While one can convincingly argue that a significant share of medical care is discretionary in nature, for purposes of this exploration we consider medical care, housing, and household operations essential expenditures in the services category. In the nondurable category, we categorize food and clothing as essential. Finally, among durables, we classify only spending on furniture and household equipment as essential, though, like medical care, a significant portion of spending in that category is discretionary in nature. Excluding consumer spending that is allocated to essentials, over 30 percent of consumer spending in 2000, or $2,812.5 billion, was discretionary spending. That is more than gross private domestic investment ($1,767.5 billion) and government consumption expenditures and gross investment ($1,741 billion), the other two segments that make up the national gross domestic product.