affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.
We tried to warn you! The 2008 economic collapse proved how resilient and dangerous affluenza can be. Now in its third edition, this book can safely be called prophetic in showing how problems ranging from loneliness, endless working hours, and family conflict to rising debt, environmental pollution, and rampant commercialism are all symptoms of this global plague.
The new edition traces the role overconsumption played in the Great Recession, discusses new ways to measure social health and success (such as the Gross Domestic Happiness index), and offers policy recommendations to make our society more simplicity-friendly. The underlying message isn’t to stop buying—it’s to remember, always, that the best things in life aren’t things.
About the Author
John de Graaf is an independent documentary producer who is the recipient of more than 100 awards for filmmaking, including three Emmy awards. He is currently active in the Happiness Initiative (www.happycounts.org) and is an advisor to the prime minister of Bhutan. David Wann is the author of ten books on sustainable lifestyles and designs and the producer of twenty-five documentaries, several of them award winners. He codesigned the cohousing neighborhood he lives in and coordinates the community garden. Thomas H. Naylor is a professor emeritus of economics at Duke University and is the author of over thirty books.