Status symbols be damned

Discussion in 'General' started by Feed The Trees, Dec 7, 2017.

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  1. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    I don't get the draw of status symbols... cars or otherwise... or things like conspicuous
    conservationism. Money at that point becomes meaningless and you spend on stuff just because you're bored. For this site that's mostly Tesla but other lux cars for that matter.

    So who cares?!
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  3. rosssr

    rosssr Member

    so when are you moving into a tent?
  4. Domenick

    Domenick Administrator Staff Member

    I think there's got to be some middle ground somewhere between a McMansion and a tent. Perhaps a modest bungalow.
  5. rosssr

    rosssr Member

    most people live in the best house they can afford, and their wife likes.....
    but if you eschew all forms of status, then you must want to move into a dwelling that does not confer status....which is a race to the bottom. if you do not like tents, maybe some government housing can work ;)
  6. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    I dunno, I feel like status symbols are relative. To me, someone's 80,000 Tesla Model S might seem like a "status" symbol. But I think for most Tesla owners, a Tesla is still a useful tool that drivers utilize every day.

    5 years ago, I was a college student. I drove a 2008 base model Scion xD. I thought of the brand new 40,000 Volts and Leafs as a status symbol... I couldn't even afford a hybrid, much less an electric.

    Ultimately, the Teslas, Bolts, Volts, Scions and even the lowly Mitsubishi Mirage all serve the same purpose. - it drives you from one location to another. :p

    If you ask me, the car doesn't define you... but the type of car you choose can say a lot about who you are and what you value. If you drive a Prius or a Leaf, then you probably care more about looking green than looking cool. If you buy a Tesla P100D then you probably care less about luxury and more about technology and performance... and sometimes a little bit about looking green.

    If you drive a Spark EV, Smart ED or Mitsubishi i-Miev then you don't give a crap about status symbols. ;) You just want a cheap electric car!
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  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Status symbols aren't about being "bored", they are about establishing a place in the social pecking order. In evolutionary terms, for social animals like humans, being popular improves your "support network" and thus increases your long-term chances of survival. Showing off in the manner of conspicuous consumption is also part of the instinct to exhibit behaviors which will attract a better mate.

    And I imagine that if we could see how you live, we could quickly find some things that most people consider status symbols, even if you're in denial about that. iPhone or iPad? Big-screen TV? Designer jeans? Sneakers that cost more than $120? Just how many items would you check off on a conspicuous consumption survey, "Feed the Trees"?
  9. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    Not conspicuous consumption, conspicuous conservationism.

    I have the means to go get a model x p100d cash no problem. It's not lack of ability or not being in that realm of people who drive those. I should be driving one by demographics but I feel weird spending money of cars. Clothes? No I just wear Gap or Old Navy shorts and whatever t shirt I have. I actually live out of a pile of clothes by my bed that cycle through to the laundry. iPhone no, I broke a phone recently and went and got a refurbished $200 Nexus 6 from like 4 years ago.

    If I'm surrounding myself with people or mates impressed by things and stuff then I think I failed at life.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  10. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    It's not a race to the bottom to not spend on things just because you can, and not buy stuff just to show off or keep up with norms. If that's a race to the bottom we're all doomed.
  11. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    Yes there's a family to house, but we didnt by any means just buy the biggest house we could afford. We're well under average price here and the top is about 3x the price.

    This all started after watching Minimalism a while back. I will buy something quality that I will keep a long time and appreciate, like appliances, but I won't just mindlessly spend to impress or have stuff, and things.

    I think most normal people have a point where they say more money becomes irrelevant. Not all but most. If you ask yourself would $100m a year be ok then on a level most are inclined to say yes!! But what would you do with that money? If you can accept that $100m is more than you need then you begin to walk back to where your threshold of need is. Everyone is different but you can really get to the point of needs being met easily if you're frugal. Money is a commodity not unlike many others. Do you just blindly take more commodities than you need just because? I'm happy to cover my life's needs and goals and be done. Maybe some extra for insurance just in case but certainly not going wild. I'm only going on this tangent because I felt that EV fans would be inclined to understand minimizing the consumption of commodities.

    Anyhow, before I could afford the nice Benz I used to really aspire to it and relish the day I got one. Now that I can I just don't care.

    I saw a study about the tax bill. It said that giving a break to the lowest incomes increases money spent on necessities, places people really need help. Giving a tax break to the richest increases spending on alcohol, cars, and vacations. Stuff where people are already doing fine.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
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  13. Apexerman

    Apexerman Member

    I recall a funny comment on the rapid depreciation of high-end luxury cars. If ever there was a more poor investment, it's six figure car that will essentially be worth half that in a few years. Luxury cars are usually a statement to the well-off that you've "made it." The problem is if you purchase the last generation of this high-end vehicle, it says less about your good taste and more about your inability to afford a new one. Thank goodness I don't belong to this status trap, although I'm reminded of a quote by the jazz singer Pearl Bailey when she said, "I'd rather be miserably rich that miserably poor!"
    WadeTyhon likes this.
  14. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    I always thought part of the status symbols appeal is the crazy depreciation is irrelevant to you, you have so much money you can afford to take a bath on a car every few years and not care.

    The choice between rich and poor is too obvious. The choice of accumulating more when you already are doing fine with a clear path for life is different. Always go for more. Always get that promotion and title. Sounds great for a while. Unless you are needing to spend spend spend then eventually you run out of things you want to spend on and more becomes more for sake of more. That's what I'm referring to.

    I just cancelled the final interviews of a Director job at a massive company, household name worldwide. Why? One big reason is the path I saw it leading to of VP meant I'd have more money than I'd ever spend without just pissing it away because I can. Why would I spend my life away from family making this huge company more money, just so I can go buy crap I don't even want? It was a real issue for me to try and parse this one out and I kept coming back to I just don't care, so I backed out to their surprise.

    Between rich and poor? That's lazy talk.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
  15. Apexerman

    Apexerman Member

    Kudos to your decision, Feed. And I'd agree, the facile pursuit of money does not ensure happiness. Note my post has a healthy sarcastic bent.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017

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