Media and politicians would have us believe that consumerism is good for “the economy”.
Most consumption is done at chain stores.
The majority of the durable goods (and a high percentage of food and other consumables as well) stocked at the majority of chain stores is imported.
That money only increases the American trade deficit.
Of course a percentage also goes to the corporation which owns the store.
This money goes to those people who have a significant amount of stock in chain retail stores.
Since most manufacturing jobs have been outsourced for cheaper labor, the only jobs this supports are the generally low-paying and benefit-free retail sales and stocking jobs.
What they really mean when they say “its good for the economy” is that it supports the people who own stock.
Because, ultimately, there is no such thing as “the economy”.
There is only people.
People have more or less money.
To a large extent value is created when skilled people make valuable things out of cheaper raw materials.
But a lot of economics also has to do with transferring wealth from some people to others.
When we transfer wealth to those who already have it, by shopping, or with government bailouts, its called supporting the economy.
When we transfer wealth to those who actually need it, its called communism.
Unless you buy exclusively from independent retailers selling exclusively US made goods, shopping has no beneficial effect on “the economy”.