Pure materialism is a dead end, but the majority sit in awe of it. It remains somewhat of a mystery. Perhaps it is meant to stay that way. The lure and appeal of something that they may never have, but once obtained it can not fundamentally be satisfied.
If there is nothing more in life than the pursuit, even relative, of material gain there will be no happiness found. Temporary and shallow joy that quickly fades at the most. Only extended via distraction and intoxication to hide the truth.
From a management perspective, this is an ideal state to keep the majority in though. If you want people willing to waste their lives in activity that is not to their true and ultimate benefit, keeping the behavior unsatisfied but with the impression that a little more could satisfy. It could be the optimum condition from a utilitarian perspective. That is, the horse's carrot-on-a-stick.
From a spiritual perspective, it is very wrong.
Not that this was a conscious decision by anyone or any group, but it is to some degree in effect now. The truth is, the current situation of greater material comfort is very harmful mentally, physically and spiritually to most people.
No matter how many cars we build, no matter how many highways we construction - the vast majority is going nowhere, while only managing to distract themselves and trample what is good in the process.