Book: Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough

Book: Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough

A book written by a couple of Australian researchers discussing the change in focus for “the great Australian dream”. Though Australians are three times richer (on average) than we were in the 1950’s, most of us feel that we don’t have enough money for basic needs. A great many middle-class Australians feel that they’re battlers, though they’re battling to pay off larger houses than in previous generations, with more consumer items in them than ever before.

Struggle street, it seems, has become crowded; the trouble is the new residents want to build McMansions there.

Affluenza describes the fix for this problem in political terms: legislate against all the advertising that makes luxury items into necessities; create a society that is less driven by material aspirations, and allows people to focus on “what’s really important” – usually defined by the book as family and other relationships.

It’s a book that presents a great assessment of the paradoxes that I see in people around me, but more importantly, the things that I’ve taken on board as my own values. Though its conclusions don’t factor God into the picture, it’s nonetheless an eye opening book (in the vein of Naomi Klein’s No Logo) to a problem that is easily missed.

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1 Comment

  1. Is it a bad sign that I read that headline as “Book Affluenza” and immediately thought of Merc’s and my enormous book collection?

    Moving house really put our book habit into perspective. We ordered the number of boxes that a ‘typical’ one bedroom unit needs to move everything. They were all full by the time we’d finished packing our books and had to order the same number again to pack everything else.

    And this is after a couple of major culls!

    Still, as far as vices go, I guess it’s one of the less harmful ones 🙂

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