Affluenza An Unhappy Relationship With Money

1759 words - 7 pages

Affluenza- An unhappy relationship with money

Causes & Cures

In this essay I plan to analyze a dangerous disease that is infecting people through the U.S. This disease is called affluenza it is very contagious and once infected with the disease it is difficult to unseat. Affluenza us characterized as an unhealthy relationship with money, swollen expectations and trying to keep up with the Joneses. Affluenza creates stress, bankruptcies, and causes problems in relationships. Although, there are some people who have a different definition for affluenza. Many people find affluenza to be a rich man's disease and have responded by suggesting that the world has bigger problems without have to feel sorry for the rich. I would contend that affluenza that affluenza can be cured and maybe prevented. In analyzing affluenza I hope to shed insight those possibilities.

There is a disease that is sweeping the U.S. at an alarming pace. It is called affluenza it is very contagious and growing at frightening rates. In 1997, an amazing 1.1 million debt plagued spenders filed for personal bankruptcy that was a 28.6% increase from '96. Economists predict another 1.6 million to file by the end of this fiscal year, (Shop 'til We Drop [STWD], 1997). These are two vivid examples of the amazing rate at which affluenza is growing. These numbers are occurring despite the strong economy and perhaps because of it. With the economy in the U.S. going so well credit card companies are issuing more credit. Consumers are then using their new found credit to buy without even thinking of how they will pay for the products. They get the credit cards because of the appealingly low 5.9% introductory rate and go for it, but the credit card companies usually run those rates up to 18% or more in the first six months before the consumer pays off the purchase, (Insight into the News IIN, 1997). This in turn leads consumers into over extending themselves. Although 96% of all consumers are using credit cards responsibly according to American Bankers Association '97, the typical person who files for bankruptcy takes home less than $20,000 a year and has more than $17,000 in credit charges and of that's not overextending oneself what is. It seems that debt and affluenza go hand in hand and that combination can't be good for relationships.

Affluenza causes hardship in all types of relationships especially families. In looking at affluenza as a disease and how contagious it is one wouldn't want his or her family to catch it. But, sadly enough many families get affluenza and it consumes them and the final product is surely not The Waltons. An example of this is a women named Julie, 24, who filed for bankruptcy last year when harassing phone calls from creditors and high monthly credit card payments overwhelmed her. The mother of a 7 week-old child, she erased more than $20,000 of debt, most of which was run up by her affluenza infected former boyfriend who charged clothes and took...

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