Juliet Schor has done a lot of work in this area. She began with "The Overworked American" - looking at why Americans continued to work long hours as productivity increased (when we could have had more leisure if we didn't increase our lifestyle). The answer was - we wanted more stuff instead of more time.Then the "more stuff" took over, and we became overspent too. A more recent book looks at how "more stuff" is peddled even to children, so that we're trained to become the overspent/overworked American. It's an empty treadmill, and she's done a great job of documenting it.
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