Curing Affluenza: Why rampant consumerism is bad economics

Australia is an affluent country, where most of us are fortunate enough to live comfortably or even luxuriously by world standards.

The downside of this affluence is our tendency to over-consume. In Australia, we produce 64 million tonnes of rubbish a year, burying mountains of good food, clothing and electronics in landfill as we pursue the latest fashions and gadgets.

Over 10 years ago, two economists – Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss – penned the book “Affluenza: When too Much is Never Enough” to describe this destructive culture of consumption.  Denniss, Chief Economist at The Australia Institute, has returned to the topic with the new book “Curing Affluenza: How to Buy Less Stuff and Save the World”.

He explained how learning to love, maintain and repair our cherished material things will help us to kick the habit of needless consumption and restore the health of both our environment and our economy.

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