What can we do about it?

Michael.Chamberland 23274MJC at MSU.EDU
Thu Mar 30 08:24:00 CST 1995

> What I was trying to get at was the need to reduce overconsumption in
> this country so that we have more credibility when we decry excessive
> baby-making in other countries (for exactly the reasons that have been
> pointed out inthis thread). When asked "what can we do about it?",I think
> the answer is to get ourselves under control before trying to control
> someone else.

I'm not sure that the "role model" arguement really holds up.  How do
the people of other countries know how Americans live?  If they have
visited America then they probably already have an income that allows them
to live like Americans do.  No, I think people in other countries get their
image of America from American movies and TV shows (which are dubbed and
distributed everywhere).  The American media depicts an upper middle-class
to upper upper-class lifestyle as the default condition.  The same is true
for American television commercials.  These serve to dupe both Americans
and foreigners alike into feeling that their lifestyle is under-par if they
haven't this kind of consumer potential.  So, the role model is not set by
real people, but by the media, which has its own agenda.

Michael Chamberland

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