Political EconomyStagnation Robert W. McChesney rwmcches [at] uiuc. John Bellamy Foster jfoster [at] monthlyreview.
Materialism in America 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.
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. The possession of the latest and greatest, the biggest and best, is how many believe they are measured in society.
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 Americans is filled with long hours at work and less hours at play.
Comfort and peace are not achieved through quality time with family and friends, but with a new electronic device and bigger home. Like drugs, materialism gives a short time high and leaves the user in a state worse than before.
It pushes us to work harder and achieve more. However, the achievements are thin and meaningless when compared to the great accomplishments life has to offer. Getting married and starting a family are two major life changes that many put on hold because the situation is not perfect.Feb 17, · The American dream is meant to be about more than just designer shoes and flashy cars; these consumer products don't do much to aid in the pursuit of happiness.
Non-institutional factors which help to maintain freedom in the United States are the right of association, the freedom of the press, and most importantly religion.
Associations are an excellent tool to combat individualism and to allow people to exercise their freedom by taking a part in politics. A world without consumerism is highly unlikely to occur in the near future, as it is too complex of a issue to eliminate entirely.
However, the recession that erupted a few months ago has had a colossal impact on consumer spending.
For each measure, a 2 x 2 analysis of variance was conducted with two levels of materialism (high and low quartiles) and two levels of age (9 to 11 and 12 to 14). The interaction term was not significant with regard to the results for any of the tests conducted.
This study investigated the potential influence of self-construal and materialism on intensity of usage for three social media platforms: social networking sites (SNSs), microblogging sites (MBSs), and video sharing sites (VSSs). Data were collected from China and the United States – two countries.
- In the s, the United States enjoyed a great economic growth, which enabled millions of Americans to spend larger amounts of money. Recently invented items, such as cars, also contributed to this dramatic rise of consumerism that occurred during this period.