Con$picuou$ Con$umption (POST#5)

This is a very interesting topic that I can write about for hours. Conspicuous consumption has been going on for centuries. I see it as the more you gain, the more you want. There seems to be no end in the wanting. Society has been brainwashed to a certain degree. Example, technology, such as mobile telephones, iPads, computers, televisions and vehicles are forever changing with subtle differences.

However, most people have to have the latest and what they think is the greatest new gadget on the market, until a “new and improved” model debuts a month later. Veblen stated in so many words that people from the lower class are in constant perpetual competition with one another in obtaining the higher status amongst them. Some people use the aforementioned “latest” gadgets as a sign of prosperity and superiority over their neighbors, classmates or co-workers. People living in the same neighborhood, compete with their neighbors when one neighbor purchases a new vehicle,they get a grander vehicle, get a home make-over or enhance their curb appeal, they do they same. Veblen states that people will pay a higher price tag for a high-end item, just to say that they paid so much for it and feel as though they are in some exclusive unobtainable club. Meanwhile, the manufacturers, designers and creators of said items are laughing all the way to the bank, because they know that certain people will be pay  an exorbitant amount on high-end goods just to stay ahead of the “Jones’s”.

I would like to also mention that I found it very interesting that through the centuries what the Aristocrats chose as a profession has changed. Prime example, in 16th perhaps through the 18th centuries and prior to the industrial revolution when the “Monarchy” was still the end all, be all, Aristocrats (ruling class), they were involved in warfare, hunting and weaponry, while the lower class were working in the fields, homes and tending to the aristocratic families.

In modern times (21st century), those same chosen professions of the ruling class would be looked down upon by the modern-day aristocrats (wealthy Americans). The word leisure makes one think of taking one’s time, going at your own pace, setting your own rules and working if you choose, which is how most rich and super rich Americans live their lives. It is ironic to what Veblen defined the Leisure class to be.

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2 responses to “Con$picuou$ Con$umption (POST#5)

  1. Beautifully written!

  2. I agree with you when you say that lower class compete with themselves in order to achieve a high status amongst themselves. Wealthy people do this as well but with more expensive stuff whether is who has the private plane or who has the limited edition cars, since lower class cant afford this they do it with technology especially with phones. I do not get why people need to be changing phones every six months, but since people do it, companies profit from it. For Example Apple; their iphones are super expensive yet people buy them. Since people buy them and they are on high demand, they take out a new phone like every 6 months. For example the Iphone 4 came out, they added “SIRI” and boom the iphone 4S comes out 6 months later…and what do people do? go out and buy them even if they just got their iphone 4, just because you can talk to it and it will “answer back”. I am an iphone 4S owner, just got it this year, the iphone 5 came out, and i am definitely not purchasing it because it does the same thing the 4S does, and I’m not paying extra money to have a longer phone. Overall you wrote a great post and I agree with everything you said here. It’s all about competing with one another on who has what and how much it cost.

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