Americans are too materialistic

America as a nation has become very materialistic, although people don’t realize it.

For example, whenever a new iPhone is released, everyone seems to suddenly need a new phone. When iPhones are announced for release, everyone puts in their preorders and it’s sold out by the weekend. More often than not, when a new iPhone is released there isn’t any drastic or improved changes. The only thing that does change is the camera quality, but in that case why not just by a good quality camera that will last you a longer time?

All this spending on unnecessary products further proves our dependency on material objects.


            Another product that people are obsessed with are shoes. According to Statistic Brain, there are around 28,360 shoe stores, Payless and Foot Locker being some of the best known. Payless makes has an annual revenue of $3.8 billion with 4,470 stores, and Foot Locker makes $5.25 Billion with 4,000 stores.

            I believe that, although Payless has more stores, Foot Locker makes more money annually because of the brands they carry. A very popular brand that Foot Locker carries — and sells out of almost immediately — are Jordans. According to The Market Mogul, 1985 the shoe made $130 million in revenue.” The shoe debuted in 1985, and Nike expected to make $3 million dollars in the first year. It ended up bringing in $130 million.

            I believe that since they saw how much they made off of the shoes they decided to increase the sale price. When Air Jordan debuted in 1985 they cost $65, which was still expensive back then for a pair of sport shoes, and is equivalent of about $136 today. However, in 2002 the XVlls became the first sports shoes to retail for $200. New Jordan’s sell for higher today.

            According to Citizen-Times, Nike manufactures Air Jordan in China and it costs them about $16 a pair and sells them for around $200. People are more interested in the prestige and luxury it brings them, and don’t realize that they are paying a higher cost than what they are worth.

            Americans are obsessed with material goods, and a lot of that has to do with status.

“American companies manufacture status symbols because American consumers want them,” according to “Masters of Desire” by Jack Solomon. Status symbols, according to the article are signs that identify their possessors’ place in a social hierarchy.

            By purchasing products that are more expensive, people assume they stand out or fit in. Whenever something is trendy, everyone wants it, no matter the cost. People will leave or throw away their older version to buyer a new version because it is in demand, which continues the cycle.

Businesses use this to their advantage because they know by making things trend, they will get money out of it. After all, we Americans are very materialistic.