S4L Book Club – Final Cheap Questions

Cognitive dissonance: The feeling of discomfort from holding two conflicting beliefs or a discrepancy between beliefs and behavior.

On one hand, I’m uncomfortable with my ignorance about what products should really cost. On another hand, I’m uncomfortable with the manipulation some sellers use to get me to buy. I think the greatest discomfort for me, though, is the cognitive dissonance I experience wanting to support the environment and fair wages but not always having the resources to do so.

What is the biggest issue for you?

I’ve been wondering what, if any, of my beliefs or behaviors have changed since reading this book. I think I feel more vulnerable to manipulative pricing and selling strategies. The psychological studies presented here convince me I’m not as immune as I’d like to be.

I think more about where my purchases come from and what they’ve gone through to reach me, and I am more interested in economics in general.

I don’t think my actual buying habits have changed, though.

How about you? Have any of your beliefs or behaviors changed as a result of reading this book?

What do you think is in store for our future economy? I don’t think I have a clue!

Do you think our Cheap Culture will carry on indefinitely? I don’t think it’s possible, but I can’t imagine what will happen next.

Cheap has inspired me to read The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times And Ideas Of The Great Economic Thinkers [7th Edition]. I’ve only just begun, but I’m liking it so far, despite the schoolish nature of it. I am terribly ignorant about economics.

For instance, I had no idea that the free market economy is a fairly new system. Prior to the current system, economics was all tied up in tradition and lifestyle; it wasn’t a thing unto itself, or perhaps it didn’t even exist. I’m barely getting my head around these ideas, so I won’t be able to explain it well.

Anyhoo, I’m compelled to learn and think about our Cheap culture more, and this book is my next step. I don’t think I can personally change any of the bad situations resulting from Cheap culture, but I will continue to do my best to act (i.e., buy) in accordance with my beliefs. Does having read Cheap compel you to do anything more or differently?

I’m oh-so-glad I read this book, and I will probably return to it in the future. How about you? Are you glad you read it?

I will begin posting questions about Olive Kitteridge on Tuesday.

Categories: Reading

1 reply »

  1. Jen, I would not have read Cheap without your/this site suggestion. While it brought me distress as a retailer, it also brought me peace as a person to just allow things to be as they are. Change is a constant in my world and whatever I do or do not do will impact that change.
    Here I am as a retailer (a career I never imagined in my early life since I was a stay at home mom) in a “Cheap” retailing world philosophy that I feel is less than truthful and actually harmful to consumers. So I have decided to just let that world philosophy be what it is and live by my internal philosophy – just as you have indicated you will do. In the end I think being true to ourselves will elicit positive change in the world. Amen