Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Consumers' Republic

economics :: business

HBS Working Knowledge: Business History: How We Became a Consumers' Republic

Cohen: "A consumers' republic" is the terminology I employ in A
Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar
America, for what I discovered was a shared understanding among many
Americans, beginning right after World War II and lasting into the
mid-1970s, that the best strategy for reconstructing the nation's
economy and reaffirming its democratic values lay with promoting the
expansion of mass consumption.

This is very interesting... the energies involved (powered by the
devestating impact of the war on our collective psyche?) in sustaining
that kind of momentum... worth examining. So, it dies out in the 70's;
what comes next? The cliche of the 80's greed... then the 90's
oportunism... none of this has any sustaining power.

BIG BINGO: I realize that retailers, like other businesses, have
to make decisions that are financially responsible. But I would hope
that my book points out that there are often social, cultural, and
political implications of business decisions that those who make them
may not be fully aware of. My hope is that by pointing out some of
these unexpected ramifications, socially concerned members of the
business community may seek remedies or at least think through such
consequences the next time they face a similar decision.

Yes!!! Exactly!!! I may have to run out and buy this book now...

This interview is extraordinary; the author is amazing - she is so
cohereant and understandable; clear thoughts and clear explanations.

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