Buyer’s Remorse

“Why should we worry? Why be of two minds about what we buy and how well we live? Most of us have earned what we possess; we’re not members of some hereditary landed gentry. Our material success isn’t to blame for anyone else’s poverty—and, on the contrary, might even ameliorate it (even Third World sweatshops have this effect, much as we might lament them). So how come we’re so sheepish about possessions? Why do we need a class of professional worrywarts—a.k.a. the intelligentsia—to warn us, from the stern pulpits of Cambridge, Berkeley, and other bastions of higher education (and even higher real estate prices) about the perils of consumerism run amok?” — Daniel Akst (Wilson Quarterly)