The author starts off by quoting a George Carlin routine:
That's all your house is-a place to keep your stuff. If you didn't have so much stuff, you wouldn't need a house. You could just walk around all the time. A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it, and when you leave your house, you've got to lock it up. You wouldn't want to somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. That's what your house is-a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff. Sometimes you've got to move-got to get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore." George Carlin, A Place for My Stuff 1981
Then there's this:
Since 1985, Marc Mirngoff, a professor at the Fordham Institute for Innovation in Social Policy, has published an "Index of Social Health." Combining 16 indicators -- including infant mortality, high school graduation, and homicide rates -- the index is a holistic overview of how well the country is doing with respect to its population's quality of life. Perhaps not surprising to readers on this site, as the GDP has increased, the social health of the country has gone down--dramatically. Just think about it: divorce, for example, which can be emotionally devastating, usually creates two households--two rent payments, two sets of living room furniture, two sets of kitchen dishes, where before there were one. Divorce is good for the economy.
After 9/11, we were told to go shopping.
Interesting stuff (heh). The links at the bottom led me to the website for the late 1990s PBS series Affluenza. I knew there was a book of the same name, so I looked it up on Amazon. I've been meaning to read it for a while (along with The Two Income Trap). But considering the irony of a buying a book about how we buy too much stuff...I checked it out from the library instead.