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September 19th, 2007, 21:22
Here's my half-baked theory:

America is an extremely young country and culture, comparative to Europe. We have very few traditions and little history to leverage in fulfilling the basic human psychological need to feel we're part of a larger whole and have some meaning in life. This is compounded by our very high land mass to population ratio, which contributes to the fracturing of families. What we do have is Christianity, Merchandising and Professional Sports. So we stretch these three to fill the gap. In the case of Merchandising, one of the tried and true tricks of marketing here is to bastardize the American myth of the rugged pioneer/cowboy/ entrepreneur/John Wayne/Rambo/etc into making the consumer think that by buying product X, they are defining themselves as heroic individuals, swimming against the tide and standing out in a crowd! (the irony is obvious, so I'll restrain myself from getting into that) This leads to an overdeveloped sense of entitlement as well as self-absorption. So, we see the world as demand driven (give ME what I want!) and are ready to see any delay in satisfying our desires (e.g. bad customer service, long waits, etc.) as a threat to our image as individuals. (how dare you get in the way of my God-given right to indulge in X, Y or Z! you're trying to hold me back! I've just got to be MEEEEEE!!!)

So, if there's more shrimp being eaten in America, it must be because the almighty consumer wanted it that way. At least that's what the commercials tell me is true…
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: CA, USA
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