Thursday, January 08, 2015

Call-in on Shopping, too much? January 7, 2015

Every Wednesday on Nightline at 9pm we open up the sms and phone-lines for a Q&A.

This week we asked you about shopping and whether or not it is getting the better of us?

Do we really need to shop so much and buy so much? Tough question when you think that we have the Dubai Shopping Festival and that shopping is a huge boost to the economy.

Do we need to shop so much?

Here is the podcast.



Here is a look at some of the SMS messages from the show that helped to drive the conversation.


We're from Eastern Europe. For me there's no such thing as shopping for fun. If we need something we buy it. Sold the 5years old TV and bought new one for a bargain price. Needed a dishwasher because of the kids, bought one recently. Same with cloths and everything else. I think it's inherited from parents.

Certainly, Hamza(d) is sleeping on the couch tonight! :O

Our 2 yr old twins are incredibly fortunate & have been given almost all their clothes (we bought 3 baby grows when they were born as we're so prematurenothing fitted! ) I was putting away some of their trousers & dresses with our wonderful helper & she & I were trying to fit them all in the wardrobe. She said 'my daughter doesn't like dresses but that's OK,  she only has 1'.

 It really put it all into perspective. For their next birthday we are going to ask everyone for xlothes for a boy & girl of their  age group but they will be sent to orphanages in Sri Lanka & Uganda that friends support. A real wake up call, we have so much when others are happy with so little. Hannah

I've been putting my clothes back in my wardrobe on the right hand side when it's worn the at the end of each on th I can look at the things on the left& see why they haven't been worn. It works! Have managed to get eos of some things quite easily :) Hannah

Hey James,
As you mentioned earlier about your mother that people do compare prices in here vs overseas and it's cheap here.


Would be happy to come back on air, before I hit the couch. If you need my perspective on consumerism and shopping festival. Hamza

Here are the notes we used for research.


How much is enough? What do you really need and is our shopping culture something we need to think about? Sustainability, the environment…

Are you a compuslive shopper?

Is consumerism out of control?


There are a few things.

1. There can be no consumption without production. If a population consumes more than it produces, this is ultimately unsustainable. Consumption is 70% of the US economy. Some day, this will collapse.

2. Consumerist culture isn't just about buying things you want. It's about convincing you that you need things that you don't necessarily need or want and encouraging you to spend money on these things, sometimes even when you can't afford them. This is a bizarre way to structure production - make stuff, trick people into buying it, so you can make more stuff to trick people into buying. A culture more concerned with growth, development, and improvement than superficial validation and instant gratification would be able to provide for actual needs and wants far better.

3. Consumerist culture also motivates people to go into debt, which is also an unsustainable thing, since loanable funds aren't unlimited. It also sacrifices the future for the present.

In short, consumerism sacrifices the future for short-term immediate gratification. It is like an addictive drug, and withdrawal is going to suck.


Today’s consumption is undermining the environmental resource base. It is exacerbating inequalities. And the dynamics of the consumption-poverty-inequality-environment nexus are accelerating. If the trends continue without change — not redistributing from high-income to low-income consumers, not shifting from polluting to cleaner goods and production technologies, not promoting goods that empower poor producers, not shifting priority from consumption for conspicuous display to meeting basic needs — today’s problems of consumption and human development will worsen.
… The real issue is not consumption itself but its patterns and effects.
… Inequalities in consumption are stark. Globally, the 20% of the world’s people in the highest-income countries account for 86% of total private consumption expenditures — the poorest 20% a minuscule 1.3%. More specifically, the richest fifth:
  • Consume 45% of all meat and fish, the poorest fifth 5%
  • Consume 58% of total energy, the poorest fifth less than 4%
  • Have 74% of all telephone lines, the poorest fifth 1.5%
  • Consume 84% of all paper, the poorest fifth 1.1%
  • Own 87% of the world’s vehicle fleet, the poorest fifth less than 1%
Runaway growth in consumption in the past 50 years is putting strains on the environment never before seen.



المؤشرات الرئیسیة عن مھرجان دبــي للتسوق

Main Indicators of Dubai Shopping Festival

Title 2011 البیـــــــان
Festival Days 32 المھرجـــــان أیــام

Total Visitors ( In 000 ) 3,980 ( بالالف ) الزوار عدد إجمالي

Daily Average of Visitors 124,375 للزوار الیومي المتوسط

Total Spending ( Million AED ) 15,100 ( درھم ملیون ) الانفــــاق إجمالي

Daily Average of Spending ( Million AED) 472 ( درھم ملیون ) للانفاق الیومي المتوسط

Source : Department of Economic Development

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