September 28, 2018

It's Getting Harder To Impress With Stuff

Conspicuous consumption is "the act or practice of spending money on expensive things that are not necessary in order to impress other people". These days it is getting harder to do.

People are running out of things to buy in order to create an impression. You can only purchase so many $6,000 dollar shower curtains, or $10,000 suits before we stop paying attention and turn to more important matters, like the small, enjoyable things of living life. 

Or nuclear war, climate change and technological disruption.

If no one is paying attention to the crap you own and buy, why bother? If we ignore them, maybe they will stop.

Moving forward, the 2,000 plus global billionaires (and their aspirational followers), will have to spend their money more intelligently than throwing themselves $10 million dollar birthday parties, in order to impress anyone.

I have a few suggestions. 

Item                                                 Cost (B $U.S.)

Provide basic education for all students 6

Water and sanitation for everyone 9

Reproductive health for all women 12

Basic health and nutrition for all 13

Conspicuous consumption is so over. No one cares what you own. We want to know what you are made of. Greed? Selfishness? Foolery?

Or compassion? Empathy? Love?

What impresses now is being a good global citizen that practices conspicuous helping. Or inconspicuous. Helping is the thing. 

That would impress.


  1. Gosh if we could only get focused on that list and fund those things. I appreciate how optimistic you are. The group of people who are resisting ownership of excess crap is growing. This is hopeful.

    1. Terri,

      I do believe you are right. We have moved past Peak Crap. It's all baggage, and the people want to be free.

      It amazes me that we don't fund those things. There is obviously no shortage of money in the world. Jeff Bezos alone is worth 162 billion. He could single handedly fund all of the above, and have an embarrassment of wealth left over.

      The dark forces have had their day, and their end is inevitable. It has to, because our survival depends on it.


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