Overconsumption In America Essay

1038 words - 4 pages


According to our reader, "there seems to be an inverse relationship between GDP and the quality of life. The more GDP grows, the more the quality of life deteriorates. This made me think about how much Americans waste food and natural resources. For example, FOX had a show, where people tried to out eat each other. The glutton and wastefulness was appalling, and at the same time, entertaining to some.
     There's an epidemic sweeping the country. It's not your typical virus, but rather a /highly contagious disease of epidemic
overconsumption, and the symptoms include compulsive shopping, high debt, overwork, inability to delay gratification, a sense of entitlement, obsession with externals and "having it all," wastefulness, and stress. The disease is called affluenza, which is derived from the word "affluence," meaning: "a : an abundant flow or supply: PROFUSION b : abundance of property : WEALTH."
     According to affluenza.org, The average adult spends more time shopping each week than s/he spends with his or her children. "More Americans visit shopping malls on Sunday than go to church. More Americans file for bankruptcy each year than graduate from college. The average American home is more than twice as large as it was in the
1950s, yet the average family is smaller. We work longer, have less time for families, and are more stressed out." In a recent interview, i read that President George Bush was told that American consumers need to cut down on their overconsumption of food, energy and consumer products in order to protect the world from environmental degradation. The argument was that an average American family of four, for example,
consume much more than an average extended family of eight or ten in India or Mexico. Overconsumption was, therefore, as destructive as overpopulation, but the US kept pointing its finger at developing nations urging them to curb their population growth while refusing to
yield to the consumption demand. Bush stated, "The American lifestyle is not up for negotiations," It seems that the American economy, after all, thrives on overconsumption, and Americans would, therefore, continue to consume recklessly irrespective of what the
world thinks of them.

     Even during the global oil crisis of the mid-1970s, Americans hardly changed their lifestyles - except to temporarily abandon their gas-guzzlers in favor of mid-sized compact cars. Even that has changed. in class, the subject of SUV's has been discussed. Even if
Americans have changed to more gas-efficient cars, this trend is changing. Who would have thought in these delicate environmental times that the public could be sold a popular mode of transport. On the news recently, it was stated that SUV's use one-third more fuel and creates 75 per cent more pollution than ordinary cars? And...

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