It now makes economic sense to convince the populace to live alone. Singles consume 38% more produce, 42% more packaging, 55% more electricity and 61% more gas per capita than four-person households, according to a study by Jianguo Liu of Michigan State University. In the US, never-married single people in the 25-to-34 age bracket, now outnumber married people by 46%, according to the Population Reference Bureau. And divorce is a growth market: one broken family means that two households have to buy two cars, two washing machines, two TVs. The days of the nuclear family as ideal consumption unit are over.
As capitalism sinks into stagnation, corporations have realised that there are two new growth strands – firstly, in the emerging singles market and secondly in encouraging divorce and the concept of individual freedom. This can be seen in changes in advertising, with products as diverse as burgers and holidays being targeted towards singles – in particular single women. New ads for Honda and Citibank expound solitary self-discovery and relationship postponement over coupledom.
I want you to know that my solitary self-discovery has led me to consume so many vegetables that I have managed to keep chard alive in my garden bed through August. I also regularly turn all the lights on and off in my house JUST BECAUSE. I try not to drive anywhere because Texans are crazy drivers, but maybe just because I’m a single woman, more gas burns because I’m in it with the A/C on full-blast and the windows down. Go, Capitalism!
OK, but just when you think this won’t get any dumber, here we go:
The irony is that it’s now more radical to attempt to be in a long-term relationship and a long-term job, to plan for the future, maybe even to attempt to have children, than it is to be single. Coupledom, and long-term connections with others in a community, now seem the only radical alternative to the forces that will reduce us to isolated, alienated nomads, seeking ever more temporary ‘quick fix’ connections with bodies who carry within them their own built-in perceived obsolescence.
The solution: Get radical, get hitched, demand commitment from partners and employers. Say no to the seductions of the disposable singles market.
So my guess is that Morrison is either happily married/coupled or still single because he publishes things like this. I’m also willing to bet that maybe he has a point abroad, but I certainly don’t get the sense that there’s any disposable singles market in the U.S. But that’s probably because I’m not doing my job living up to his random assessment of radicalism.