Politics: where absolutely anything is OK as long as the right team does it.

Automotive stratification

Why is it that we still presume success based upon cars? The guy with the '98 Neon must be a failure, and the guy with the brand new Chrysler 300C must really know what he's doing. That guy with the Mercedes must be some sort of superhuman.

We live in an era, an era of easy credit and low payment leases, where a new BMW is easily within reach even for the most junior of positions. This is assuming that they were willing to sacrifice other elements of their lives, such that many people do to own a shiny new car.

I write this from a personal perspective - my yearly income (this is not bragging, but puts context into the discussion. I should also state that even income is a ridiculous measure of success) is within the top 5%, yet I drive a 7 year old econobox car that still runs great. I don't plan on replacing it until it dies, basically, as I realize that it is 99% the same as a brand new so-called luxury car.

It fascinates me how often I receive derisive looks, especially at my daughter's daycare where the debt laden parents climb into their shiny new just-like-last-years-only-curvier cost sink. Do people really think it's such an accomplishment footing $400/month for a lease?
Permalink ,..., 
March 3rd, 2005
As a parent, you'll love how the PR industry tries to "talk to you through your child's nagging":

Conspicuous consumption and "created wants," consumers warring and frothing at the mouth over near-identical brands... It would really entertain me if one day people fought wars underneath the banners of Coke and Pepsi.

Humorously, programmers take it almost to the extreme when they fight over their tools.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
March 3rd, 2005
I seem to remember reading somewhere that Ingvar Karlsson still drives an old Volvo estate...
Permalink Andrew Cherry 
March 3rd, 2005
Woops, sorry, should have been Ingvar Kamprad...
Permalink Andrew Cherry 
March 3rd, 2005
I'm driving an 89 Corsica with 123000 miles.
Permalink Joel Coehoorn 
March 3rd, 2005
Oops, you found an error!