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Discussion in 'News and Politics' started by Quinlan, Mar 24, 2010.
interesting...i am just happy to be able to do something I love with my life. I dont really care about being rich...I wouldnt mind having some money saved, but I wouldnt want to be rich either...
I'm not a big fan of money. I use it because I kinda have to, but I dream of going without it. I really don't care if I have more or less money than any of my friends.
I wonder if this sentiment carries over to the U.S., I just can't come to the same conclusion from personal experience.
In Britain this phenomenon is called 'keeping up with the Jones's' The idea being that if someones neighbour gets something then they will desire the same thing or something better; for example a car You can actually see this in some streets where there is a lot of something unusual because one person has bought something so then many others have as well in order to 'keep up' in their own perceptions of what is doing well in life It is basically a herd mentality and it is rife in Britain Britain is a very small, ordered country with a high population density. Everyone is aware how everyone else around them is doing in the game of life and they want to keep up I very much see this psychological trap as one of the engine houses of capitalism/consumerism and i also think it leads to a lot of people being unhappy because their values are affluenza values. Also they are so absorbed in acheiving their goals that they don't stop to think whether they are the right goals or to actually enjoy themselves along the way 'Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way'-Pink Flyod 'Life is what happens whilst we're making plans'-John Lennon
Oh... I see now, well I havn't noticed this with something like a car but. It's undeniably noticable with technology. I guess then best example would either be game systems or MP3 player(mostly Apple).
I agree. I see no point in competing in a game of "who has the bigger wallet" or to compete for anything in like that really.
Yes, the sentiment definitely carries over to the US. As in the UK, it is rampant here in suburbia as well. Bimmers, SUVs, cookie-cutter houses, iphones, ipods, anything and everything that can be marketed successfully as bigger and better or faster and more compact must be had, and if it's always best to be the first to have it. It's the rat race mentality that's been around for ages. As middle age creeps up on you, it can be amazingly easy to slip into that mentality if you're not careful.
It's powerful enough that some scientists believe it is part of evolutionary psychology. To put it bluntly, social status can get you laid. So until that changes, people are going to keep striving to be richer/flashier/"better" than their neighbors. I've been around people buying houses for much of my adult life. I'm always amazed how many people take great pains to make the latter choice: the biggest house in the neighborhood. Or, if they are of a mechanical disposition, they will go into insane amounts of debt to own the nicest car(s) possible while living in an unsafe home in poor repair. That's also part of what caused the real estate bubble -- given the opportunity, people will (on the whole) choose bigger and flashier regardless of their actual ability to afford it. I didn't invent it, I don't particularly like it, but I sure have observed it. Sigh.
Another weird and related phenomenom? People snooping into their neighbor's actual financial statements. Because they really, really, really, really want to know. Personally, I think it's kind of loser-y to exhibit that much interest in how your neighbors are doing.
Evolution hasn't made people greedy. Consumerism plays on people's fear of not keeping with the herd The wealthy (those who control the means of production) have created wants in people and then they supply those wants for a profit. It is not a 'dog eat dog world' by nature, it is that way because that is the environment which has been created The property boom happened because of the availability of cheap credit. Mortgages were being given out recklessly The derivitives market is just a new way for the wealthy to control the wealth. The rating agencies which were supposed to assess the safeness of sub prime mortgage packages gave them a safer rating then they should have because the rating agencies are owned by the banks themselves...which just goes to show how crooked the whole system is Many members of the public are acting without full comprehension. The people to blame are those that understood the full implications of what they were doing but did it anyway