Monday, February 2, 2009
The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need by Juliet B. Schor is a must-read book for these troubled economic times. A modern-day classic that is often quoted in the media, The Overspent American explores why so many of us feel materially dissatisfied, why we work staggeringly long hours and yet walk around with ever-present mental "wish lists" of things to buy or get, and why Americans save less than virtually anyone in the world. Unlike many experts, Harvard economist Schor does not blame consumers' lack of self-discipline. Nor does she blame advertisers. Instead she analyzes the crisis of the American consumer in a culture where spending has become the ultimate social art.