Materialism in United States
Materialism, like capitalism, is a defining factor of the American way of life. As with all things, materialism has its good and bad points. It is a trend that paints the American picture. It gives a perception of wealth and prosperity. However, it is commonly a shallow depiction of reality. The possession of things does not equate to financially stability. Regardless of how it is viewed, it defines us, motivates us, and moves our economy more than any other custom. The American economy is fed by our materialistic desires. Even during the tough financial struggles of a recession, many Americans continue to purchase that which is bigger and better. America is the top consumer of global products and resources. This local and global buying obsession may be one of the pillars holding the economy out of a depression. Although the economy can benefit from materialism, it also weakens overall financial stability of the individuals that fall prey to it. Keeping up with the Jones’ is a classic way to describe the goal of the average American. The possession of the latest and greatest, the biggest and best, is how many believe they are measured in society. The constant struggle to be on top may build the economy, but it crushes an individual’s financially security. It is impossible for most Americans to maintain their status and still save for emergencies, the future, and retirement. A drive down many neighborhood streets will tell a tale of comfort and privilege. However, a look at the savings accounts and credit reports of most will show a different story. Materialism leads to a false picture of wealth. This picture is what others want and go into debt in order to achieve. This causes a vicious cycle that has turned into the American way of life. The healthy balance of work and play found in many other countries seems impossible to accomplish in America. It takes more money to feed the need for more things. Therefore, life for many...
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