Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic
Based on two highly acclaimed PBS documentaries watched by 10 million viewers, "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. In cleverly titled chapters like "Swollen Expectations" and "A Rash of Bankruptcie...more
When you read those last words on page 247 of this convicting book, yo ...more
I love the ideas in this book and I liked how i ...more
It has nothing new to say, although that may be my fault because the first edition was written in 2002 and at that time it may have been new. Now all the information is old hat a ...more
My issues with it, however, were two-fold:
First, this book was based off a documentary. Obviously a book requires a lot more material than a documentary. In addition to it reading more like a documentary (which I don't think is a good thing), there were many points where I could kind of feel or sense the padding. Not a big deal, and it didn't make or break the read for me. I still learned a lot and consider a very ...more
The book starts with Symptoms of Affluenza. I was going right along with them, nodding in agreement and shouting, "Right on!" every 10 pages. But then some of the comments were weird and frustrating to me. There was very little scholarship in this book, so there would be stats that didn't necessa ...more
My only other concern abo ...more
Two days after completing this book, I was driving downtown with my goddaughter (4 years old), when she pointed at a huge billboard with a Dr. Pepper can on it, exclaiming, " ...more
The book starts off with s ...more
They're a bit extreme about the causes and effects of the affluenza epidemic. It's the anti-panacea: it causes practically every ill.
I agree with a lot of the general principles around the b ...more
Fascinating, important information, right? Unfortunately, Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic doesn't go much beyond the informative. It's not wholly without analysis, but I wanted so much more. (And yes, that's meant to be ironic.) ...more
"We hear the same refrain all the time from people: I have no life. I get up in the morning, day care, elder care, a 40 minute commute to work. I have to work late. I get home at night, there's laundry, bills to pay, jam something into the microwave. I'm exhausted, I go to sleep, I wake up and this routine begins all over again. This is what life has become in America."
This is something that resonates deeply with myself an ...more
I think what threw me the most was that, although the book has a definite documentary-type feel (owing to its predecessor), there is an overwhelming amount of subjective opinion ...more
The authors compare our level of consumption to a disease, hence the title. At first I thought it was just a gimmick, but now I believe our over-consumption truly is a disease that we need to treat and eventually cure.
Bankruptcies and foreclosures are happening at a higher rate than ever before. Our expectations for the size of our houses and cars grow and grow and grow with no signs of slowing down. Just about every moderate- to large-sized city in the ...more
Aside from that I will tell you what I liked and disliked most about this book. The Like: I never thought of mys ...more
It was a little nostalgic to read, because I used to ...more
This book is definitely a left-leaning polemic. Some of the political solutions the authors propose include federal maximum annual working hours and federal maximum weekly working hours, single-payer health care, and carbon taxes. The phrase "wealth redistribution" does ...more
I loved the first two-thirds of this book. It really makes you think about the products we buy and why we buy them. Personally I think I've spent less money since reading this book because I'm better able to discern whether I'm buying a necessary pr ...more