Over the last weekend, I had a sale to divest myself of all the material things I "collected" in a vain attempt to fill a void in my life. For me the acquisition of stuff was more the thrill of the hunt than actually having them, once acquired, they went into a "collection" that accumalated dust. Having had to move several times now, I realize what I need and what I think I need are two different things.
I had set up shop in my driveway, with people stopping by to peruse my goods, which, unless you were as deluded as I, would realize that it all was useless junk. Old toys the kids never played with because the next day they'd get a new one. Board games I collected in a scheme I devised to set up a website where people with the same game that was missing a piece could purchase them from me for a small fee plus shipping. And things that I needed for my house (I live in an apartment now) that I no longer have a use for.
Americans are obsessed with shopping. We even have dollar stores for those unable to shop at Wal-Mart but still want to experience the thrill of buying something totally useless that we'll end up selling at next year's garage sale. Or end up broken as it's poorly designed and manufactured.
And it's all made in China or some third world country where the worker gets paid just enough to live in debt, just like an American. All the money the Korporations save by doing this aren't passed on to the consumer, it's used by the Korporations to buy politicians who will then pass more legislation detrimental to the worker but good for the Korporations. Or they use it to buy media time to tell us all how much better our lives will be if we buy their products.
Like cell phones. In theory, they are a useful item if you're traveling and your car breaks down. But every where you look, you'll see someone walking or driving talking on a cell. Studies funded by the cell phone companies say that the radiation from them is safe, but how long have they had to study the prolonged exposure by those people on them constantly? And every couple months, they come out with new cell phones that make the one you have obsolete. Sucker.
Are the cell phones made in America? Look at yours. The company I work for provides services for Korporate manufacturing locations, and in the three years I've been with them, we've lost four locations due to the plants closing up shop and shipping all the jobs somewhere else. The only jobs available are jobs in the retail or service industry. Even IT and design jobs are going overseas. Is this any way to run an economy?
So I've given up buying crap I don't need. I have what I want and I want what I have. I make the best of it and don't covet things like designer handbags or ipods. Eventually, they'll go out of style or be replaced by the next step in technology and I'm left with something even more useless than when I bought it. But maybe I could sell it to you.