Eco-Friendly is the New Status Symbol

Although of course luxury cars will always have a special place in our hearts, the tides are changing and the sign of status, elitism, and education isn’t just having money anymore.

Economists claim that ostentatious displays of wealth have actually fallen out of fashion, to the point that they’re seen as crass by most people.

Instead, conspicuous donations to charity, buying second-hand clothes, collecting ‘useless’ university degrees, using politically correct language and making a point of not watching television are all the newest signs of social status.

tesla3Some attribute this change to the increased affordability of cars, foreign holidays and the buys. Now to do these things isn’t such an amazing feat in the eyes of others.

According to a spokesman for London’s Adam Smith Institute, “Rather than trying to one-up one another by buying Bentleys, Rolexes and fur coats, the modern social climber is more likely to try and show off their ‘authenticity’ by having the correct opinions on music and politics and making sure their coffee is sourced ethically.”

According to the institute’s head of research Ben Southward, “More or less everyone can afford goods that were a show of status int he 1960s and so the competition has gone and we’ve had to move on to something else. It is much harder to learn which products are Fair-trade or which kind of cashmere you should buy, which makes it a much more fertile race to run in.”

Ryan Murphy is an economist that received research on the topic. He claims that fast cars, gaudy diamonds and grand parties have fallen way out of fashion, to the point that they’re actually being seen as somewhat distasteful.

“A wife adorning herself with a fistful of diamonds perhaps could once convince herself that she wears the diamonds because they look beautiful and she loves her husband but, broadly speaking, most of her dinner companions would see it as crass,” explained Professor Murphy, who teaches at the southern Methodist University in Texas.

“In other words, most elements of Western society have moved beyond associating ostentatious displays of wealth with high status.”

The unethical, petty nature of these relatively see-through demonstrations of wealth have been commented on by artists and thinkers for decades and perhaps even centuries, but it seems the elite classes are just catching up.

“If anything, it is simply considered rude; one could say you must signal you are not signaling,” concluded Murphy.

rich person in a teslaOne major demonstration of this; useless university degrees about trendy subjects. According to Sam Bowman, the Adam Smith’s Institute’s executive director, “We all know that people with money try to show it off but focusing on flashy cars and fancy clothes actually misses that, in an era of abundance, the ┬ánew ‘aristocrats’ prefer to show off their privilege with hard-to-get retro clothes and objects, studying obscure subjects at university of even taking loud outrage-driven political positions or making conspicuous donations to sometimes wasteful charities.”

Although this spells the beginning of another form of enraging elitism, it’s likely a cultural change for the best. At least there will be more eco-friendly cars on the road.

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