America, the great nation of consumerism!

1: the promotion of the consumer’s interests

2: the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable; also : a preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods

— con·sum·er·ist noun or adjective

— con·sum·er·is·tic adjective

In 2011, the United States consumed about 134 billion gallons (or 3.19 billion barrels) of gasoline, a daily average of about 367.08 million gallons (8.74 million barrels). This was about 6% less than the record high of about 142.38 billion gallons (or 3.39 billion barrels) consumed in 2007.

In 2011, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential
utility customer was 11,280 kWh, an average of 940 kilowatthours (kWh) per
month. Louisiana had the highest annual consumption at 16,176 kWh and Maine the
lowest at 6,252 kWh.

Studies show the average American eats at Mcdonalds on an average in a single lifetime about 1,800 times.

U.S. household consumer debt profile:

  • Average credit card debt: $15,204
  • Average mortgage debt: $148,818
  • Average student loan debt: $33,005

Why is all of this relevant? Because we, as Americans, buy a lot of shit. In my lifetime, I’m certainly guilty of it. I grew up in a household with multiple television sets and the newest game console. Sure did! Now, as I matured, I realized how worthless all this crap is in America. Tv’s, cars, iPads, iPhones, CD’s, movies…the list goes on of the shit I no longer buy. I had such an extensive music collection of probably over 300 music CD’s. Later, I traded it all in for money because I wanted to get rid of shit. I uploaded every CD onto my computers hard drive. At $15 dollars a CD, times 300, that’s $4,500. How much do you think I got back on that collection? Maybe $3-5 dollars. Maybe. I probably barely got $1,000 in return.

Think of all the stuff you buy. Think about every time you move into a new house or a new apartment and you go out and buy a new furniture set at Walmart or IKEA. You buy it because it’s there to buy.

We, as Americans, buy a lot of shit. Yet, our politicians claim our country is broke. We are not broke. We are a nation of consuming. That’s what we do. We consume and waste. We consume and waste. If you’ve ever sat in a restaurant and people watched (which I don’t recommend) you would see what I’m talking about. Try it one evening. You’ll see how many plates are returned to the waiter with plenty of food left on the plate to eat. People just throw it out. And I’m not sure why. I was raised in the generation of “waste not, want not”.

Have you ever lived in an apartment complex and went out to throw trash away and saw chairs and mattresses and tables and all sorts of shit surrounding the dumpster? It all gets thrown away. I think in this country we have this image to uphold. Buying everything in mint condition, name brand stuff. Never used or second hand. Who wants something used? Yuck!

I’ve downsized my life quite a bit and I’m certainly not advocating that you do the same. My first motorcycle was brand new. And I learned a valuable lesson through that story. Now I buy used. And I’m just as happy with the used motorcycle I have now. Probably more happy then when I had a brand new bike. Instead of going all out and furnishing my new apartment with new tables and chairs, I bought a cheap tv stand from Wal-Mart, bought a used tv off Craigslist and try to live within my means.

I don’t like it when these politicians claim this country is broke. We aren’t broke. We have plenty of money floating around the United States. Look how we live if you want proof. We live better than 90% of the world. Our poorest in our country is in some countries their richest. That says a lot. And it seems no matter what income bracket anyone is in, they can still afford iPhones and nail appointments.

$156.5 billion. Apple’s total sales for the year. The biggest chunk of that came during the first quarter, when the company brought in $46.33 billion in sales.

$41.66 billion. Apple’s profits for the entire fiscal year. Once again, the company’s biggest quarter was its first, buoyed by sales of more than 37 million iPhones.

$121.25 billion. Apple’s current cash pile. It was about $81 billion at the end of this quarter last year, and up about 3.4 percent from its previous quarter.


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