This is a great post: 9 Tips to Throw Off the Chains of Consumerism
I think the Western (and predominantly North American) drive to consume as much as possible is one of our worst social behaviours. Not only is it driving a large portion of the population into massive debt but also making a sustainable civilization continually harder to reach.
It’s also very depressing to watch people I know continue working jobs they dislike all because of the drive for more status and money. Money does not equal happiness. The only time I’d believe that could potentially be true is for a massive change in income lifting a person out of poverty. For example, a family that goes from making $25,000/year to $100,000/year has the opportunity to be happier mostly because of less stress from worrying about how to meet basic necessities.
But, it is so hard to avoid the temptations of consumerism even when you’re aware of it. Unless most of the people you interact with are of the same mindset it’s difficult to not feel the same pressure. Even scarier is how to raise children so they don’t fall automatically into that trap when they are constantly bombarded with the messaging.