The world has become more materialistic. If one does not believe me, then see what happens when people stop buying things. After a week, corporations would fail and governments would shut down.
Just look at the way we use credit. At one time in my life, I was a banker. People would come into my office crying that they don't have any money, their account was overdrawn, and they couldn't afford to pay their bills. When I would look at their credit card history, I would see $1,500 on TV's, clothing purchases on Amazon, so on and so forth. Their bank account history would show them eating at fast food restaurants everyday for lunch, bars on Friday and Saturday nights, movie rentals three nights a week, purchases at the Apple Store, and $300 of purchases a week at Wal-Mart. Then I would look at how much they got paid and it was usually more than me.
I believe that credit is for emergency purposes only; for things you NEED not for things you WANT. If you cannot afford to pay cash up front and it is not life or death, then you should just do without. TV's should not be purchased with credit, even if it is 0% (which is a crock anyway). There are plenty of used TV's that are less than $100 and if you cannot afford that, then you should read a book or do something constructive that can improve your life.
My first car, I kept for 10 years. My second car I kept for 12. My third car is a hand me down from my wife and we kept it because it is paid for, but it looks new because I take care of it and work on it myself. My house is the only thing that I maxed out my credit limit on because it is for my family. I do all of the work on it myself and take great pride in having a nice home. My children dress nice and are well groomed. When we do activities, it usually does not cost anything.
Most people do not have their priorities in order because they put "things" first when they should put their family first.