We are a consumer driven society. Our economy is dependent on people buying things. Therefore, it would seem that the way that the nation sustains itself is by buying things, often things we really don't need. Our homes are filled with clothes and gadgets that we have purchased, probably because they made us feel good, but we really don't need. Bruce Rittenhouse, an ethicist, suggests that consumerism has a religious element to it. That is, it gives meaning to life. We buy because it produces a religious experience. Because we find meaning in buying, when push comes to shove, we will set aside the public good in order to feed our need to consume. That has, he believes, dangerous consequences for the nation. It is a thought-provoking piece, so check it out.