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Quotations about Consumerism




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Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.  ~Mohandas K. Gandhi, quoted in E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful


Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.  ~William Ruckelshaus, Business Week, 18 June 1990


God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the west... keeping the world in chains.  If [our nation] took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts.  ~Mahatma Gandhi


U.S. consumers and industry dispose of enough aluminum to rebuild the commercial air fleet every three months; enough iron and steel to continuously supply all automakers; enough glass to fill New York's World Trade Center every two weeks.  ~Environmental Defense Fund advertisement, Christian Science Monitor, 1990


Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.  ~Author Unknown


Be glad that you're greedy; the national economy would collapse if you weren't.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


After a visit to the beach, it's hard to believe that we live in a material world.  ~Pam Shaw


You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy.  ~Eric Hoffer


You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.  ~Vernon Howard


The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments.  ~Mad Magazine


Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends.... Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.  ~Henry David Thoreau


The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other.  It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich.  Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied... but written off as trash.  The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing.  ~John Berger


Racial injustice, war, urban blight, and environmental rape have a common denominator in our exploitative economic system.  ~Channing E. Phillips, speech, Washington, D.C., 22 April 1970


To perceive Christmas through its wrappings becomes more difficult with every year.  ~Elwyn Brooks White


I may be a pessimist, but the philosophy of anti-thrift just now coming into being seems to me the greatest danger to the peace of the world.  ~Adriano Tilgher


There must be more to life than having everything!  ~Maurice Sendak


Mammon, n.:  The god of the world's leading religion.  ~Ambrose Bierce


Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.  ~From the movie Fight Club, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk


He who buys what he does not need steals from himself.  ~Author Unknown


Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.  ~Unknown


Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.  ~Edward Abbey


The hardest thing is to take less when you can get more.  ~Kin Hubbard


In the United States Christmas has become the rape of an idea.  ~Richard Bach


Forethought and temperance are the virtues which produced thrift, and with thrift the economic progress of society.  And those are the virtues which today are gravely compromised.  ~Adriano Tilgher


Who covets more, is evermore a slave.  ~Robert Herrick


The gap in our economy is between what we have and what we think we ought to have - and that is a moral problem, not an economic one.  ~Paul Heyne


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