affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, virally transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.
Based on two highly acclaimed PBS documentaries, Affluenza uses the whimsical metaphor of a disease to tackle a very serious subject: the damage done -- to our health, our families, our communities, and our environment -- by the obsessive quest for material gain that, since World War II, has been the core principle of the American Dream. The authors show that problems like loneliness and rising debt, longer working hours and environmental pollution, family conflict and rampant commercialism are actually symptoms caused by a single "disease": affluenza, the never-ending search for more.
Like any medical report, Affluenza begins by detailing the symptoms of the disease. Chapters with titles like Swollen Expectations, A Rash of Bankruptcies, Shopping Fever, Chronic Congestion, and An Ache for Meaning detail the many serious and unexpected consequences of our society's compulsive desire to acquire.
Deepening their diagnosis, the authors explore the origins of affluenza. What causes it? Where did it come from? Why has it only recently begun to spread, seemingly unchecked, throughout the entire world?
Thankfully, affluenza can be cured. If it turns out you do have the bug - the book includes a self-diagnosis test so you can find out -- the authors detail a number of treatments that offer hope for recovery. They show readers how millions have already enriched their lives by getting rid of the excess baggage, the cultural clutter, and the exhausting race to keep up with the Joneses. Affluenza offers prescriptions that deliver greater value for the money, time, and energy spent each day; for augmenting individual efforts with political remedies; for inoculating ourselves against advertising; for using technology and inspired design to minimize the side-effects of overconsumption; and more.
Engaging, fast-paced, and accessible, Affluenza takes a hard look at a complex and serious issue, revealing ways of living and working that make more sense and are, ultimately, more satisfying. After all, the best things in life aren't things.
Table of Contents
Part I: Symptoms
Part Two: History
Part III: Treatment
Chapter 1 : Shopping Fever
Gotta listen to me honey
Gotta get all your money
Gotta know just where I stand
If you want to be my date
Well you better get it straight
I'm a big time shopping man.. . . .
Baby come on, there's a whole lotta shoppin' going on.. . . .
Get that money out of your ...
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