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The Ethos of Consumerism and Luxury Consumption

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by bourbonbasted, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Senior member

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    Like I said before,this is a circular argument made every few years.

    I think Reevolving spawned another alter ego. This 1%er describes his theoretical life like a college freshmen or sophomore assigned to an introductory ethics class.
     
  2. Pawz

    Pawz Senior member

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    *taps your shoulder*
    Dude needs to save as much money as he can so he can continue to enjoy his free concerts. :)
     
  3. El Argentino

    El Argentino Senior member

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    Can I just say how saddened I am by the board chewing up and spitting this guy out for his "different" views. No doubt this guy is more financially secure and successful than the majority of people (let alone on the boards) ever will be. I have the aching suspicion he is more satisfied and content with his life too than any of the gurus who flamed him out.

    LIke-minded people stick together, so I know why the board jumped like that. No one likes their bubble pricked. Let me just say how much I respect dbhdnhdbh for voicing this way of life. I wish I was more content myself and not so wrapped up in this. No doubt I'd be more financially secure.

    EDIT: FWIW, this thread has been a great read. So much nicer to read competing opinons and personal beliefs on an issue that is really important as opposed to multiple threads about getting sizing right (or sik fadez on dem jawnz on the SW+D side).
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  4. Loathing

    Loathing Senior member

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    The strange thing about the OP is that he's criticizing consumerism and then he's telling us that he saves or invests all of that money. So he's not giving it to a charity or to his college or school, he's just handing it over to bankers who skim a % off the top every year. Or if he doesn't use bankers or wealth managers then he's letting inflation erode the money. Or perhaps he manages his own investments carefully, which would be much more consumerist/avaricious and a waste of time than simply going shopping.

    Everyone has their own principles vis-à-vis spending. I'd rather support the artisan craft and tradition of my small tailor and bootmaker, and support a few local charities, than hand my cash over to the financial market and its employees.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  5. crinklecut

    crinklecut Senior member

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    Mar 23, 2010
    

    You don't know that. Fear of financial insecurity leads to self-imposed austerity and guilt about frivolous spending, and, apparently, writing polemics to justify his miserliness by calling others self-absorbed, while simultaneously denying he's being judgmental toward anyone. If we all spent money like him, there'd be none of his beloved student concerts or library books, because no-one would have patronised the composers or authors who wrote the music or books in the first place.
     
  6. HRoi

    HRoi Senior member

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    ahahaha i thought he was finished with this topic. couldn't resist, huh?

    to be clear, it's not the different views, it's the judgmental attitude. c'mon, all of us have learned to deal with people who would be horrified at spending $200 on jawnz or $1000 on shoes - it's only the vast majority of the people we interact with. but a guy who comes onto the "safe haven" for people like us and pronounces his disdain for what we are doing is going to be flamed. particularly when coupled with this child of the Depression thing that elicits a reaction because it sounds like all the parental speeches received about how much better we have it.

    in fairness, he seems to have toned down the whole "repulsed", "self absorption that i find offensive", "if people had more perspective..." shtick, so perhaps the discussion can be saved. i do agree with you that he holds an interesting point of view on how to live one's life, assuming that this isn't an elaborate troll
     
  7. HRoi

    HRoi Senior member

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    this, however, is next-level patronizing and passive-aggressive all at the same time

     
  8. recondite

    recondite Senior member

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    The problem is pleasure.

    We have been programmed to be pleasure seeking machines, by Madison Avenue and our government funded and regulated indoctrination centers call schools.

    Pleasure is truth for far to many. If it feels good, it must be good and worthy.

    If you try to apply a morality or even some ethical construct to the manner in which someone seeks pleasure, they will no doubt become upset with you because you are making a direct attack on their guiding source of truth; or that what makes them feel pleasure is truth for them.

    Religion is simply a belief system of any kind and practices based on those beliefs.

    If you call into question someone's behavior [a form of practice], and worse, the underlying beliefs that support their behavior, you are inadvertently, if not consciously, seeding a religious war and liable to get someone at the very least, uncomfortable, if not upset with you. If you get them upset enough, they will seek some truth and feel better by acting out against you and possibly aggressively so.

    If pleasure is truth for someone, then be wary of calling it into question unless your relationship with them is very secure or the very opposite of an anonymous internet persona.

    Cheers!
     
  9. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    Some might find it illuminating to look at the financial independence and retire early boards. There you will find people who are far more frugal than I am. They are also fixated on retiring early by minimizing their need for money. I get the goal of being cheap, but the early retirement part still strikes me as a gamble. No matter how well you plan, you can still find yourself short of money and out of the work force too long to have good prospects for returning to your former income.

    Crinklecut has it right for me. I am largely fear-motivated, so there is definitely consumption I avoid because I am worried about the future. There are also lots of things I don't want. If I had infinite money I would spend more than I do, but I suspect still less than many on this board. There are plenty of things that I think I might enjoy that I am not going to do. I would like to attend opera at La Scala, Bayreuth, and Covent Garden. I would like to see the Louvre, the pyramids and the Acropolis. It is highly unlikely that I will ever do any of these things. The time and cost of going just are not worth it. I go to Europe on business periodically, but I don't go sightseeing. I just do the work and come home. Extending the trip to see some of these things would be an expense not worth it to me.

    The one sense in which I may be more content is that I do not have a long list of things that I want but cannot afford. I have a list of things that, I suppose, I might buy if I had far more money than I will ever accumulate, but I don't worry about them. My possessions, and certainly my clothes are good enough for me.

    This puzzles me


    Quote:
    How is managing my own investments consumerist, avaricious and a waste of time? It is not particularly time-consuming, and I don't see the consumerist element at all.

    I do make current contributions to charity, but, due to the fear noted above, that is more something for testamentary than lifetime gifts.

    It is certainly true that my beloved free concerts and libraries did require someone to put up the money. Nowadays, this is largely funded by tax money, and I certainly pay taxes! Much of the music was composed long ago, under economic systems that permitted aristocrats to accumulate enormous wealth at the expense of the rest of humanity. Among many behaviors I would find horrifying, some of these wealthy people did something good by commissioning music. This was for their own enjoyment, not for the greater good, but the music survived and we all benefit. The performers are students for their own purposes, not necessarily to provide me with entertainment.

    But back to clothes. I view my work attire as somewhere between a uniform and a costume. I am fitting in and playing a part. There is more room for choice than most uniforms would provide, but there is certainly the possibility of being out of costume. I don't internalize the appearance I achieve. I don't think I look particularly good. I am not a model or celebrity. I do not need to look my best to get parts or modelling jobs. I do not need to impress others with my taste and refinement. In fact, being too well dressed might lead me to be taken less seriously.

    I think the reactions to my posts have shown that there is little risk of SF people cutting back. I suppose that is good for economic growth, but I still worry about the national saving rate.
     
  10. recondite

    recondite Senior member

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    Interesting. How does the national savings rate do anything for the economy, much less economic growth.

    As a source of capital, savings are not needed, since the U.S. has a fiat debt based currency whose value depends solely on the faith and trust of the consumer; e.g., value of capital is not influenced by any other factor than faith and trust, including supply.

    The only source for capital in the U,S. is a printing press restrained by nothing more government's avarice towards borrowing from the Fed. An avarice that is unequaled in history.

    U.S. government fiscal responsibility is something that is not real and only the fantasy of those that wish to believe the government has any real capacity to act outside of its own very limited self interest. This fact is proven daily by the fraud the government and it's agents, our elected and tenured trustees, create by plundering the public trust while denying the beneficiaries of the trust, otherwise known as you and me, good and ethical service.

    Nothing drives up the cost of capital, which has never been more abundant in the history of the world than today, more than government borrowing.

    Nothing drives up the cost of goods and services, and hence fuels inflation, more than government spending, And that includes printing more money which is a secondary condition of inflation, contrary to any macro economic theory now in vogue.

    The fact is that the government is the single largest consumer of goods and services, and hence the only inflationary force worth considering outside of the Fed Reserve practice of charging the U.S. government usury to print money that the Congress could print for merely the cost of ink and paper, as the Constitution allows.

    Keynesian economics is for this reason not only a failure as a theory, but disruptive to an economy to the extreme.

    The national savings rate is therefore a perfect image of the faith and value that people place in a fiat currency whose true value is less than a nice square of toilet paper; or zero.

    If people understood that the currency is really just an IOU in the form of a promissory note for a debt that the U.S. government owes the Fed for no good reason, and not a bill of credit or certificate [both of which are representative of real money with value and not simply evidence of a debt], the national savings rate for everyone would be zero or less, since the par value of any dollar denominated security has no basis in reality.

    So, whence your interest in the national savings rate as indicator of economic health or anything else?

    For me, any country with a Federal Reserve type banking system, and a positive national savings rate, is merely an indication of a compliant, docile, and fully brainwashed people.

    Here at least, people may not understand the fraud of the Fed, but they do understand that for them, someone else's IOU has a value of near zero when it comes to keeping it in their private reserve. Better to store toilet paper, which is functional and has real value.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  11. AriGold

    AriGold Senior member

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    The real question is, does all the spending actually make you happy? if the answer is no, then you're not spending it correctly!!
     

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