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Old 06-21-2007, 09:10 PM
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 15,301,899 times
Reputation: 3936


This reminds me of the book "The Millionaire Next Door," whose thesis is that for the most part, the wealthiest people actually live rather modest lives--they drive modest cars, they wear modest clothes, and they tend to live in unassuming houses in unassuming towns and neighborhoods. The authors (Stanley and Danko) found that many people confuse income with wealth, and that many people with high incomes are so caught up in consumerism that they don't realize how little they really have.
I've read the book and I agree with what they say to an extent. Warren Buffett is a PERFECT example of this; he lived in the same house since he was married (I've even drove by it) and drives an older Lincoln Towncar. He doesn't live in a multi-million dollar mansion or drive a Bentley; he drives an unassuming car and lives in an unassuming house in a very middle-class neighborhood.

My father is a shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway and he always goes to the annual shareholders meeting. He's even met Warren Buffett personally and my father says that he seems like any other normal person. He doesn't try to talk above you or impress you with his fancy clothes, he's very down-to-earth from what I've heard.

Besides who does Buffett need to impress? Everyone knows he has more money than he could ever know what to do with. These people that have all of this $$ are secure enough to not feel the need to show it off. However those who DON'T have it feel the need to impress everyone else.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:26 PM
Location: Ohio
138 posts, read 891,786 times
Reputation: 190
Try to live by the GOOD Principle.

Get Out Of Debt and stay out of debt.

How long can the U.S. economy sustain itself like this ?
With a large part of the economy, just living on borrowed money ?

Does anybody see some VERY REAL problems facing this country, in the years ahead ?
How long can a nation continue on this path, and not reach a tipping point ?
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:09 PM
Location: Denver
692 posts, read 2,423,062 times
Reputation: 365
Look no further than the upcoming memoirs from Paris Hilton.
I suspect there will be a box set with her sex tapes.
We can gather strength from her ordeal as well as insight
to a meaningful life from white - billionaire - trash.
( the box set comes with a Carls Jrs. coupon )
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:41 AM
Location: Henderson NV
1,134 posts, read 916,906 times
Reputation: 82
Originally Posted by GreggB View Post
WELCOME TO AMERICA!!! Will these traits you speak of ever change??? Probably. Problem is it''ll take a Nuclear Armageddon. That and that only would put us all on an equal playing field~~
Ya know, GreggB, a post like that could getcha kicked out of here! Some dude named 'Caution' will come by and say, " That was a sick post, and not funny on any level." I oughtta know... and you'll lose all your little green squares! And ScrantonWilkesBarre, You're only 20?? I'm 45 and I thought you were a 68 year old member of the ScrantonWilkesBarre chamber of commerce!!! A very thoughtful post though, and sad but true. If the 'Paul' you're talking about who's ' bringing sexyback ' is McCartney, some would say he sold his soul to Starbucks, even if his album is the best in a long time. I've also found Warren Buffet to be fascinating in normal conversation. He made that New York guy with the PBS show who interviewed him recently look like a downright provincial snob!

Last edited by milquetoast; 06-22-2007 at 01:59 AM..
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Old 06-22-2007, 08:42 AM
Location: The great state of New Hampshire
792 posts, read 2,905,625 times
Reputation: 430
I'll tell you what would be the only way to cut materialism: far more stingy credit requirements as it pertains to offering credit cards. But that will never legitimately happen beyond what we have already seen transpire in the housing industry recently as it pertains to pure credit without a full-fledged Great Depression II, or a significant recession at the very least.
Many who are rich are naturally just going to flaunt it....variables such as era and culture aren't relevant. Always has been the way throughout history. But now the proletariat class has an ability though to tap into this market via easy credit unlike up to just 30 years ago. It is unbelievable the number of idiots I've run across who ruin their credit and one day finally it comes circle when the they are mired in too much debt to even pay their minimum balances. People mired in over $60,000 in credit card debt alone, driving Lexuses, wearing expensive clothing and jewelry, spending hundreds for a dam purse or pair of sunglasses even!- some who do nothing more than customer service work for Dunkin Donuts! Particularly when you are in an affluent community, if you are one of the minority who is making minimal wages, the temptation is enough to make people to make the decision to "keep up".
Bankruptcy was often at least perceived as an easy-way out. But now the change in bankruptcy laws make it less appealing.
Still people extend themselves no matter what, much in the way that even if we raised speed limits to 200 MPH, people would still need to go 210. You have $10,000 in credit available, you will treat it as $10,000 of free money to spend freely. Even at times the upper classes I witnessed in New York have managed to find ways to be mired in debt with incomes of six figures.
Boy are we ever both a stupid and shallow species!
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Old 06-22-2007, 08:56 AM
Location: Kentucky
6,749 posts, read 19,971,886 times
Reputation: 2129
I am glad I never bought into any of this. I don't care what kind of car I drive or how big my house is. My sister is the same way. What I do care about is being with my family, traditions and God. That's it. What's funny is I wasn't completely raised this way. I grew up in my Grandma's house who (God love her) thinks that her whole worth is based on how pretty her house is and how well she kept up with her neigbors. But even she wasn't as bad as her sister. Her sister thinks if it isn't name brand, don't get it no matter how good it is. I don't understand it, I truly don't.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:01 AM
4,625 posts, read 12,878,895 times
Reputation: 1668
Heh. While I have a slight penchant for clothes, I've never really been into attaining the rest of that crap. I sometimes feel like a bit of a freak being in my mid-thirties and not caring all that much that I don't have a car and live in a one bedroom apartment. I do, however, because of my choices, have the means to live comfortably and rarely worry about how I'm going to pay my bills. Too me, that is worth more than all of the fancy cars, big houses, and bling in the world. It seems like the more stuff people accumulate, that more of their life is spent maintaining it, protecting it, etc. Whenever I clean out a closet and throw stuff in the dumpster (or give it away), I always feel a bit freer.

Oh, and I still brew my own coffee every morning.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:10 AM
Location: Houston, TX
1,712 posts, read 3,883,404 times
Reputation: 775
When people ask me what I do, I tell them that I'm a "professional bum" and that I don't care what cars people drive and how big their houses are. You should see the looks on people's faces after I say that... it's like their brains just short-circuited... priceless
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:20 AM
Location: Matamoras, PA
43 posts, read 200,620 times
Reputation: 26
When asking, is all of this nonsense going to ever stop, I say no. Our children are stuck in daycares when they are only a couple of months old. They grow up there, sometimes from as early as 6 A.M. until 6 or 7 P.M. Why? So they can grow up in a bigger house, drive around in a beamer, get signed up for all kinds of extra activities? I was raised by my stay at home Mom, and my children were raised by their mother. They are now 16 and 13 years old. We had to make sacrifices when they were younger to be able to do this, but they were well worth it. We still were able to manage to live well enough on 1 salary, our house was a little small, but that didn't seem to bother them. Now kids get picked up from daycare, and Mommy and Daddy go buy them something to make them happy, because most parents are to tired from running the rat race, to spend time with the kids. Then we all wonder why so many kids have behavioral issues today. Our kids are being raised to run the rat race from a very young age, so I think that it is only going to get worse.
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:21 AM
Location: Vero Beach, Fl
2,949 posts, read 12,192,115 times
Reputation: 2076
I was always under the impression that if you felt secure about yourself, you didn't need to impress others by how much you have be it money, designer clothes, cars, horses, homes, and stuff in general. You just didn't have any class if you flaunted that which you have (or in many cases what you don't have but want others to think you do).

This is sadly one of the downfalls of our society. I see 20 - 30 somethings driving Bentley's or at the very least BMW's and Mercede's. Cell phone are glued to their ears as they attempt to navigate traffic. Courtesy/politness no longer exists - people would rather insult you or tell you what you can do with your antaomy rather than discussing things as civilized people should do. You can not have an intelligent conversation with most of these people if their lives depended on it.

Materialism is just one facet of a growing issue in our society. So where did it begin? Materialism has been a part of our cutlure beginning with our founding fathers - just take a look at their legacy. Fast forward to the last decade or so with the need for "more" drugs, money, recognition, drama, information, instant gratification, etc. Excellent thread!

Last edited by jhlcomp; 06-22-2007 at 12:23 PM..
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