Here's an educational, and actually quite entertaining, short video (about 20 min.) about Stuff, going through the stages Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption, Disposal. It gives an interesting background on consumerism and how our country wasn't always all about shopping, using, wasting, etc. like we seem to be now. And to be honest, a lot of what she says just makes sense. Click HERE for the video.
On a spiritual level, I think the bombardment of stuff we "need" by the media is a major contributer in our putting people & things above God in our daily lives. In a book I'm reading called No Other Gods, the author, Kelly Minter, says, "We're at a significant disadvantage when it comes to the barrage of information society and the media continually propagate... We are constantly bombarded with what is sure to make us "happy" and "satisfied." (Although it rarely feels like bombardment-- that would be too easy to discern!) It feels alluring and promising, packaged in glossy magazines and inviting comercials, on gripping sitcoms and melodic pop songs, on the bodies of models and even in the words of friends. I don't know how to fashi0nably state this except to say that we are being lied to every day, and greater still, we are being deceived by those lies (page 58-59)."