THE WASTE MAKERS by Vance Packard


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Another consumer report shows how we overbuy- once we've been persuaded- as industry, facing the ""specter of glut"" for the products they have to sell, force feeds the public through a variety of pressures and mechanisms. These include ""growthmanship"" or needling purchasing appetites; throwaway strategy such as the ""disposable"" concept; and planned obsolescence, whether through styling or the calculated perishability of the product. The artificial aspects are far more extensive and there are sham elements in pricing, servicing, packaging, financing, commercializing to make the hard sell easy and promote prodigality. And the dollar sign on the price tag is not the only price to be paid-- our national resources are being destroyed along with our individual character and our family patterns. Few people will argue with the fact that not the affluent but the superabundant society is at the same time impoverished by its creature comforts -- that its economy is dangerous and its values gutted, and Vance Packard has a barrage of assorted facts and figures as well as a large body of opinion to support him. His problem will be whether this has quite the revelation impact of The Hidden Persuaders or the de-snob comeuppance of The Status Seekers. Without any test marketing facilities, (one might think not) but Packard's name assures a definite initial interest.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1960
Publisher: David McKay