The Economics of Consumption

By Charles S. Wyand | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 15
THE ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE OF CHOICE

In concluding our discussion of consumers' choice, it is important that we evaluate the significance of this function to the economy as a whole. We now know that there are a tremendous number and variety of factors constantly molding our desires and directing our attitudes. Physical factors such as climate, weather conditions, topography, and natural resources; the economic factors of price and income; social forces of a myriad types; governmental intervention and indoctrination; and the vast array of commercial forms of manipulation; all are ceaselessly at work molding attitudes, modifying desires, inspiring or discouraging consumption.

But, in spite of this fact, there are many contemporary economists who share a popular opinion that the consumer is an autonomous agent; who believe that the buyer's caprices are self- generated; and who assert the consumer's abstract but absolute sovereignty over the processes of production. Since most of our modern cyclical conditions originate in maladjustments between the demand for and the supply of goods, the allocation of this control of production is of the greatest significance. For it is patently impossible to regulate such economic fluctuations until we better understand the relationships involved. Two questions, therefore, logically present themselves. The first is concerned with the origin or source of choice patterns. The second seeks an evaluation of the effect of such patterns on the nation's economic welfare. Both queries attempt to discover the primary nature of the relationship that prevails between the producing and consuming functions in modern economic life.


Does the Consumer Rule?

The exponents of the "consumer is king" thesis apparently construct their attitude on the basis of three fundamental assumptions. They believe in the reality of homo economicus or, in other words, in the existence of a part of human nature which can be called "economic man." This economic man in all of us is assumed

-424-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Economics of Consumption
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 568

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.