Did the 9/11 Tragedy turn us into a nation of mega-consumers?

or  Why 9/11 Turned us into a Nation of MegaConsumers 

Thinking about 9/11, even AFTER the big 10 year anniversay, made me think about what has happened to the United States after that day….. and one thing I thought about was the Wall Street meltdown.

Those traders who unintentionally (giving them the benefit of the doubt) caused the giant bubble, overvaluing of everything, worked right down on Wall Street.  They were probably greatly affected by the 9/11 disaster.   They saw it, they walked by the hole in the ground every day.  Maybe they just over-reacted, too.

WE were all traumatized, so when the President said the best thing we could do for the economy was to go out and SHOP – that was just what we needed to hear.

Drawing on my background in cultural anthropology to analyze human nature,  I think that 9/11 turned us all into hoarders.  We all suffered a terrible loss – not just the people lost, but our loss of our sense of security, and whenever there is a loss – there is a tendancy to fry and fill out the loss with something else.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that the last 6 years have launched over 5 shows about hoarders, both hoarding  possessions, and even animals!  I think that the over-consumption of every material thing, and the hanging on to consumer goods might be
a symptom of our national loss.

After 9/11, I just wanted to stay home and feel safe again in my house.  So I finished the basement, I added a sauna, I redecorated the whole house, I re-tiled the bathroom,
I added a whole-house fan, I re-tiled the pool…… maybe there is a relationship between the giant home improvement boom and attempt to recover from 9/11.  

Maybe it was a gigantic, nationwide nesting reaction to the terrible tragedy. 

We all did what we needed to do to feel safe again.  And safety begans at home.  So we needed to re-finance to get the cash to fund the improvements.    It is possible if you think it over and connect the dots, maybe 9/11 explains most of the things that have happened in the last ten years.

In life, we can’t control what happens, but what we do after the event is what defines us, and 9/11 was certainly a defining moment for us all.

Leave a Reply