Finished Affluenza by John de Graaf, David Wann, and Thomas H Naylor yesterday. I liked it well enough but I would have probably gotten more out of it if i had the newest edition (2005) rather than a first edition (pre-9/11 2001). That is what you get sometimes with the library. It was a little weird to read things that basically say "our new president Bush has said he supports (alternative energy, carbon tax, whatever) so we'll see how that turns out" knowing that so much now that we didn't get then.
Enough politics though. The book is about the the American drive to buy happiness: how it came to be, how to see it in ourselves, how to combat it personally and politically. Honestly though, the best part of the book is the historical section. It is so weird to think a 35 hour work week was SOOOO CLOSE to being the law in the 30's. The section on the symptoms of affluenza with how our communities suffer and how we decline psychologically is good as well. I have read much about the environmental effects of the American lifestyle recently so that part wasn't too much of a revelation. I was disappointed by the section on what an individual can do but excited about the political ideas.
I gave this one a 5/7. I am starting Simple Prosperity by David Wann today that seems to be more of a how to type of book. It is also a relatively new release so will have more updated information. I think I'll wait to finish that one to give my feelings on the "live simply" idea. I like it, don't get me wrong, but I think I need to let my brain incubate it a few more days,