Producer Vs. Consumer

Which party is more to blame for the problem (assume that there is indeed a problem)?

  • The producer of a popular but shitty product or service?
  • The consumer of the same shitty product or service?
0 voters

An easy example to consider for this question would be pornography. Assuming that porn is indeed a problem (which is questionable) who exactly would be to blame? The porn is available, so why should the consumer be blamed for buying into it? But on the flip side isn’t it the fault of the producer for poisoning our society with its filth?

The illegal drug industry is a good one too. Providers or users? Who’s worse? In either case, drugs or porn, I don’t think that both are to blame equally. The blame is shifted to the consumer side, because the business or industry would not be able to get a toe-hold from the start if it weren’t for its first few customers. If there is a problem with something all that has to be done is not take part in it and it will eventually and inevitably go away (I mean everyone, not just the one person who doesn’t like it).

Then there’s guns, prostitution, The Jerry Springer Show, “professional” wrestling, Head-On (apply directly to the forehead), pet rocks, yada yada yada…

Of course there has to be a consensus on what it means for something to be “a problem”. If there is no problem then case closed, no discussion. But guns physically harm people, pet rocks don’t do shit, Jerry Springer is a lousy excuse for television programming, people are killed or sent to prison over illegal drugs, porn has a history of being emotionally damaging to otherwise healthy relationships… There is at least a glimmer of problem somewhere in these. It’s either the consumer or the producer?

Or is it the critic of the product or service that the blame rests upon? After all, you’re fine with your porn, right? “Who’s this asshole to say there is a problem? There’s only a problem with it because he’s saying there’s a problem. What’s the freakin’ problem anyway?!?”

The consumer is reponsible for what he consumes. The producer puts out his product in hopes that people will consume, but he does not know for sure. And because everyone is not a creator, nor would have the time and skill to create all their needs or wants, the producer must employ a select few to do the creating. Advertisements are bought in hopes of bringing the product to the attention of the consumer.

This mass production aspect and advertising angers a lot of people, but I don’t think they are being realistic about the situation and how not everyone is a creator or has time to do everything. The culture industry does seem to be a fact of massive civilization for the time being.

Anyway, I see the consumer as very maleable and accepting. Like with music or fashion trends, consumers will usually buy what is put out and you see that they change every so many years or over a generations.
But I think if these same people were born into a different generation, they’d just as likely buy into the music or fashion of that time. Or if the music and fashion of their generation were different, they’d be different.

In this sense, one might get upset at the producers for not creating a better fashion of the times. Maybe one believes they have more responsibility, being the “gatekeepers” of the new cultural fabric.

As of now, I still hold the consumers responsible for what they buy. It’s a very interesting subject though and very important to dwell upon in times of massive civilization.

For a different perspective, consider unicycles. There are consumers and producers of them. The population of unicycle consumers is (unfortunately) very small. And I think it’s safe to say that anyone who does not ride unicycles (at least the majority) would opt to not consume because he or she thinks the activity is some derivative of “weird”.

But why wouldn’t a non-uni-rider call it wrong and harmful to society for people to ride unicycles? Given two product/services such as prostitution and unicycles, what grounds do people go off of when determining that one is definitely wrong, and the other is… not wrong.

I am not sure if it can be a simply binary decision as to whom is to blame, but I will throw my vote more towards the producer than the consumer.

The producer produces whatever we are discussing, thus the problem must necessarily start there. There would not be a drug problem if there were no drugs. As a producer there decision to create a problem (even if not regarded as such) is often a conscious one, where the producer understands (to some degree or another) the problems that can arise out of it. It is with the release of the product that the problems arise, not the consumption.

Not to say the the producer is entirely responsable, but in a case such as illegal drugs without a source there would be no problem.

Both are to blame, but, more often than not, it is the producer.

In the case of consumers it depends on the person consuming and their reasons.

In the case of the producer it depends on the psychology of their marketing, also the free marketing that previous users provide through word of mouth.

Also the nessesity of the product, as most ‘‘problem products’’ are addictive which means they make the user happy. So, if the user is in need of happiness in the case of first time buyers, or after that in need of a fix, then the producer is to blame because the person(the persons mind)thinks it needs it to survive and the producer exploits this.

I will vote for the producers.

You’ve got a lot of balls(not sexual) in the air here.

But let me give you another one. Ever watch Dateline NBC? What do we do when the Government produces and sells vice to citizens with the intent that purchase concedes guilt…

Clearly, the message is the consumer is to blame there.

About hookers, well here we sort of come to master/slave morals. In the slave world prostitution looks bad with crack heads, street walkers and so forth. It is easy to understand why a community, no matter the religion, will oppose the selling of that service. However, the millionare madam tells us the market for such services has depth. The authorities appear to go after the john in one instance and the madam in the other.

Consumers consume, producers would not produce if there were not a market for its consumption, this goes for all marketable things.

Consumers cause the problems, they can just turn their backs to it, they can just say no, they can do something else. I don’t see a lot of producers out there with guns pointed at people in the malls and other public purchasing places. Drug dealers/makers don’t normally force people to buy from them. They are not exactly door to door salesmen. People go to them not the other way around.

I hold people responsible for their own thoughts, vices and actions. If you can make a legal contract you are or should be responsible. If you do the wrong thing, hopefully you learn and won’t do it again but, if you do, don’t cry to me that you got screwed. I sure don’t blame others when I have stupid attacks.

If you have an average IQ at the very least you can avoid being screwed if you just use your brains for something other than Bugs Bunny rerun searches. If you finished at least the 5th grade yo have enough knowledge to figure out what is right and what is wrong. It does not take a great amount of education to figure out that: Giving money to someone else for a gadget will leave me broke. Its simple 5th grade math

3 - 4 = -1 How hard is that?

Oh wait we don’t want the masses to think for themselves, our leaders must do that and protect them from themselves. Baaaahhhh phooey! Let adults be adults and behave as adults and take the consequences as adults.

Yes, in a perfect situation where produces merely produced their product this would apply… but are you naive enough to believe this is just so? Producers put as much effort into advertising as they do into production: the guns pointed in people’s faces are not physical, but mental. It is the manipulation that is the problem: people without interference could turn their backs, after years of product advertisment they aren’t exactly at 100% resistance to the lure of the products.

But the impulse to buy is often not that simple, the way products are marketed there is either an urgency that people feel is above money (such as for unnecessary medical treatment), a social status that cannot be compared/is relative to money (a new Hummer) or simply has become to addictive to be considered in monetary terms (tobacco products). People understand that they loose money when they buy crap, but with the options explored by producers the loss of money is often outweighed in people with manipulation.

Yes, as soon as products have full disclosure on effects and no manipulative advertisments then let adults be responsable for their own choices. Until then adults aren’t at capacity to be able to be fully responsable (at best) for their actions due to the producers.

B.C. There is a channel on TV that I think you will find quite interesting. If you have cable or Sat TV. Its called Freespeech. I listen to it a few times a week. It is an incredible station

This is its website.

Yesterday afternoon I had to sit down and watch it. All subtitles. It was about an organization of women in Argentina. Their Gov’t was trying to wipe out the small farmers by drowning them in interest from mortgages and loans. The Gov’t wished to Auction the repoed land to international companies for more money than they could ever dream about.

These farming women gathered together, stopped auctions and repos and have forced the Gov’t to recalculate loans etc. All by peaceful marching and protests, Thousands of women across the country got together and protected each other. They faced arrest, brutality, threats , etc… they became a movement of solidarity.

B.C. I respect that and am humbled by that. They, the downtrodden, got up off their butts and changed their world. That type of action sustains itself and creates a heartier stronger human and community.

The Gov’t doing it for the people weakens them, makes them apathetic. they have no responsibility for themselves, their living is just that, living.

Check out free speech B.C. I think it will move you, it does me.

The problem with the notion of individual responsibility is that much of this deals with group dynamics. If a Wal*Mart comes to town and 90-odd percent of people start shopping there, me and my granola friends aren’t going to be enough to keep the other businesses in operation. This is especially important because most people aren’t rational agents in situations like this, which makes sense since we all have a lot going on in our lives so we can’t know everything, right?

So, the individual is very limited in terms of their actual impact as compared to groups of people and the groups are often driven by uninformed individuals. I mean, what isn’t to like about $1.99 tube-socks? Why wouldn’t most busy people want a one-stop-shopping center? Given the information they have, these choices seem perfectly rational at the time but the fallout of these choices leads to a suboptimal conclusion.

This becomes especially important when we look at it from the producer’s perspective. Because they are specifically not marketing at individuals, the goal is to get as many customers as possible. That invariably means catering to the lowest common denominator. Sure, you alienate a few snobs in the process (and they will be branded snobs for rejecting the everyman’s product) but you manage to attract most everybody else. And because of the limited nature of the market, the Wal*Marts of the world, with their shitty, shitty products force most other genuine businesses out and while some remain in a niche capacity, the overall quality of the product has dropped.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

I disagree that capitalism will and must reduce consumerism to rational pricing in every circumstance.

If that were the case, Benz would fold today. So would Nike, so would Saks, so would Whole Foods, Pioneer TV’s, etc…

Capitalism has allowed that which has been the relegation of birth in so many societies- choice of class.

Ahhh, but those are targeted and designed for the luxury class.

Luxury items have always obeyed different rules from staples.

Ironically, a decline in quality of the latter allows for an expanded definition of the former. Now that is good for business!

Distribution is a feign existance of distributing by factitious moral economical emblems of the monetary abstract.

Consumerism is a dependent insanity of consumption where no survival exists period.

Humanity keeps playing the harp of chimerical monstrocities.

But you raised an argument; that capitalism when directed at mass consumption, is a race to the bottom. AKA WAL-MART in small town America.

What I am suggesting is that there is not a race to a bottom, nor a one size fits all market. Retailing against them is certainly a mistake, if you intend to sell Chinese made tube socks. It is not if your retail offer is something more. Wal mart is consolidating disparate products that a consumer of a certain dynamic will buy. I should also state the last time I went in one Wal-Mart it was almost 100% minority. I think check cashing is a big thing they are rolling out in stores as a matter of fact.


The quality of the food at something like “Whole Foods” or a similar store is generally inferior to what I can find at a local farmer’s market. The char sui bao that I can pick up at Trader Joe’s is of inferior quality to what I can grab at a Chinese market/local ethnic foods store.

Even luxury items are subject to this downward push.

I understand now, I think. This might be better called “Mass production can be a race to the bottom”…

Have you not noticed a small slow growing trend? There are towns and small cities rejecting Large chain stores , specifically Wally world and Sam’s Club. I have noticed every year one or two towns more than the previous year have voted to not give them licenses. Of course this goes up in smoke when the next town over does.

Grass roots movements are generally slow to catch on but, they do move.
Wal- Mart has made a huge miscalculation, at least in the stores around here they have. They pissed off consumers. More and more if people do shop at Walmarts it is only for bulk items. Out of the three around here the only wally that has had little or no impact is the one in a major city. the ones in the towns or small cities has lost a big chunk of the consumer’s grocery and item budget. Why? they hiked prices up and quality has gone down on certain goods. Bulk is about the only thing that has not changed.

And bulk is not what the smaller local stores specialize in. Saturdays and Sundays are huge days for Wallys, parking spots are at premiums right? Well not anymore. And that is three stores here, just here alone. If there is a consumer dissatisfaction even if it is so small would it not be showing up elsewhere?

People may be slow to move but, considering how massive the population is how can it be otherwise? Each person must pick up their own feet and move, they must make their decisions and be responsible. All this takes time, we did not get to problems overnight. Quality is being noticed, right now the fringes of society are seeing this and they are the ones that must begin the move.

The animal that is in the center of the herd can’t see the pack of wolves on the outside of the herd. Why expect them too? They see no problems and sense no problems, so why tell them there is a problem? They have all they need right in front of them, they don’t see their neighbors moving, heck even if that one animal believes you, it can’t move. The ones on the outside closest to the pack can react. Most important, they have to be the ones to react first to get any movement out of their herd.

This holds true with such a massive society of humans.