I've been slogging through the book Affluenza for the last few days.
I want to start off by saying that a lot of what the book has to say so far is good. I'm about half-way through but I'm starting to get frustrated with the on-going "preaching" about the problems of society. I think by page 50 I got the idea. I'm now ready for the "cure" or at least "treatment" for this disease.
I'm also having a hard time with a few of the arguments. One thing that is really bothering me is the idea of the exploitation of the poor unskilled laborers of the world. America's fixation with acquiring things isn't healthy and it's done at the expense of those poor people working for low wages. But if we were to fix our problems with consumption wouldn't these poor people be without any income and thus worse off? If we stop buying they stop working, how is this going to solve their problems? Can you complain about the country's love of buying things in one breath and then complain about the low wages of the people making these products? Something just doesn't seem right about the argument.
I'm also wondering about the lack of explanation about how much is too much. My definition of waste is probably different than most others. We are extremely frugal when it comes to electric and water usage so I think most people waste a tremendous amount. But even my electric usage could be considered a problem by someone who doesn't use any. Is it too much to own a second home, or boat, or ATVs, or is it just too much to want a nice first home? Is it just the desire to acquire more no matter what we have?
I guess I'm just wondering how far the author is advocating we go to treat the "disease" he claims we have. The farther I read the more it seems that any possessions are too much but maybe I'm missing the point.