Ethical issue is considered as a situation within the present system of the organization or the individual of the society that chooses among various alternatives to be evaluated as right or wrong. Ethical issues can occur in various aspects of the society. One of the most common ethical issues prevailing in the environment is related to consumerism. The ethical factors that are related to consumerism would deal with the purchasing, sourcing and shopping of the consumer (Bell & Hafford-Letchfield, 2015). This following study contains the arguments for and against the Ethical Issues of Consumerism.
According to the theories of Kantian, ethical issues prevailing with respect to consumerism, it could be seen that people are nowadays too obsessed with shopping new products and services for themselves. They spend more time in buying the products rather than spending quality time with their friends and relatives (The Story of Stuff. 2017). Planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence are considered as two concepts that lead to the ethical dilemma in relation to consumerism in the society. As per the concepts of Utilitarianism, planned obsolescence deals with how the recently bought products become obsolete due to the fast changing and upgraded technology in the same way perceived obsolescence deals with the change in the demand for new products by the individual due to change in trend and fashion of the goods (Arieli, Sagiv & Cohen-Shalem, 2016). According to the theory of Virtue Ethics, due to excess of products bought, and no fruitful work being amended, the national happiness in United States is found decreasing in nature.
Based on the Utilitarianism approach, it could be stated that consumerism raises the productivity of the economy by raising the demand of the product and services to be offered. It provides the organization with the incentives to produce more. Based on Kantian theories it could be stated that the availability of the products and services at much lower costs is quite beneficial for the individuals to buy the products below the price of their willingness to pay (Reamer, 2013). Hence, it could be stated that as the theory of Virtue Ethics, it can be said that the rise in the abovementioned ethical issues in the economy is not found negative always.
After analysing both the arguments for and against the ethical issues prevailing in an economy concerned with consumerism, it could be stated that the people with the rise in the transaction of goods and services, there are various drawbacks that outweigh the positive side of such transactions as per the Virtue Ethics theories (The Story of Stuff 2017). Along with the rise in the transactions as per the Kantian theories, there are some useless spending associated of the individuals, over utilisation of resources, more products being dumped and greater amount of toxicants being given out in the environment. This moreover leads to degradation of our planet. In the end it could be stated that the over production of goods and services does not provide any benefit to the environment and thereby goes against the Utilitarian approach.
It could be concluded from the above-mentioned analysis that the ethical issues prevailing in the field of consumerism consists of various aspects. Among them, the most important one is rigorous transactions of goods and services being bought by the individuals. The ill effects that are caused by the transactions have over shadowed the arguments, which are against the statement.
Arieli, S., Sagiv, L., & Cohen-Shalem, E. (2016). Values in business schools: The role of self-selection and socialization. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 15(3), 493-507.
Bell, L., & Hafford-Letchfield, T. (2015). Ethics, values and social work practice. McGraw-Hill.
Reamer, F. G. (2013). Social work values and ethics. Columbia University Press.
The Story of Stuff. (2017). The Story of Stuff Project. Retrieved 23 January 2017, from