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For Sale

June 13th, 2008

I have a friend who had this penchant of changing furnitures, interior designs or the landscaping of his house everytime he sees a new one that he’d like. Everytime he’d see a modern furniture displayed in the malls, on the lobby of a five star hotel or in one of his friend’s house, he would, by impulse, instantly change the ones he already had in his house. Even if the modern furniture does not fit his house’s interior design, he would insist on installing it for the simplest reason that he wouldn’t want to be left out with what his friends have. A simple case of keeping up with the Joneses.

This is a common case among those who wants to flaunt a newly acquired social status. Another term for this case is the conspicuous consumption. It is the lavish spending on practically anything mainly for the purpose of displaying income or wealth. In the mind of a conspicuous consumer, such profligacy serves as a means of attaining or maintaining social status.

This has become a common trait acquired by those who had made one step upward in the social heirarchy of a consumerist society. And in order for other people to recognize this achievement, conspicous consumption comes to the fore. In the Philippines, this has become a common trait among young urban professionals, celebrities, families of OFWs and of course our politicians, both the old and new trapos. That is why in our age and time, there seems to be an unsatiable craving for goods like new gadgets and gizmos, modern houses, modern lofts and condos, modern furniture, cars, guns, etc…and also even on services like spas and vacation packages.

Everything now is for sale. Anything can now be traded, including principles.

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