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IELTS Speaking Part 3 Idea: TOPIC 14 CONSUMERISM

1. Does living in a consumer society a improve people’s quality of life?
Living in a consumer society improves people’s quality of life as:
• a person’s standard of living is valued by his or her material possessions
• the high level of consumption, the pleasure and joy of possession and the accumulation of material goods are often associated with prosperity, sense of happiness and fulfilment in life
• economic indicators related to production and consumption are used to define the well-being and quality of life in societies
• rising consumption helps people meet their basic needs as well as creates jobs.
Living in a consumer society worsens people’s quality of life as:
• the huge rise in resource consumption has led to global inequality and an ever widening gap between the rich and the poor
• consumption produces garbage
• their wants and desires increase make them feel dissatisfied when they can’t fulfill them
• thefts become common and daylight robberies take place
• personal relationships get affected as people are busy trying to earn more to maintain their standard of living
• people are incurring debt and working longer hours to pay for the high-consumption lifestyle, consequently spending less time with family and friends.
2. Does consumerism have any impact on the environment?
Consumerism has a negative impact on the environment as:
• Earth suffers as consumerism spreads
• we are already consuming resources at an alarming rate and more quickly than our planet is able to replenish
• the need to produce more and more goods leads to more pollutant emissions, increased land-use and deforestation, and accelerated climate change
• we are experiencing devastating effects on the planet’s water supplies as more and more water is used as a part intensive farming procedure
• waste disposal is becoming a problem worldwide, and our oceans are slowly but surely becoming a giant waste disposal pit
• most of the environmental issues we see today can be linked to consumption.
3. What are the benefits and drawbacks of consumerism for a country’s economy?
The pros of consumerism:
• stimulates economic growth
• creates a never-ending cycle of buying and selling which allows the economy to grow
• the more goods are produced and consumed by society, the higher the growth rate of the economy is
• increased production levels lead to more jobs
• additional employment leads to better wages in local communities
• encourages freelancing and self-employment.
The cons of consumerism:
• the more consumerism spreads, the weaker is the incentive to manufacture long-lasting, quality products, and the greater is the likelihood that cheaply made products will instead be imported from the lowest-wage, environmentally unregulated overseas manufacturers
• loss of manufacturing jobs leads to a corresponding growth in unemployment and the number of welfare recipients. less personal wealth, a shrinking tax base, fewer public services and greater public and private debt, hopelessness for job seekers and a growing negative balance of trade.

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