As global numbers of consumers continually grow, the concept of consumerism as well continues to gain premise in mainstream corporate interactions. This is in reaction to the impression that consumers appear to be in a more vulnerable position compared to traders when it comes to the purchase of goods or services.
The concept of consumerism may be understood in different ways. But, one way is through the belief that sellers of these goods or services would want the consumers to exclusively maintain their position as purchasers and never adopt, say, the position of the complainant; a factor that often denies them their rights in the business dealings. Essentially, in this case, Alexander Djerassi believes consumerism to be the protection and promotion of the interests of consumers in a marketplace.
According to Robert K Bratt, it is otherwise defined as the collective drive by consumers in a quest for amends or redress due to their discontentment with the goods or services they purchase.
It further can be said to be a sort of demonstration by the consumers against what they perceive as unfair practices by businesses such as hoarding of goods or services, mislabeling and misbranding of products, misleading advertising and packaging, warranties that do not work, and untrue prices of the products or services, among others.
The advent of consumerism was and is still driven by the impression that consumers are a downtrodden lot. Products’ prices have been rising disproportionately compared to the worth of the goods or services to which they are ascribed, these goods or services often then end up being of much poorer quality and do not perform to consumer expectations, adverts misleading the consumers and sometimes not saying enough to make the consumer make informed decisions, and labels on packages being insincere about the products, among other factors continue to drive the consumerism concept. All these are ways through which sellers exploit the consumers. Consumerism, therefore, seeks to eliminate or diminish the discontentment that consumers experience when they feel exploited by the sellers. It also strives to protect the consumers’ interests in any deals they engage in with traders, and ensure that these merchants become ethical enough to heed and deliver as per their pledges and the consumers’ expectations.
When he helped found Mos.com, a premier program keen on financially empowering individuals particularly college students looking for grants and scholarships, entrepreneur, and diplomat Alexander Djerassi, through the program sought to offer these students all the assistance required to ensure they avoid being trapped in costly student loans and debts. He felt that it would be prudent to focus on the needs of the consumer; in this case, the college students, to ensure that later in their after-college lives, they are never subjugated by heavy student debts. Also, an attorney by profession, Djerassi who is the foreign policy expert on US policy towards the Middle East and North Africa has held onto this mantra in his career as a public servant. Ever since the years after he graduated from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, the former visiting associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who was born and bred in California, distinguished himself as someone who was constantly ready to work for the betterment of others. And this involved affording them reparation opportunities.