Review: Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic

Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic
Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John De Graaf
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Why are we always busy and stressed out despite the huge advances of the last century? The authors convincing detail how productivity and technology increases have left us much richer than our grandparents – but instead of living the same and working less, we acquire an abundance of formerly luxurious (or non-existent) goods without leaving any more time to clean our bigger houses or reorganize, repair, and refill all our stuff. I disagreed with many of the minor points and prognoses that betrayed liberal underpinnings, and it’s a little dated when it talks about shopping malls, but overall Affluenza is a compelling argument that the short-term satisfaction of consumption is ultimately unsatisfying, and the only path to true satisfaction is to embrace voluntary simplicity. It’s largely a secular argument, but it greatly overlaps with a Christian ethos of materialism and possessions.

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