A heavily consumer-based culture requires an element of dissatisfaction in the people. It also requires fear. When people are not happy, they tend to look for something to fix it. To fix it, they can look for an external solution, like a new purchase or a new experience. From early on, rarely does anyone tell you that you have enough. Usually going up through the school system, there is an underlying sense of lack and fear of what will happen if you do not achieve what you should. There are no "gratitude lessons", you are never told to appreciate where you already are or have. This seems almost a defeatist attitude. Instead the general tone seems to be "you are not there yet, and you need to get there, and until you are there, you can not be content", wherever 'there' is. It could be the next test result, the next sporting achievement, the next job, until later on it becomes the next promotion, the better-paid job, or some kind of shift in lifestyle.
It seems we are always nearly "there", but not quite yet.
Often we are taught that we should always be wanting something. We should always be wanting something that we do not have. To speak of desirelessness, contentment, or wanting what you do have now is almost a kind of blasphemy, or a nonsense that implies you have just given up in life.
So much importance can be given to what we don’t have yet, that we completely overlook what we do have. This further creates a sense of lack on a planet that actually has the potential to meet everyone’s needs. But with the mind of a human being set on "don’t have enough yet", this will naturally reflect itself in the society that the mind creates.
Have you ever tried wanting what you do have and not caring about what you don’t have? If you give it some space, you may notice that it does not arrest your life from any progress. It actually creates a sense of space and lightness in oneself, which is an ideal ground for more creativity and inspiration to flow through you.
Our minds are often set to overlook all of the good, all that is well in Life, and we tend to zoom in on what we think is wrong, or missing. It is not hard to re-programme this habit, as long as you notice that always looking at what is lacking - is an insane habit - that never helps in creating enough.
Of course from here issues can still be taken care of, it is not like you would ignore starving people. In fact we would all probably be more open to help those in need, and the system that creates lack would not be sustained, because we would see that collectively, it is easy for us to all have enough.
Happiness usually arises when we get what we want. So an ideal formula for happiness, could be to want what you get, and see if this does anything but improve your life and action.