There’s not a clear answer why beyond the overly simplistic: they want more than they can afford. I personally blame both marketing and lowered wages–the buying power people have on a minimum wage salary has greatly decreased since the 1940s, which you can see on a graph at this webpage: http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2008/07/25/the-federal-minimum-wage-looking-back-over-time/. So, while it seems like people are making more and more, they are actually making less and less. This basically means that a young guy starting in the same job his father had would actually have a lower standard of living today than his father did. So people are raised with a standard of living (say, being able to afford a nice tv, a decent car, and new clothes regularly) and sold a standard of living by marketers, but even with a full day’s work they can’t afford it. Sure, people shouldn’t spend beyond their means, but can we really blame people for wanting to live well?
Well, to put it simply, its because we can. Once we are afforded just one chance to spend what we don’t have, it becomes acceptable psychologically and becomfme comfortable in doing so. Moreover, our society encourages us to do so, in the form of banks and credit cards, so it is also socially acceptable.
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