Introduction

AFFLUENZA (n.)—a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.

In his office, a doctor offers his diagnosis to an attractive, expensively dressed female patient. “There’s nothing physically wrong with you,” he says. His patient is incredulous. “Then why do I feel so awful?” she asks. “So bloated and sluggish. I’ve got a big new house, a brand-new car, a new wardrobe, and I just got a big raise at work. Why am I so miserable, Doctor? Isn’t there some pill you can give me?” The doctor shakes his head. “I’m afraid not,” he replies. “There’s no pill for what’s wrong with you.” “What is it, Doctor?” she asks, alarmed. “Affluenza,” he answers gravely. ...

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