Author Topic: Article: Don't Be Fooled: 'Generation Wealth' Is More About Wanting Than Having  (Read 6707 times)

ysette9

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http://www.npr.org/2017/05/10/527429299/dont-be-fooled-generation-wealth-is-more-about-wanting-than-having?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20170510

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There's a striving that kind of continues among rich," Greenfield says. "The Queen of Versailles was a perfect example — they lived in a 26,000-square-foot house and then built a 90,000-square-foot house. ... There's kind of a theme of addiction and the addiction of consumerism. And so with addiction, you never have enough and there's no satisfaction and eventually you hit rock bottom."

This is an interesting and sad article I found today on NPR by a photographer who spent years photographing the rich and the wanna-be rich. The way consumerism is described to me sounds like a disease or an addiction. So empty and meaningless.

Just Joe

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Hasn't it always been this whether it was about your grandfather's Oldsmobile or your powdered wig or the shiny rivets on your's horse's harness? A certain group of people will "belong" by their conspicuous consumption.

DW and I like a few nice things in our life but I don't think either of us buy these things to "belong" or to advertise our spending power (didn't say wealth since debt allows spending).

We just like having a comfortable bed, a comfortable car, tasty food, etc. I think we are very rational people.

GuitarStv

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Beds are a purely unnecessary invention of the bourgeois.  Sleeping on a mat on the floor is better for your back.  :P

WhiteTrashCash

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Conspicuous consumption has become widespread over the past decade and I think it's most likely due to the spread of advertising. Particularly, I see the "success" of viral marketing through the use of "internet celebrities" like YouTube stars who make people feel like their only worth comes from material possessions and impressive lifestyles.

The solution is to erase all advertising from life.

Abe

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I agree, I don't watch TV except through the internet and don't listen to the radio because the ads are just ridiculous and banal. Any time I'm in some waiting room for whatever reason and the TV is playing, in so happy about that decision.

Bracken_Joy

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American journalist and author H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) wrote in A Book of Burlesques (1916):

“Wealth. Any income that is at least $100 more a year than the income of one’s wife’s sister’s husband.”

We've always been like this =D

WhiteTrashCash

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I agree, I don't watch TV except through the internet and don't listen to the radio because the ads are just ridiculous and banal. Any time I'm in some waiting room for whatever reason and the TV is playing, in so happy about that decision.

I went to the movies recently and there were about twenty minutes of commercials before the film. It was the first time I had seen advertisements in months. When you remove advertising from your life, it can be a shock to see the tactics that are used. Every commercial was based on making people feel inadequate and without value. The only way to get respect, happiness, and love was to buy their truly worthless product. It sickened me to watch that stuff.

TheGrimSqueaker

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I agree, I don't watch TV except through the internet and don't listen to the radio because the ads are just ridiculous and banal. Any time I'm in some waiting room for whatever reason and the TV is playing, in so happy about that decision.

I went to the movies recently and there were about twenty minutes of commercials before the film. It was the first time I had seen advertisements in months. When you remove advertising from your life, it can be a shock to see the tactics that are used. Every commercial was based on making people feel inadequate and without value. The only way to get respect, happiness, and love was to buy their truly worthless product. It sickened me to watch that stuff.

It's one of the reasons why people in countries that don't allow a lot of advertising (or that aren't being courted as aggressively by corporate interests) regard us as manipulative and decadent.

I can barely imagine coming from a background of *years* or even a lifetime of not seeing marquee billboards, experiencing media mostly ad-free, and then one day seeing the normal round of aggressive solicitation in the average mall, roadway, and TV show.

SwordGuy

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I agree, I don't watch TV except through the internet and don't listen to the radio because the ads are just ridiculous and banal. Any time I'm in some waiting room for whatever reason and the TV is playing, in so happy about that decision.

I went to the movies recently and there were about twenty minutes of commercials before the film. It was the first time I had seen advertisements in months. When you remove advertising from your life, it can be a shock to see the tactics that are used. Every commercial was based on making people feel inadequate and without value. The only way to get respect, happiness, and love was to buy their truly worthless product. It sickened me to watch that stuff.

It's one of the reasons why people in countries that don't allow a lot of advertising (or that aren't being courted as aggressively by corporate interests) regard us as manipulative and decadent.

I can barely imagine coming from a background of *years* or even a lifetime of not seeing marquee billboards, experiencing media mostly ad-free, and then one day seeing the normal round of aggressive solicitation in the average mall, roadway, and TV show.

There was a sci-fi story some years back about the US Military invading a 3rd world country that didn't allow that kind of advertising.   The lead military units were Advertising Shock Battalions who would project holographic commercial video of all the consumer delights awaiting the defenders once they had lost.   It was a bit over the top, but then again, not so much.

NoVa

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Many years ago we had relatives from Denmark visit us here in the United States. Apparently Danish TV is totally commercial free, they were having trouble distinguishing when the show stopped and the commercials began, something that is totally intuitive to us.

nobody123

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Meh.  I don't feel the need to judge folks about how they choose to spend their money.  As long as their kids are fed, taxes are paid, and they aren't doing anything illegal, what business of it is mine?

infogoon

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Many years ago we had relatives from Denmark visit us here in the United States. Apparently Danish TV is totally commercial free, they were having trouble distinguishing when the show stopped and the commercials began, something that is totally intuitive to us.

My kids grew up with a DVR that auto-skips commercials and streaming services like Netflix. The first time they saw commercials they had a similar reaction; they thought it was just some weird side plot in the show.

MgoSam

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Many years ago we had relatives from Denmark visit us here in the United States. Apparently Danish TV is totally commercial free, they were having trouble distinguishing when the show stopped and the commercials began, something that is totally intuitive to us.

My kids grew up with a DVR that auto-skips commercials and streaming services like Netflix. The first time they saw commercials they had a similar reaction; they thought it was just some weird side plot in the show.

Apart from sports I can't recall the last time I watched live TV, it's amazing how much you don't miss commercials.

UnleashHell

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It's one of the reasons why people in countries that don't allow a lot of advertising (or that aren't being courted as aggressively by corporate interests) regard us as manipulative and decadent.

I can barely imagine coming from a background of *years* or even a lifetime of not seeing marquee billboards, experiencing media mostly ad-free, and then one day seeing the normal round of aggressive solicitation in the average mall, roadway, and TV show.

Try driving from Vermont (billboard free) into New york. They are all lined up to grab your attention.

ysette9

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Apart from sports I can't recall the last time I watched live TV, it's amazing how much you don't miss commercials.

When I lived in France I got very spoiled by how few commercials they have on television. You could watch an entire movie with only one (long-ish) commercial break in the middle. It seemed to be timed perfectly for when you wanted to get up to pee anyway. It was strange watching US programming dubbed into French because they skipped most of the commercial breaks and just kept streaming the show. It made for a weird jog in the story line as you suddenly went backwards a bit to recap what was (not) forgotten from the (not) break.

Once I got back home to the US and tried to watch television I found the incessant commercials unbearable. I haven't watched live television since 2000 as a result.

Mac_MacGyver

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My kid thought the tv was broken the first time she saw a commercial, had only ever seen Netflix or DVD shows on tv.