Cultural Fashion

What role does eye candy play in our culture of consumption? When I came to Tupelo the thing I was told was the furniture industry is a fashion industry. Most of the commercials on TV are about how things look and not how they work. Nothing of what they are made of or who makes them. What makes one product better suited for the application than another? The auto sales pitch is a prime example. It is all about your emotions and how much others admire your purchase. The sales pitch is all about savings. You save nothing when you consume and spend money. The concept they use, as a ploy about savings, is how much less you pay from the imaginary retail price. Keystone is setting the retail price at double of what the retailer pays the manufacture for it. In cars the price is keep from the customer by bate and switch tactics. The dealer price is not what the car cost the dealer. There are holdbacks and other dealer incentives to make more dealer profits. Then the advertised price is not what it is going to cost you. They did not mention the cars they have are not the base cars as they have options. Then there is several dealer add ons such as cleaning, inspecting, marketing costs, sales tax, and the list goes on.

Why do we consume more than what it takes to survive a comfortable life? Most of it is status and how we look to our peers. We are a trained people to consume from the time we are born. The system requires growth to cover debts. Psychological manipulation has us working and buying. Planned obsolescence has us buy more and replace what we already have. We even pay to go places to be marketed to. The local home show is an example of that. Many people are not educated Engineers able to ask the right questions about the quality of the product. The sales man could not answer them anyway. What role does art play? Do collections bring happiness? In a finite world that sells tomorrow for a bit of fashion today, the total number of consumers plays the biggest role in humanity’s survival.

One Response to “Cultural Fashion”

  1. fwiw says:

    Our leaders are on the slippery slope of growth at any cost to assuage the demands from all the various constituencies both Right and Left. The Fed/Wall St affair continues to pay investment banks to borrow money to pump up sales using free(?) credit on long term loans. Young Americans have been convinced that only suckers put off their fun until tomorrow and feel entitled to gratify their every whim and stroke their egos using credit cards that pay rewards for going into debt. I have met several people who think they are geniuses because they fly free on their vacations and drive a new car with nothing down by leasing. When this current bubble goes bust what will congress spend to clean it up? But who can fight such a compelling trend?

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Dansette