Affluenza: An American Epidemic

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Affluenza is an epidemic which effects millions of people in the United States.

"Until this century [20th], to consume was considered a bad thing" says Jeremy Rifkin an expert on affluenza ( Gross ). The victims of affluenza are consumers who work long hours at a job they hate so they can buy things which they don't need ( Fight Club ). Like AIDS, affluenza has spread quickly throughout the United States showing no prejudice of race, sex or color. However, unlike AIDS, affluenza is a compulsive addiction to shopping, which can be cured by spending less time consuming and more time enjoying life.

As the majority of parents work longer hours then other parents did in the past to support their families, children are left at home under the supervision of a television set. The television set constantly teaches children how to be good consumers.

Advertisements which appear on television are designed to make children feel unloved by their mothers and fathers if they don't buy them the newest toy, or take them to the most exciting amusement park.

Before the age affluenza a child would be considered fortunate if he or she had a bike to ride or a doll to play with. Today, children expect their parents to buy them expensive toys because advertising companies give children the idea that deserve it.

Cote Page 2 As children grow into teenagers, they begin to consume more and more and refuse to accept any boundaries on material or physical things ( Gabrels ). Through advertising, Corporations dictate what type of clothing teens should wear, what type of music teens should listen to, and how teens should act. The desire to buy products which are advertised to them is so strong that some teenagers become depressed and disturbed when...