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American Consumerism

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Is Consumerism the Answer to America’s Faulting Lifestyles? Images and suggestions of classism, wealth, and status are rather common sights. Impulse is the ultimate killer. We give in to the things we need the least and we give in to that impulse because we are force fed the image that those impulses or needless purchases will gain us a certain amount of respect or an image that will be admired by others (Cain). It’s hard to make a living in most places, especially cities like New York where the minimum wage is $8.75 an hour yet the average rent is over $3000. How is it possible to live an average life and seek social acceptance while trying to stay up to date on the latest trend and trying to maintain a positive image. In today’s time staying …show more content…
Most unnecessary purchases are bought with credit cards because they allow us to spend large amounts of money without actually having that money. You hear so many stories of people who max out multiple credit cards at a time and sadly they spend years struggling to pay them off to only begin the cycle once again. Most things we own have an almost nonexistent monetary value after only a few months of owning them. Things are updated so frequently that by the time you purchase your newest smartphone or notebook computer you are already six months behind in technology because it is a constant cycle of pushing out the best and the newest exclusive products to tempt consumers to update to those newer much more “improved” items. There is research that goes into the damaging effects caused by credit cards such is exemplified in Amy Novotney’s What’s behind American …show more content…
“Here in the West, a lifestyle of unnecessary spending has been deliberately cultivated and nurtured in the public by big business.”. David Cain talks about in his article Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed that the reason we unnecessarily spend so much is to make up for things that seem to be lacking in our life such as free time or happiness. The 40-hour workweek is designed by companies perfectly to give them the most benefit. Employees work a 40-hour workweek and by the time they have time off they feel tired, unhappy and in need of a pick me up which can come in the form of unnecessary purchases which makes all that hard work seem worthwhile because it bought “this” and made you happy with “that” (Cain). Working a 40-hour workweek leaves employees with little to no free time to enjoy memorable or beneficial activities which tend to be far more satisfying. The only problem is that activities that are memorable or beneficial take time and with a 40-hour workweek that’s something that is hard to accommodate so the only way to make that scarce time seem worthwhile is through the form of unnecessary spending (Cain). Making the time for activities such as a family vacation or personal day off to relax seems like too much time and too much effort for those working

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