CNN Money once ran a story called "6 ways to be a grown-up about debt."
They start by profiling a couple that's deeply in debt, then go on to point out why and how to start digging out.
It seems like an old story, played over and over again lately. Couple makes good money, buys a big house, a couple of vehicles, takes nice vacations... and winds up in debt over their heads.
CNN's solution? Stop spending more money than you make. Start paying more than minimum on your credit cards. Don't use a home equity loan to pay them off. Get counseling if you need it. Build an emergency fund.
Hmm... sounds like frugal living sense (formerly known as "common sense").
Consumerism is something like the kudzu vine that has taken over parts of the south... it takes over, growing into everything, over everything, until it's hard to see anything but spend, buy, spend, buy...
Consumerism is like any other addiction. Some people may be able to handle it, but it has the ability to destroy life. Beware.