I think Americans might be addicted to shopping for everything. I think we're always comparing the thing we have against the newest version or against the thing we could have.
I see at least one positive side to this- it probably pushes toward innovation (I'm not sure if that is even a positive).
The down side is pretty insurmountable in my opinion. First, all the advertising to lure us to keep shopping leaves us feeling steadily dissatisfied. Would you be looking for new shoes if the ones you have are good enough?
Second, it leads us to consume and consume and consume. Did you know there are more cars in the United States than there are people? Just think how many cell phones there must be as people constantly upgrade for a new color or gizmo.
Third, it encourages us to shop for things that maybe should be seen as permanent. This older model husband no longer dances after the dishes are washed and the children are in bed; perhaps it's time for a new one.
Fourth, it leaves us feeling the answer to our happiness is out "there" if we could only buy our way to it.
Fifth, all that buying leaves us spiritually as well as financially in the red. No amount of shopping can feed your soul, and being in debt in this desperate pursuit will not make happiness any easier to find.
So what are we to do? I don't know, but I'm going to plant a few more trees and stay out of the mall.