2009 May 22 Friday
Conspicuous Consumption Is Not Cost Effective

John Tierney reports useful information: Your attempts at impressing others with conspicuous consumption are mostly a waste of time.

The grand edifice of brand-name consumerism rests on the narcissistic fantasy that everyone else cares about what we buy. (Itís no accident that narcissistic teenagers are the most brand-obsessed consumers.) But who else even notices? Can you remember what your partner or your best friend was wearing the day before yesterday? Or what kind of watch your boss has?

A Harvard diploma might help get you a date or a job interview, but what you say during the date or conversation will make the difference. An elegantly thin Skagen watch might send a signal to a stranger at a cocktail party or in an airport lounge, but even if it were noticed, anyone who talked to you for just a few minutes would get a much better gauge of your intelligence and personality.

You are better off spending the money on stocks that have long term growth potential.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 May 22 07:21 AM  Human Nature

Thras said at May 22, 2009 8:27 AM:

I recall coming across a study that showed the opposite some time back. The young men who go into debt to buy fancy cars, etc., are much more likely to get women than the conscientious savers.

James Bowery said at May 22, 2009 9:02 AM:

Serial polygyny leads to the bird of paradise phenomenon.

Anonymous said at May 22, 2009 11:12 AM:

Just letting everyone know:


mike said at May 22, 2009 6:42 PM:

If you're worried about your image, buy cheap generic copies of the designer clothes and get down the gym, or even better, work out at home. Most women are pretty impressed by an intelligent guy with a good body.

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