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Sep. 24th, 2012 | 08:37 pm

America can be a place of extremes. If you choose to look at the extremes, it can be very tragic. Take for example the flea market. I always enjoyed exploring them because you can find just about almost anything and one does not have to go very far to find one. This market is in Chicago suburb, Rosemont.

As I walked with my family last weekend, I wondered why everyone was there. I had heard in this country unemployment was at 12 percent currently because of the recession. So, which ones in the crowd are here to find a bargain for things they do not need? Which ones are here because Olay body wash and especially produce is at its priciest, in essence because the grocery store is too expensive?

Then I thought about the dangers of mass consumerism as a type of therapy and tried to apply it to the flea market.

The flea market, like a thrift store and garage sales, can be havens for buying things we really do not need. In fact I won't forget what one vendor said with a smile to a potential customer with money-in-hand, staring at bottles of shampoo, "Here, give me $20, and you can take whatever you want. You don't really need this stuff anyhow, but buy it anyway!" After a moment he said, "They are three for four."

Our society has been programmed to live in an age of the credit card, where, if you want something, you can buy it now and pay for it later, how does it translate into now the current? Are we still buying things we do not need, and what potential dangers does this pose for everyone, since places like the flea market is totally accessible to everyone, from the richest of people, to the poorest?

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