Most Of Our Readers Self-Identify More As Citizens Than Consumers

Happily, most of our poll’s respondents say they are citizens before they are consumers. Perhaps there is hope yet.


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  1. Buran says:

    Hello, reporters? Are you listening?

  2. Parting says:

    How come then that so few people vote?
    Isn’t it one of citizens duties?

    (aka : you get the gouverment you deserve????)

  3. Trai_Dep says:

    I hope that if this article gets the same number of comments as the last one, people don’t confuse being a citizen with being part of one registered party. Geezus, people, our founding fathers – the age of no political parties – considered themselves citizens. Quite a revolutionary concept then. Still can be now.

    Independant. Rational. Enlightened. Leery of those in power. Suspicious of concentrations of wealth and influence. Abhorance of dynasties of generational wealth. Disgust at wide disparities of wealth of our people. Opportunity for all.. Still great rules to live towards.

  4. thedreamingtree says:

    You might soon be asking what exactly you are a citizen of. Have you seen this?


  5. thedreamingtree says:

    Ah, it didn’t post the actual link, I don’t think. It was about the first North American Union drivers license created by a state.

  6. SexCpotatoes says:

    Yeah, but “The Citizenist” just doesn’t have the same melodious ring to it.

  7. catnapped says:

    @thedreamingtree: I hear it also comes with a (currently) optional implantable RFID chip.

  8. ElizabethD says:

    I am skeptical. I think respondents are in denial. Consumerism and materialism rule, people. Shopping is the number-one recreation in the U.S., whether via trips to the Mall and Target, or online buying.

  9. ncboxer says:

    @thedreamingtree: I think the article is inferring too much in a globe on the back of a license. Because the globe looks like a globe on some “North American Union” site, it must be in cahoots with them. No mention that the globe also looks like every other globe that depicts North America. I’m not denying that the logo is strange looking on the back of a license for a state, but I think the article is jumping to conclusions.

  10. Tex Goldface says:

    Have you ever heard of self-reporting bias or the halo effect? To report oneself first as a consumer over a more noble idea of a citizen would be a self-dig, which most people are loathe to do.

  11. ncboxer says:

    I think the whole concept is relative to what you think in your head. I don’t think I’m as materialistic as a lot of people, but I am to some degree. Some people could look at me say- wow you sure are materialistic, while others would look at me as being more frugal. Even people I view as super materialistic could believe in their head that they aren’t that bad and vote “I am a citizen” over “I am a consumer”.

  12. choinski says:


    While I regret that many people don’t vote or inform themselves before they vote, ‘consumers’ vote every day with every dollar spent.

    I suppose this is why quality media is pushed aside in favor of partisanship (Fox) or fluff (like much of CNN or GMA); why Hollywood gets the more attention than Washington; why people vote for leaders who are against their economic interests, in the name of ‘family values’, while they consume products overwhelmingly laced with sex and/or violence.

  13. @ElizabethD: I don’t make enough money to do any recreational shopping. Besides, the poll asked “How do you identify yourself” not “What do you spend most of your time doing”. A guy might spend most of his time at work but that doesn’t mean he thinks of himself as a paper pusher.

  14. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @thedreamingtree: It refers to an article by the infamous Christian Reconstructionist rag, World Net Daily. WND used to have some decent Libertarian-oriented writers, but the heavy-handed, fascist, insane religious ranting drowned them out and chased them off. Now they are the laughingstock of the Internet, truly the sleazy supermarket tabloid of the rabid Christian right.

  15. You-Me-Us says:

    I can’t believe no one has questioned the decision to represent citizens with a blue line and consumers with red. C’mon conspiracy nuts, pay attention!

  16. Trai_Dep says:

    …So the rabid Xtian Right has an Economist?! Do tell! :P

  17. TonyTriple says:

    I’m sorry, but that was a totally loaded question. Why the hell can’t you be both?

  18. yahonza says:

    Yeah, a ridiculous poll to begin with. Its like asking if you prefer eating ice cream or going fishing. Its not mutually exclusive in any way.

  19. krom says:

    Like I said previously, everyone (well 70% of people I guess) *thinks* they are a citizen first, but this isn’t reflected in the way people actually live. There are more people shopping on Labor Day than voting on Election Day.

  20. @TonyTriple, krom: The question was not asked in a way that made the options mutually exclusive. It asked which do you most identify with. It doesn’t say you can’t be both. Just because you like ice cream and fishing doesn’t mean you can’t say that you like ice cream more than fishing.

    @krom: But “most people” isn’t the demographic visiting this site. It could be that people who are more likely to fight back against unfair companies and keep themselves educated on consumer issues are more likely vote and keep themselves educated on political issues too. Maybe it’s just coincidence. But the poll here shouldn’t necessarily reflect the behavior of most of the United States. Besides, aren’t some commentors from outside the U.S.?

  21. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @trai_dep: Several, actually. Seriously. It’s rather amazing, given that they don’t spend their time proving that money itself is the root of all evil. Rather the opposite really.

  22. Parting says:

    Well each person is a consumer and a citizen. The important part is not to forget about either.
    Yes, we vote with our money when we shop. However, prices depend on laws and government subventions (there also safety standards). So it’s our responsibility to be both : consumers and citizens.

  23. swallowyourhalo says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: The point isn’t whether people prefer ice cream or fishing – a country gets where it is today ONLY when people statistically choose to sit on their fat asses eating ice cream rather than doing something (even moderately) physical like fishing. Or specifically, when people act on their material desires more often and more directly than they tend to act on their political desires and concerns.