Consumption is the opium of the masses.
Behind it sits a bogus economic system which makes us work harder and harder and waste more of our lives working simply in order to continue to consume.
Without this hysterical consumption our populations could work less than 4 hours a day, less than 5 days a week, and have much more time to spend on the "important" things of life.
The fact is that a population with too much time on its hands scares the hell out of the powers that be. People with time to think might start to question the insane mess we're making of the planet and most of its population in the name of "growth". Consequently prices rise, even staple foods now, and we are trapped more deeply within this inhuman machine. The money spent on war and oppression could easily be used to provide us all with free food and accommodation.
Cue howls of protest from those who cream the profit off the misery of billions - of course they wouldn't want things to change.
Individuals can fight this. Consume less; work less. Ignore advertising. Opt out of this slavery whilst it's still voluntary, and live according to values that have a little more meaning. Forget about the latest overpriced gadgets or redecorating again; spend some time with friends and family.
The system tries to convince us we are powerless to change things: we are not. With little steps we can change the world.
The powers that be are doing a miserable job of managing our happiness. We must do better than this.