I'm linking to my FreemanOnline column today as it deals with the issue of why consumption is not the key to economic growth and the point that it only became a fixation of economists since the Keynesian revolution. Thus:
The great irony is that leftists frequently argue that capitalism equals “consumerism.” They think defenders of free markets believe that more consumption promotes economic growth; thus we are charged with providing the ideological cover that justifies the consumerism they see as deadening lives and wasting resources. What the leftist critics miss is that economists never saw consumption as the driving force of economic growth and prosperity until the Keynesian criticisms of free markets became ascendant.
Feel free to comment here or there.