When governments and central banks are actively encouraging people to consume as a means to grow the economy, they want to see "consumers" back in the high street and shopping malls.
What does this word consumer actually mean though, the word that we are labelled with? Well if you delve into the Oxford English Dictionary, the meaning of the word "consumer" has been twisted. In its first entry, back in the mid 1500's, it referred to "one who squanders and wastes".
Think about that the next time you are trudging up the high street or surfing the internet for the latest gadget.