The over-consumption problem in our society has contributed to the emergence of poor management of cash which has affected the society and its members negatively. For that reason, this outline focuses on the problem of over-consumption and explores its various causes that include the increasing availability of credit cards, our insatiable need for stuff, and poor competition among the consumers. It also analyses what individuals and the society in general ought to do to solve this burning issue.
Increasing availability of credit cards
One of the major causes of the problem of over-consumption is the snowballing credit cards availability. This has made it possible for individuals to access goods at any time hence it has resulted to overconsumption.
The co-authors in Affluenza: The All Consuming Epidemic notes that the rising number of credit cardholders results to overconsumption in our society. They note that 1 in every 70 Americans files for bankruptcy and this clearly proves that there are many people who possess credit cards that result to overconsumption among Americans, “ One of the first things we do when people come here is cut up their credit cards.. The whole availability and ease of credit cards makes it hard for people to remember that they are dealing with real money” (Graaf et al 19). Moreover, the book describes the concept of low rate of savings in U. S. meaning that individuals use all of their earnings in consumption by the use of these credit cards. According to the book, “ when the film Affluenza was produced, Americans were saving just under 4 percent of their incomes, half the German rate and only a quarter that of Japan. That seemed, at the time, very bad news, since the savings rate had been about 10 percent as recently as 1980. But today our national savings rate hovers near zero and in some months falls below that line” (Graaf et al 21). I have personally experienced that many consumers prefer these cards when shopping than cash hence this explains why overconsumption is rampant in our society.
Our insatiable need for stuff
In addition, our insatiable needs for stuff cause the problem of over-consumption. Consumers are not satisfied with what their pockets can afford. Therefore, this make individuals spend a lot of money on stuff that they do not require and this result to the problem of overconsumption.
Competition among consumers
Thirdly, competition among the consumers is the other main cause of the problem of overconsumption.
The possible solution for the problem of over-consumption lies on our hands. We need to find a simple way to fight this problem or else it will continue affecting the society members negatively. We need to both voluntarily and involuntarily adopt simpler lifestyles. By doing this, everyone will become satisfied with what he or she affords hence the urge for wanting more will not be present anymore. For that reason, individuals should begin making small changes in lifestyles that will help to fight the problem of overconsumption.
In their discussions, authors in Affluenza propose various suggestions that can help to fight this problem. These include adopting simpler lifestyles and learning how to spend cash, “ What this would do is allow us begin learning to appreciate leisure, volunteer more, and broaden our minds long before retirement. It would allow older workers to both stay involved with their careers and also find time for more balance their life.” (Graaf et al 228) Furthermore, this solution is effective because after my friend began adopting simpler lifestyles, he completely stopped over- consuming.
De, Graaf J, Thomas H. Naylor, and David Wann. Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic. San Francisco, Calif: Berrett-Koehler, 2005.