There is an entire generation of young Japanese who have never known prosperity. They proudly refer to themselves as "non-consumers."
I think it would behoove us as Americans of all ages to follow their lead. After all, who needs most of the junk and trinkets we buy at Wal-Mart and Target anyhow? Instead of rushing out to spend our dollars on new and useless "stuff," how about either doing without or buying used or local when we must? Let your dollars do your talking for you.
If you want to poke a stick in the Establishment's eye, this is the way to do it. Remember right after 11 September 2001 when George W. Bush, with a panicked look, begged us to keep on shopping to keep the economy afloat? He and his Insider buddies were truly in fear that their debt-based economy would grind to a halt. And there goes their power!
In an economic system based on monetizing debt, the worst thing that can happen is to get rid of debt. All parties--individuals, families, businesses, and governments--must keep spending more and more to keep the economy chugging along. This of course means acquiring more and more debt. But the Bible tells us that the debtor is slave to the lender. We ought to listen to God rather than man.
So, if we become "non-consumers," we make do with what we have. We buy used or local and avoid debt. This will not please the Establishment; however, it will be good for the rest of us in the long run. And by that I mean it might just rid us of the elite parasites among us who make their living off our sweat and ingenuity.
Consider it seriously. Get by on what you have. Find bargains. Be frugal. And live well . . .