Essay on Germany 's Gross Domestic Product

1579 Words Nov 17th, 2015 7 Pages
Although Germany’s gross domestic product remains high due to successful exports and a large population of producers and consumers, German spending trends reflect a transition away from materialism. This trend has historical roots, such as the Nazi era, when leaders promoted a similar mentality of abstaining from material luxuries in order to eliminate the concern of selfishness. Instead, Nazi leaders encouraged citizens to value their nation above all else. After enduring various forms of restrictive oppression throughout the greater portion of the 20th century, Germany’s reunification in 1990 established a tone of justice and greater individual freedom. At that time, Germans found themselves in a position to engage in extravagant purchases purely for the sake of pleasure and thus many pursued materialism. While Germans enjoyed an initial splurge in materialism, recent spending trends demonstrate a decline in this pattern and a larger percentage of savings from disposable incomes. Although a previously inflicted ideal, Germans now choose to abstain from indulgence in material quantity, and instead practice simplicity. Foremost, it is prudent to emphasize the difference between consumption and materialism. Russell Belk, a research professor focused on marketing and consumer trends, analyzed the relationship between these terms and explained that materialism is not strictly identified as “the act of consuming things, but the way that we regard such consumption.” Consumption,…

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