Chief economist of the Australia Institute Richard Denniss defines affluenza as our modern compulsion to “spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t know”. His illuminating book Curing Affluenza outlines how we can combat an epidemic encouraged by those who profit from a culture of exploitation and waste. He explores the difference between consumerism – a love of buying things – and a sustainable form of materialism – the love of things themselves.

Supported by the City of Parramatta.

Richard Denniss (Australian)

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Richard Denniss is the Chief Economist and former Executive Director of The Australia Institute. He is a prominent Australian economist, author and public policy commentator, and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. In addition to his academic work he has was Chief of Staff to Senator Natasha Stott Despoja and Strategy Adviser to Senator Bob Brown. He was described by Mark Kenny in the Sydney Morning Herald as 'a constant thorn in the side of politicians on both sides due to his habit of skewering dodgy economic justifications for policy'.