title: 99c Dream 
part of:

Consumerism has long been considered as one of the biggest illnesses of our times; and although many people have sought alternative lifestyles, the habit of purchasing goods and consuming materials in excess of our basic needs is something very much embedded in all Western cultures. 

Have you ever bought something you can’t afford and don’t even need? Blame it on your overactive nucleus accumbens. Studies show that this bundle of neurons - sometimes called the brains reward center - becomes active when you see a product that pleases you.

If the price is exorbitant, your insula may express disapproval, and your reasonable prefrontal cortex may keep you in check. But if these brain areas are busy with other cares of the day, the pleasure principle rules.

One would only need to walk down any block in any city to pick up on the signs and results of this.

One of the most interesting ones are the 99c stores. Not  only is there one in almost every other street, each one more colorful and exotic than the next, but they’re all competing to catch as many customers as possible. Once inside these mace-like places the consumer gets signaled and tempted by an overwhelming number of choices and offers that catch the eye, and most of the time, convincing them of the same thing over and over again: I could always use another one of these.

“Consumerism is the equating of personal happiness with the purchasing of material possessions and consumption.”

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