I would like to thank my opponent CRB, for his willingness to participate in a formal debate on ATS. I sincerely hope, that regardless of the outcome
of this particular debate, he is not swayed from his desire to promote a position he believes in, and that he continues to be an active member of this
A debate doesn't merely entail winning, or losing. It incorporates, and justifies, the arguments of rationality. It's a process, one engaging
other minds, presenting positions, and facts, with the end result being able to see your opponent's position, and the ability to analyze the judges
It's about learning. I have done that throughout all the debates I have been in, and for CRB to issue a challenge to me, well, it only leads me to
believe he wishes to learn more. It's only by challenging yourself that you realize your full potential. I know this from experience.
Enough of the formalities, as this is a battle of words. My opponent wishes to state:
Consumerism is not a natural occurring trait in humans.
I have shown repeatedly throughout this debate that the need to survive leads to excessive spending, and that given the "extra money", people will
spend. He has not shown to me, nor the readers, a capacity within humanity that tends towards saving money.
Money buys goods, but would you
rather have goods, or money? I think the majority of us would rather have the comforts in life, a microwave, LCD TV, cellphone, than a bunch of money
in the bank that just sits there. We spend money, often on credit, to acquire goods that make our life more comfortable. We WANT to be comfortable,
to be comparable to our peers in society.
Then he picks two more countries to compare:
I will choose Australia and the USA. Two countries, both of which have a diverse landscape, but differ in population.
Well, IMO, he repeated the same mistake by trying to compare New Zealand to Russia. In fact, all FOUR countries have a diverse landscape and (not
BUT) differ in population.
Charts and graphs do not a good debate make, when you are trying to prove a point. Present a graph, then present a paragraph of text to support it.
I got confused by all the disparate graphs, and felt lost amongst all the data. The facts were nice, but I couldn't relate it to the debate at hand,
which is whether we are taught, or have a natural inclination to spend our wealth.
I wish there was a course in HS, or college, that dictated the value of saving money.
Those darn Gerber spams give a good example: You put 10 dollars a month for your grandkid into a savings account. It draws 2% interest yearly. By
the time the kid graduates, there's over $20,000 in the account. RIGHT!
Only a small percentage of the population perceives the benefits of saving, even at such low returns. In fact, there is no high yield investment,
with the Federal Reserve setting the rates to zero. It's a mess.
Those poor examples only exemplify that if consumerism is taught, then also the opposite, saving, would be taught as well, as a balance. It's not.
There's no course in formal education about how to spend your money, save investing. Investments are a form of savings.
Therefore, spending is a natural habit, and saving has to be taught.
It was once said, in a holy scripture, that a "fool and his money are soon parted". Does that indicate to you, as the reader, that consumerism is
I think not.
I would present to you that people, given money, spend it freely, and that what needs taught is how to save money, make investments, and grow your
money, even at today's low interest rates. Spending is a natural human inclination, the acquisition of goods.
No matter where you live, whether the US, Australia, New Zealand or Russia, people spend money. They spend it because they want to. It's because
they need the goods, or they want the latest KE$HA CD, but people from all geographic locations have money to spend, and they spend on what they
People don't spend money because they are told to.
Money gives people what they want.
Thank you for reading.