Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Redefining The American Dream :: Philosophy Psychology Essays
Redefining The American Dream Consumption patterns portray the dynamic effect of the American Dream. The American Dream today is significantly different that it was fifty years ago. Today Americans work longer work hours, spend 40% more time watching T.V and 40% less time with their children (AGO 2001). Ã¢â¬Å"The avarice of mankind is insatiable,Ã¢â¬ claimed Aristotle when describing how the appetite of mankind is never satisfied (Durning). As every desire is satisfied a new one rises up to take its place (Durning). This is true for all people; we want more money, a better job, a new car, better benefits, on and on until suddenly it is clear that we have wasted our lives in search of something that actually never made us happy. A wise woman always told me Ã¢â¬Å"never have any expectations and you will always be pleasantly surprisedÃ¢â¬ , the same holds true for consumption. Imagine a world where consumption was an addiction similar to alcohol or drugs. Over consuming is a crime punishable with jail time and Ã¢â¬Å"Consumer AnonymousÃ¢â¬ rehabilitation meetings. This was the world we attempted to portray during our brief Ã¢â¬Å"Consumers AnonymousÃ¢â¬ meeting. The opposite is currently happening, the economy expanded 4% between the first quarter of 1998 and 1999 (Krugman 1999). Consumption grew 5.5% during that period (Krugman 1999) . When the economy toke a down turn after President Bush was elected into office, the federal government urged Americans to Ã¢â¬Å"do their partÃ¢â¬ by spending. The average savings in the United States during 1970 was 8.5%, which has plummeted to an obscene low of 2.1% in 1997 by 1998 savings dropped even further to less than 0.5% (SLI). The lowest saving rate ever witnessed was in 1933 during the great depression at a Ã¢â¬â2.1% (SLI). By 1997 the total debt of U.S. households had reached 89% of the total household income (ecocompass 2000). The United States has less than 5% of the worldÃ¢â¬â¢s population however; Americans consume 24% of the worldÃ¢â¬â¢s energy, 27% of the worldÃ¢â¬â¢s aluminum and 21% of the worldÃ¢â¬â¢s beef (SLI). The big shocker is with all of this consumption the happiness levels are not raising (SLI).