I'll be concise for the sake of everything really. Our free market is based at least on some precipice that players in this economy will behave rationally and in their best interest. Each person will purchase, consume, produce, trade, invest, in a way that logically is to their benefit. Having a free market that allows us to act logically with countless other players involved can drastically fuel our growth. As players purchase or sell for items that are logical to do so with or trade in a way that is mutually beneficial, the overall economy can grow.
|Look at all them actors behaving in the global economy!|
The main problem with this is that we don't often behave that logically anymore in our economy. In our consumer based economy, we are continually using our funds to buy or purchase things that are not that useful and are thus not that logical to invest in. The major forces in play that cause irrational economic behavior is the billions of dollars spent on marketing (464 billion is one number given in 2011).
One might say that as actors, we're just idiots if we act based on marketing versus our logical interest. To some extent now we have to develop our ability as a populace to find ways to give as little cognitive effort to much of this marketing. However, companies would not spend this sheer sum if it wasn't effective, and obviously decades of growth and research in the Marketing industry have made them very good.
|Look at what everyone is able to build through effective marketing strategies! Huzzah!|
For many people, advertisements are probably one of the largest sources of information (albeit skewed, biased, or sometimes blatantly false) that they receive billions of dollars are spent advertising to children as they then become a major influence on their parents to buy things and literally don't have parts of their brains to understand the falseness and ill logic of whatever message an ad is touting.
Every child comes out ahead after watching this ad!
Nothing that advanced here or new, except to say that so much of society is continually trying to fuck you. Everyday, message after message in a wide swath of formats, colors, camouflages and guises, you are a target by some institution to spend money on something that wouldn't be that logical for you to spend money on.
Much of this leads to success for multi-billion dollar industries in things that simply harm us as a society. The fast-food, tobacco, casino, soft-drinks industries; all multi-billion dollars in pedaling bad things.
|The crossroads where Marketing Av.and Strategy St. lead to horseshit lane (sorry not that clever/ productive)|
People would counter that these industries thrives as consumers choose to but their products and thus it is the nature of humans to do this. I would counter that again, these are industries that rely on effective marketing to be so prevalent in getting people to behave poorly for themselves. Mind you, these vices do attract to us in a basal way, but without the forces of marketing (and marketing to kids) their size would be inordinately smaller. Joseph Stiglitz, wrote similarly (as many others have I assume) in his hit and feisty piece "The Price of Inequality".
"...mainstream economics assumes that individuals have well defined preferences and fully rational expectations and perceptions. Individuals know what they want.But in this respect traditional economics is wrong. If it were true, there would be little scope for advertising. (147)"