A 38-year-old man named Tao decided to kill himself rather than put up with his girlfriend’s shoe shopping.
Tao told his girlfriend that “she already had enough shoes, more shoes that she could wear in a lifetime and it was pointless buying any more,” according to a witness. Tao was then accused of “spoiling Christmas,” and the shouting match likely would have continued had Tao not chosen that moment to hurl himself over the seventh-story balcony.
Tao fell through elaborate christmas decorations and crashed into a shopping stall on the mall’s ground level, injuring no one but himself in the process. He died on impact.
The PRC doesn’t just need consumers, it needs middle-class cultural values to keep those consumers from killing themselves. That means it needs to restrict Western-style hedonism and build a better version of consumerism.
We can hope that the PRC will be home to part of the worldwide resurgence of heirloom consumerism, but hope is not a plan. Regardless of whether the PRC succeeds in that regard, people all over the world have to take action to buy things that will last for decades of hard use.