Juliet Schor believes all private consumption is a substitute for an alternative use of economic resources.
And what are those alternatives? Instead of private consumption, one can save money, take leisure or pay for more public consumption.
The excessive orientation to private consumption has squeezed these other things, which I would argue yield more welfare to people once they reach the middle class.
More savings, more leisure time and more public consumption would raise wellbeing more than extra TVs, cashmere sweaters and shifting from a regular car to an SUV.