control.
In general, capitalism creates many goods that do not meet the needs of the society. We are back to the period where the poor make too little. However, the problem can be attributed to the current economic conditions created by public and private institutions. Banking laws affect interest rates while politicians write legislations that favor campaign contributors.