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            Webster's dictionary defines consumerism as "the economic theory that a progressively greater consumption of goods is beneficial." That is essentially the basis of what consumerism was in its early days. The problem with that definition is that the people who practice consumerism today hardly concern themselves with the economical (or ecology, for that matter) implications of their habits. I would argue that the vast majority isn't even aware of the term or the lifestyle's negative affects. Today it has more to do with materialism and over-consumption. Consumerism today can be more accurately defined as an epidemic in which people feel the need to purchase more and more material goods, in an attempt to reach a state of happiness and completeness. Instead, the buying habits they practice become perpetual and routine, and they constantly want more material objects. This lifestyle has proven wasteful of our planets resources and destructive to our ecosystem.
             In the late 1940s, Americans" spirits were high. We had pulled ourselves out of the Great Depression and the allies had just won World War II. The troops came back home and an incredible amount of them immediately started families. Suburban neighborhoods sprung up virtually everywhere for working class American families to live comfortable lives. The invention of the television was a breakthrough for the advertising medium. This visual stimulation had never before played such a large part in an advertisement's persuasion. .
             Through the 1950s, Americans were increasingly seeking a comfortable contention. Businesses beckoned consumers with flashy neon signs. Fast food restaurants and TV dinners made life more convenient. Automobiles were now available in a rainbow of colors. The average family was able to live a more "extravagant" life.
             A liberal movement in the late 1960s denounced the consumer culture of the United States and preached simple lifestyles.

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