The role of language in business varies from culture to culture. And as the economy goes through greater prosperity, marketing takes hold at generating more interest and demand, even for goods we don’t fundamentally “need”.
Just recently, while in a bookstore section where they sell little gifts and trinkets, my wife mentioned to me “the thing I love about bookstores is this section where they sell such beautiful things”. To which I responded “that’s exactly what I dislike because they have such nice little things that makes you feel like buying them but they are completely useless!”
We had spoken perhaps too loudly because the lady beside us let out a huge laughter and said, “Spoken like a true man!” We all had a big laugh together and I proceeded to the books section. Where I picked up The Big Con.
Part of modern capitalism is marketing and it can have the same effect as what Mariana Mazzucato is describing about big consulting firms “hollowing” out governments, creating dependencies and weakening the public sector capabilities. Modern consumerism “hollows” each of our lives out by getting us to focus on our ability to earn the most money, purchase or outsource everything else, stifling our abilities to seek and generate the very happyness we are pursuing that the economy tries to sell us.
The very thesis of Mariana can be generalised further into the other product and services markets. The question maybe is about restricting our purist economic thinking to only certain domains and not others.