How both the economy and culture are driven by the choices we make every day

Richard Denniss talks lawn, lattes and the cult(ure) of consumption in the latest Australian Quarterly Magazine.

“20 years ago most Australians were content to choose between Nescafé or Moccona when they felt like a coffee; today millions of Australians queue to pay $4 for a flat white, a product that didn’t even exist 30 years ago. What has become known as ‘cafe culture’ is now a major determinant of the shape of the Australian economy.”

— Richard Denniss

“Why do we buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t know?“

“Just as the ancient Egyptians used their spare economic capacity to build pyramids, and the ancient Chinese built walls, modern consumer capitalism builds mountains of unused appliances, unworn clothes and uneaten food.”

“A significant shift away from consumer spending on imported clothes and new appliances and towards increased consumer spending in cafes and on appliance repair would have a significant shift on the shape of the economy and, most likely, lead to a significant increase in employment.”

an independent think-tank based in Canberra > australia.org.au

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