A World of Excess This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     The citizens of the United States and the rest of the Western world live in excess. Our materialistic world influences our everyday decisions in extreme ways and affects our economy and future.

Whatever happened to the satisfaction of just owning a car? Now, to feel really worthy, our society demands that we drive an Escalade or a Hummer. There isn’t much satisfaction in driving a Kia Rio, which costs a fifth and is much more gas efficient than that Hummer H2 you see on the highway.

Furthermore, we are not even satisfied with our Escalades and Hummers. We demand that our Hummer be lifted four inches higher than it comes from the factory, and that it ride on 37-inch mud terrain tires that only last 10,000 miles. What excess! Neither is a normal Cadillac Escalade sufficient for the American consumer. No, it has to be dressed up with TVs and a sound system emitting a pulse that can be heard three blocks away. And to top it off, the Escalade rides on 20-inch rims that spin!

Even though this craving for excess in our vehicles may seem a horrible addiction that needs rehabilitation, it does stimulate our economy, creating an entirely new industry that provides excess.

Couldn’t this money and energy be put to better use? Instead of spending a quarter of a million dollars on a Ferrari that goes from zero to 60 in less than four seconds, shouldn’t we spend our resources on the less fortunate? Maybe we should put more effort into feeding the hungry. Maybe we should forget that second home in the mountains and help eliminate poverty. Maybe we should give up our Escalades and Hummers and help reduce pollution. After all, the world is our home and it deserves to be taken care of.

But who really wants to give up that bonus they’ve worked so hard to earn? Many feel that having these toys they don’t need is a reward. I know I would rather spend my paycheck on a dirt bike and tear up the environment with it. It is definitely more fun than making an effort to preserve the earth. Living in a materialistic world definitely influences our decisions and determines what we value. I’m not one to talk because I am a product of this world of excess. All I ask is that you stop and think before you buy that fifth TV.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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