Does the Breton Woods System encourage unchecked consumerism?



  1. 0 Votes

    Yes. The Bretton Woods system’s most crippling legacy is that it made the entire global financial system dependent on fiat (or government) money, which is inherently propped up by debt. Moreover, it made the world dependent on the debt-fueled dollar (the world’s reserve currency), which, unlike gold and other precious commodities, has no built-in checks on runaway inflation and, again unlike a gold standard, encourages the production of debt. Of course, history shows that too much debt (or excessive leverage) encourages excessive borrowing, which leads to excessive consumption. 

  2. 0 Votes

    The intention behind the Bretton Woods system was to smooth out global economic conflict. It reduced international currency to the gold standard, so every country measured its currency against the value of gold. This created a fixed exchange rate between nations for international trade. 

    In an indirect way, it has led to over-consumption, as mromain points out. However, I think that there are other variables to consider when attempting to measure why “unchecked consumerism” is popular. I am assuming that you are speaking on Western consumerism, like in the US. I think that the religious practices deserve analysis on this front, as it is possible that people consume material items to fulfill an empty spiritual purpose. I will not continue this discussion right now, but I do think that it could be one valuable variable.

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