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Affluenza Essay, Research Paper

Affluenza is the unhappy condition of overload debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more, and unfortunately it is taking the nation by storm. Greed and materialism plant the seed to this dreaded disease that effects people of all classes. Today’s society has imprinted the idea of “buy more” into our heads through every form of media possible. The average person will see over one million advertisements by the age of twenty. We are let on to believe that we cannot be happy without certain products or goods. “More, more, more” seems to be the motto of most Americans, but the fact is that Americans say that happiness reached it’s peak in 1957. How could this be when the average household possessed less than half as much as a household today. Most garages today are larger than the average home in the 60’s, Our economy cars have more than luxury cars did, and we fly almost twenty times as much. If we continue our rate of consumption, the planet will simple be unable to replenish its resources fast enough.

Affluenza creates many problems ranging from personal to societal. More than a billion dollars is spent annually on advertising towards children. Not so surprisingly 65% of Parents sat their children are vary materialistic and possessive. Bankruptcy has become an everyday word, financial problems are leading to increased divorce rates, and the Mall has become the center of cities. In fact 75% of people will attend a mall within a week. Even at the mall people participate in mostly reckless impulse buying, and end up paying more than they have too. The rate of volunteering is dropping, in the fact remains that consumerism is a poor substitute for family..

Is there a cure for Affluenza? There might be. Your best bet is to use your resources wisely, and don’t throw money at your problems. In fact, 86% of people who have cut back on expenses say that they are happier, and more satisfied. Consider what you really need, and what you simply want. Keep in mind the opportunity costs of what you’re doing. Ask yourself if the item you want is worth all the extra hours of work.

There are both good things, and bad things concerning Americans spending habits today. One of the benefits of it is that the economy is up, and doing great. On the other hand we are consuming way to many resources. We use over twenty tons of raw materials annually, we throw away seven million cars a year, and two million plastic bottles every hour. We earn twice as much as in the 50’s and 60’s, and saved half as much. We are consuming our resources to quickly and soon we will exhaust them. The only global cure for this problem is for people to open their eyes and realize that happiness does not reside in material possessions.


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