Apr 22, 2011

Stop Spending Money: How Consumerism Takes Its Toll on Our Happiness

By Jennifer Kongs / motherearthnews.com

There’s no doubt that the U.S. culture is famous for its promises of happiness. As age-old as the idea of the “American dream” is the idea that working hard and making money to create the life you want will lead you to happiness and bliss. It’s made painfully obvious in movies, TV shows, billboards and ads everyday: The best way to find happiness today, at this moment, is to buy it; whether it be a new shirt, a new car or a candy bar. As the level of affluence in the U.S. has grown, it would seem logical to assume that our level of happiness has also risen, but in reality, our general sense of satisfaction with our lives has been on the decline since the '50s.  

This disturbing truth is behind the creation of a new film by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Steven Gorelick and John Page, entitled The Economics of Happiness. Through firsthand experience watching isolated communities become a part of globalization, via industrial agriculture, plastics, etc., the filmmakers have compiled evidence to show that our consumer culture has played a huge role in our loss of general happiness. Before this “Western modernization,” traditional communities had more leisure time, participated in work and labor that had a visible, meaningful impact in their lives, and relied on neighbors and community members for help when it was needed. Economic globalization replaced these qualities with conflict, financial instability, and the idea that nothing was ever quite good enough. 

Rate this article 
Social Issues
We Can't Grow Infinitely on a Finite Planet
Documentaries that Inspire Ecological Consciousness
Trending Videos
We Went To Puerto Rico: The Inequality We Saw Will Shock You
19 min - 43% of people in Puerto Rico live in poverty. More than 5,000 crypto traders, real estate developers and other wealthy Americans have moved to the island since 2012. These rich transplants pay 3%...
In The Eye Of The Storm: The Political Odyssey Of Yanis Varoufakis (2024)
258 min - 'In the Eye of the Storm' is a six-part documentary series about the dramatic journey and inspiring vision of one of the foremost political figures of our age, the maverick Greek economist Yanis...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min - If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th century when it...
Trending Articles
Indigenous Knowledge
Watch These First
Subscribe for $5/mo to Watch over 50 Patron-Exclusive Films

 

Become a Patron. Support Films For Action.

For $5 a month, you'll gain access to over 50 patron-exclusive documentaries while keeping us ad-free and financially independent. We need 350 more Patrons to grow our team in 2024.

Subscribe here

Our 6000+ video library is 99% free, ad-free, and entirely community-funded thanks to our patrons!