High End Marketing

Here is an interesting article/book review on Why People Buy Things They Don't Need. I think in some ways this high end marketing is part of the problem with modern day America. Everything is a status symbol. Even though most of the "poor" have televisions, cars, cellphones, video game systems, etc., they feel cheated because they can't drive a Jaguar and don't have a 2-carat diamond ring.

But, at the same time, I think if there is a market for high end goods where you basically pay just for the exclusivity of the name, then it might as well be served by some companies. In the end, I am always for more consumer choice. In my view, the problem is really more a cultural or sociological phenomenon than an economic one. Americans are greedy, materialsitic, and must keep up with the Joneses (though there are people who pride themselves on being thrifty). If people can't be happy with their lives because they don't have all the stuff they want, then they should change their attitude.