Book Reviews

Book Review: Shiny Objects.


The American dream of being industrious, frugal, and owning the necessities of life, has now become a hyper qualified desire for fancier clothes, sleeker electronics-loaded cars, and larger and more luxurious homes.

Professor James Roberts believes that while millions have adopted this spending culture without thinking of the future, it is till possible to achieve a balance between spendthrifts, and those who barely make ends met between paycheques.

This is a great book, fun to read, scientifically sound, and well researched. The narrative is accompanied with meaningful graphics and charts that everyone can understand easily.

The author provides realistic advice for living in a world that worships the “almighty” dollar to the exclusion of other areas of human happiness.

He provides useful ideas to follow and make the world a better place in which to live.

The good professor has a doctorate in marketing and is convinced that massive consistent, relentless and aggressive advertising in print, visual media, and now on the Internet, create predisposition- amalgamations to spend carelessly. While between 1972 and 2010 American standards of living increased dramatically, now nearly 75 per cent of families live from paycheque to paycheque.

This is a multi-layered book. The author supports materialism, but not to excess, and tells of wanton desire to acquire the latest, shiniest, most luxurious of anything consumable. Why would anyone want to pay over $ 2000.00 for a bottle of old, smooth and refined cognac, rather than acquiring a fine product for say $ 10.00? The same applies to champagne, or red wine, or dessert wine, or for that matter an automobile that costs well over a million dollars.

The question professor Roberts poses: “ Is it moral to buy stuff you cannot afford?” Obviously, millions have done that with encouragement from the government or misguided policies and greedy Wall Street near-banks and regular banks in the USA. In addition, these obviously highly speculative mortgages were “bundled” and sold as securities to other financial intuitions all over the world. The results and their repercussions are still being felt in the USA and many other countries.

This is a book about the evils of consumerism, which can be attributed to easy credit, (encouraged and promoted by banks issuing credit cards), lack of discipline, surreptitious advertising and misguided financial government policies in an attempt to increase flow of taxes to the treasury.

Professor Roberts has written a book every North American, modern European, Australian and all government officials in developing countries should (must) read, study, and try to avoid the mistakes made.

Highly recommended.

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