Consumerism as Patriotism

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

How 9/11 convinced Americans to buy, buy, buy:

This version of patriotism — consumer patriotism — was on full display after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93 in 2001. The message from political leaders was that the way for Americans to move past the tragedy and overcome their fears was to spend money and spur the economy.

Kinda related, back in March 2020 when Covid made Americans go, "oh, this is actually happening here?" people stopped going out to eat, they only bought essentials, and they were holding onto their money because the future was uncertain. This "stop going out to eat all the time, don't buy shit you don't need, and save as much money as you can," advice is pretty common, so it's slightly funny when people start doing that in large numbers, suddenly it's a crisis and leaders need to get out there and say "SPEND YOUR MONEY!"

Dear reader, please note I understand this sub-100 word blog post does not contain all the nuance of the U.S. economy.