or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › The Ethos of Consumerism and Luxury Consumption
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The Ethos of Consumerism and Luxury Consumption - Page 8

post #106 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by HughJ View Post

IMHO Celery said it best on the 2nd page of the thread with his post regarding diminishing returns.

I try to focus on staple items and tailoring these days, whereas I used to spend roughly the same amount of money on lesser quality items in greater quantity.
Depends on how much fabric you have to lengthen the sleeves. wink.gif

about 1.5"
post #107 of 131

I suppose one issue is the extent to which one relies on purchases to satisfy the hedonic drive. There may be many things that are cheap or free that some may find to be as pleasurable as others find consumption. For still others, life may not be a constant quest for pleasure. Saving money for the sake of doing so, rather than because one has specific plans to spend each dollar.

 

The notion that marginal utility of money declines as networth increases seems logical, but clearly there are some extremely well compensated people who continue to devote a great deal of time and effort to earning more.  Not everyone derives as much pleasure from buying clothes, and some resist high prices far more strongly than the typical SF participant.

 

Those who do not enjoy buying clothes may not understand those who do. Thus, they may be critical of a passion that they do not share. Like a non-smoker baffled at the appeal of a cigar bar.

post #108 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

but clearly there are some extremely well compensated people who continue to devote a great deal of time and effort to earning more.  

They don't do it because they like money, they do that because they like winning.
post #109 of 131
That is asking not whether they find a declining utility of money, but why they continue to prize more money. They may have passed the point of accumulating money to spend it, but they still want it.
post #110 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

So when I buy clothing I go cheap, on sale, and more recently used. My wife's father was a child of the Depression. Although he was a very successful professional, he had a job that did not require the level of clothing that mine does. Seeing him wear his clothes until they fell apart I don't think he or others of his generation would have found my approach at all odd.

.

Having known many people who grew up in that generation I doubt they'd agree with you. Wearing things until they fall apart is wasteful. It shows a lack of care for your things. It's what a child with no sense of money does.

The problem with these threads is you've got widely different ideas of value,luxury etc. You can talk about those things in the macro but in the micro they're all too personal.

I bought a new pair of hiking boots. Odds are most people wouldn't spend what I paid on sale. But I don't want my feet sore,bleeding or worse. The value to me is different then somebody who considers a fifteen minute walk an endurance event.
post #111 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

That is asking not whether they find a declining utility of money, but why they continue to prize more money. They may have passed the point of accumulating money to spend it, but they still want it.

It's called "diminishing marginal utility", not "zero marginal utility." It just means it takes a greater increase in wealth to get the same increase in utility than it did when you had less, not that people suddenly stop wanting more money. And that's without considering the people who make it a game, like Eike Batista.

By the way, believe it or not your wife's father is not the only human being who was a child of the depression. It may surprise you to learn that some of us actually have parents and grandparents who walked the earth at some point overlapping with that period of time.
post #112 of 131
Even with the best of care, things fall apart. It is wasteful to have this happen prematurely due to neglect, but it is frugal to nurse things along for the greatest possible duration.

"Child of the Depression" is a frame of mind. I know COD's who were born well after WWII, but to whom discarded items are considered almost brand new. One, an engineer, made a side business of rehabbing equipment people had thrown away and selling the rescued items to an eager cohort of users who realized these things were not done when merely damaged. He was also generous with teaching others to emulate him. So in his domain, things that elsewhere littered trash cans as no longer useful were saved, repaired, and reused until they were truly beyond restoration. The motivation was primarily financial, but it had the side effect of treating the environment more gently.

Declining marginal utility: to the extent this is true, people with large incomes and high net worth should work less and indulge in more leisure. Many do. But some view vacation time, weekends, and evenings as opportunities to pursue their free lance second jobs. Others confine their work to their primary jobs, but give no indication of taking it easy. Their behavior implies that given a choice between reducing their net worth by taking a trip to Tahiti and increasing it by working, they choose work. Now for any given individual, there may be a point at which the marginal utility of money, for whatever reason they value it, may decline, but that decline may start at very high levels and be quite gentle.

If you watch CNBC in the morning you see lots of captains of industry, middle aged and elderly, nicely wealthy, who are up hours before dawn to give interviews. Then they start their real work, far before the sun comes up. Apparently they did not get the memo about declining marginal utility.
post #113 of 131

I, too, bought good hiking boots, new on sale, years ago. They are still going strong, and I would not go out for hours over rocky ground with something less substantial. That said, they were $100 on sale, way less than many pay for such boots. Steel shank, excellent Vibram soles, waterproof, etc. While waiting to find a suitable pair, it was easy to protect my feet by avoiding challenging hikes until I had appropriate footwear. This is a pasttime, not my job, so I could defer the need until I had the right equipment.

 

I discovered years ago that my usual way of knowing that a shirt had past its useful life -rejection by the cleaners as no longer something they would wash and press- had stopped working. I thought my shirts had just become remarkably durable until I realized that my wife, mortified by the the cleaner rejection, of which I was proud, had been inspecting the laundry bag and discarding shirts she considered too worn to wear.

 

We all have to decide where we want to land on the spectrum between hyperconsumer and miser. I would rather be, and be known to be, the latter.

post #114 of 131

Very interesting read, some great contributions and points of view in here.

 

For me, I see many of the things on these boards almost as a hobby.  Many members here go to great lengths to research and attain that perfectly crafted suit and in many cases I am sure they don't need it but the journey of obtaining it, researching the materials, finding the right tailor etc thats just part of the fun.  In that regard I don't personally feel excess or gluttony comes into it, the only debate there would be if thats really the best use of ones resources but I think that just comes down to each their own.

 

In regards to gluttony though I think thats just for everyone to draw their own line, I am not sure despite some of the technical definitions offered here that there is a universal line.  I do think over time though gluttony - just as surely as any vice - changes a person, usually without their awareness of such changes. 

 

Eitherway fascinating stuff, very happy to have stumbled upon this topic with the morning coffee :)   

post #115 of 131
Ugh, this has devolved into a lecture from a troll. I, for one, am going to stop feeding him. I suggest the rest of you do the same.

Thread... Unsubscribed. Adios.
post #116 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbrown View Post

Ugh, this has devolved into a lecture from a troll. I, for one, am going to stop feeding him. I suggest the rest of you do the same.

Thread... Unsubscribed. Adios.

Do be sure to let your dry cleaner know. ;-)
post #117 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

I, too, bought good hiking boots, new on sale, years ago. They are still going strong, and I would not go out for hours over rocky ground with something less substantial. That said, they were $100 on sale, way less than many pay for such boots. Steel shank, excellent Vibram soles, waterproof, etc. While waiting to find a suitable pair, it was easy to protect my feet by avoiding challenging hikes until I had appropriate footwear. This is a pasttime, not my job, so I could defer the need until I had the right equipment.

I discovered years ago that my usual way of knowing that a shirt had past its useful life -rejection by the cleaners as no longer something they would wash and press- had stopped working. I thought my shirts had just become remarkably durable until I realized that my wife, mortified by the the cleaner rejection, of which I was proud, had been inspecting the laundry bag and discarding shirts she considered too worn to wear.

We all have to decide where we want to land on the spectrum between hyperconsumer and miser. I would rather be, and be known to be, the latter.

...you are in the top1% but you actively avoided taking part in an outdoor activity that you purportedly enjoyed because you couldn't find cheap boots? You are: (1) a troll; or (2) completely mental.

Regardless, it is pathetic that your trolling knows no bounds, to the point that you claim your supposed wife's disgust with your awful shirts as a point of pride.
Edited by RedDevil10 - 1/19/13 at 7:39pm
post #118 of 131

Red,

 

I find your post fascinating on many levels.

 

First, it appears that MY frugality causes YOU so much anguish that you forget everything you ever learned about manners, and must resort to insults.

 

So, some questions.

 

Why is my frugality such a bother to you? Is it that you assume no one could possibly have an attitude towards consumption that is this different than yours? Let's say that is the reason. Why does it offend you if someone else, a total stranger, does not like to spend money? The issue of spending versus saving may be interesting, but why the hostility toward someone who does not share your values? Whatever your political or religious opinions, taste in music, or favorite food, not everyone agrees with you on those as well. Are they all evil trolls? Do all decent people agree with you on everything, or only on the subject of spending for pleasure?

 

You also assume that my wife was disgusted by my tattered shirts. In fact, her reaction was embarrassment that I went out like that, but she did not find the shirts themselves disgusting. In fact, she uses them for scrap or working around the house.

 

My pride was not in my wife's reaction, but the cleaner's reaction.

 

Another question: You seem to find my story about waiting for discount boots either implausible, or evidence that I am "mental" (a fairly vague diagnosis). The story is absolutely true. I gather that you would not have delayed gratification to save money on boots. Again, that makes you different than me, but why does that make you so upset? It does not upset me at all that you, and I assume other people, would have just bought more expensive boots. Its a free country. Is my frugality somehow a threat to you? Do you sell expensive hiking boots for a living?

 

"Mental", without more specifics, not sure exactly what this means, but I gather you believe delaying pleasure to save money is not the behavior of a sane person. Is that it? Or, to state it more carefully, do you believe the amount of money saved was not worth the pleasure forsaken? If the latter, then of course, this depends on the relative values one places on pleasure vs frugality. It is apparent that I place a relatively higher priority on frugality than you do, and that you place a higher priority on hedonic pleasure than I.

 

Is it not possible for different people to have different valuations on these dimensions? Or must everyone in the world land in the same place as you on the spectrum between miser and spendthrift? Do you believe that everyone actually does? Do you believe that everyone of the same income level spends the same amount of money on consumption? This strikes me as improbable, to say the least.

 

Final question: Do you find that hurling insults at people on the internet gets them to state they agree with you? Or to just give up and stop posting, for fear of losing your favor?

I am genuinely interested in your thoughts, and I am sorry that my attitudes apparently cause you such distress. Here's hoping you find some peace.

 

Thanks

post #119 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil10 View Post

...you are in the top1% but you actively avoided taking part in an outdoor activity that you purportedly enjoyed because you couldn't find cheap boots? You are: (1) a troll; or (2) completely mental.

Regardless, it is pathetic that your trolling knows no bounds, to the point that you claim your supposed wife's disgust with your awful shirts as a point of pride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

Red,

I find your post fascinating on many levels.

First, it appears that MY frugality causes YOU so much anguish that you forget everything you ever learned about manners, and must resort to insults.

So, some questions.

Why is my frugality such a bother to you? Is it that you assume no one could possibly have an attitude towards consumption that is this different than yours? Let's say that is the reason. Why does it offend you if someone else, a total stranger, does not like to spend money? The issue of spending versus saving may be interesting, but why the hostility toward someone who does not share your values? Whatever your political or religious opinions, taste in music, or favorite food, not everyone agrees with you on those as well. Are they all evil trolls? Do all decent people agree with you on everything, or only on the subject of spending for pleasure?

You also assume that my wife was disgusted by my tattered shirts. In fact, her reaction was embarrassment that I went out like that, but she did not find the shirts themselves disgusting. In fact, she uses them for scrap or working around the house.

My pride was not in my wife's reaction, but the cleaner's reaction.

Another question: You seem to find my story about waiting for discount boots either implausible, or evidence that I am "mental" (a fairly vague diagnosis). The story is absolutely true. I gather that you would not have delayed gratification to save money on boots. Again, that makes you different than me, but why does that make you so upset? It does not upset me at all that you, and I assume other people, would have just bought more expensive boots. Its a free country. Is my frugality somehow a threat to you? Do you sell expensive hiking boots for a living?

"Mental", without more specifics, not sure exactly what this means, but I gather you believe delaying pleasure to save money is not the behavior of a sane person. Is that it? Or, to state it more carefully, do you believe the amount of money saved was not worth the pleasure forsaken? If the latter, then of course, this depends on the relative values one places on pleasure vs frugality. It is apparent that I place a relatively higher priority on frugality than you do, and that you place a higher priority on hedonic pleasure than I.

Is it not possible for different people to have different valuations on these dimensions? Or must everyone in the world land in the same place as you on the spectrum between miser and spendthrift? Do you believe that everyone actually does? Do you believe that everyone of the same income level spends the same amount of money on consumption? This strikes me as improbable, to say the least.

Final question: Do you find that hurling insults at people on the internet gets them to state they agree with you? Or to just give up and stop posting, for fear of losing your favor?


I am genuinely interested in your thoughts, and I am sorry that my attitudes apparently cause you such distress. Here's hoping you find some peace.

Thanks

You're welcome. I, and many of us here, find it interesting that you never actually respond to any questions asked of you. Your multi paragraph above is but one of many examples. Not a single person here begrudges genuine frugality, but we do garner contempt for bullshitters like you. Apparently your wife was right to be embarrassed by you.

BTW, "mental" has a colloquial meaning other than the ironically specific definition you ascribe. Surprised you didn't know that.
post #120 of 131
[quote name="dbhdnhdbh" url="/t/309539/the-ethos-of-consumerism-and-luxury-consumption/105#post_6064311"

the cleaners

[/quote]

Wasteful consumerism
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › The Ethos of Consumerism and Luxury Consumption