I may be off base here but I think one of the main reasons materialism is so prevalent today is the level of busyness many people maintain. For example, I know a few people (families in particular) who will remain nameless, who feel their lives are incomplete without every minute of every day of every hour, etc. being scheduled. All that being said, by keeping busy with various activities, there is a decreasing amount of time as a family unit simply being... well, a family unit. So, where am I going? In short, since many people are now intentionally increasingly busy, their level of satisfaction with time is being lowered, which also tends to lower satisfaction with possessions. It makes sense to me. If we are constantly being stimulated with a variety of activities, then it takes more and more of these activities to satisfy us. Busyness, in a sense, is desensitizing us to possessions. Many people are now so used to a quick and instantly gratifying world there is simply no time to enjoy less. As I said, maybe I'm off base. But this is a trend I have been noticing more and more.