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Old 02-20-2007, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Topeka, KS
1,560 posts, read 7,151,885 times
Reputation: 513

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Oh, don't get me wrong Stargazer, I love a nice car as much as the next guy. And I have no problem with people driving what they want. I would never question your motivations for purchasing a vehicle. (Well that's not true, but when I do, believe me, it will be a mix of envy and good natured ribbing.)

We bought the Excursion to pull a camper. But I didn't buy the first 3/4 ton SUV I saw. (It ended up being the second, but price, condition and mileage were the deciding factors.) Our payments ended up being within $20 of our old payments on a '99 Suburban.

The Jetta is my daily ride, and I enjoy it quite thoroughly. It's been paid for since early '04 and until this year, I haven't needed any repairs. This fall I threw out a sparkplug on the Trinity River bridge on I-35E, but the repair bill was only $210. A month later the transmission died, and rather than replace the car, we paid $1800 for a new transmission and clutch. Even with the 210,000 miles it has on it, we didn't think twice about it. It's always been a dependable car, and assuming it last through March, it won't have cost us more than payment for a new car would have cost.

 
Old 02-20-2007, 11:56 AM
 
1,067 posts, read 5,659,942 times
Reputation: 558
Hey I do agree the attitude has been going on a long time. I saw it in the 80's over 20 yrs ago when I did not live in Dallas, but was visiting.

I actually don't care either what people drive. I don't think about what others are driving but do notice the amount of luxary cars on the road here versus other areas I have lived. If I meet someone, I don't think about the car they have and I don't think it gives them a status so to speak. Oh I failed to mention, I see more Ford and Dodge pick ups than any other make and I see just as many of those vehicles as the luxary brands.

From living my life and being as old as I am, I have come to learn that people living in huge houses have bills to pay and budgets to live by. I could care less if I had a friend living in a garage or a friend in a mansion. Those are just material things, they don't really speak of what character you have. Too people don't really gravitate towards people who drive the big car, it is the persona. I see it time and time again.
 
Old 02-20-2007, 12:01 PM
 
10 posts, read 39,521 times
Reputation: 13
Default So true

This is a great thread. I and my wife were just talking yesterday about the size of the first house that we should be buying after delaying it for so long. This thread resembles a lot of what we were discussing. We maintained a 2002 Ford focus car for the entire family for almost four years and took commuter train from Suburbs in Boston to downtown boston,MA(yes I am from MA and recently registered here and reading these boards for a while for more info about North texas. I did travel to TX last year to actually see it first hand. I will post my opinions soon). After the long commute took a toll on my health we decided to buy a second car. After living a modest life for so many years we decided to go for little luxuary and chose Nissan Murano for its looks. I probably drove it couple of times during its first year. It just makes me sad sitting infront of the wheels and feel so much guilt driving it. I am so happy and excited to take my ford focus everyday to work.

But I want to add to previous posters response by saying that adding fuel to this materialism in US is easy monetary policy,which is fostering excess consumption. I see pizza guys delivering pizzas in BMW in my town(Attleboro,MA) . I would imagine lots of them are buying Plasma TV,High Definition TV, suvs,McMansions using zero down,variable rate,no documents loans. Other wise what explains our debt levels as percentage of GDP sitting at peak of Mount Whitney.I do not think materialism is an issue specific to Plano,TX or Cary,NC. It is every where. But what I noticed in my travels is the gap between rich and poor is diverging at a scary rate.Unless we go through some painful process(It will not be painful if you live below your means),this process is going to accelerate.
 
Old 02-20-2007, 12:13 PM
 
39 posts, read 172,468 times
Reputation: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by krishnarama View Post
This is a great thread. I and my wife were just talking yesterday about the size of the first house that we should be buying after delaying it for so long. This thread resembles a lot of what we were discussing. We maintained a 2002 Ford focus car for the entire family for almost four years and took commuter train from Suburbs in Boston to downtown boston,MA(yes I am from MA and recently registered here and reading these boards for a while for more info about North texas. I did travel to TX last year to actually see it first hand. I will post my opinions soon). After the long commute took a toll on my health we decided to buy a second car. After living a modest life for so many years we decided to go for little luxuary and chose Nissan Murano for its looks. I probably drove it couple of times during its first year. It just makes me sad sitting infront of the wheels and feel so much guilt driving it. I am so happy and excited to take my ford focus everyday to work.

But I want to add to previous posters response by saying that adding fuel to this materialism in US is easy monetary policy,which is fostering excess consumption. I see pizza guys delivering pizzas in BMW in my town(Attleboro,MA) . I would imagine lots of them are buying Plasma TV,High Definition TV, suvs,McMansions using zero down,variable rate,no documents loans. Other wise what explains our debt levels as percentage of GDP sitting at peak of Mount Whitney.I do not think materialism is an issue specific to Plano,TX or Cary,NC. It is every where. But what I noticed in my travels is the gap between rich and poor is diverging at a scary rate.Unless we go through some painful process(It will not be painful if you live below your means),this process is going to accelerate.
This has to be a joke . No one is this economically challenged.
 
Old 02-20-2007, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Topeka, KS
1,560 posts, read 7,151,885 times
Reputation: 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by mindsman View Post
This has to be a joke . No one is this economically challenged.
Actually, I'd say he has a much better grip on his economics than most Americans.
 
Old 02-20-2007, 03:04 PM
 
244 posts, read 1,093,370 times
Reputation: 201
People in Dallas just have a need to impress everyone, and they often spend money they don't even have. This is why you see so many foreclosures in Collin county.

People in Dallas are probably the most image conscious out of any other city in Texas. But hey, the women are pretty darn hot, and they know how to dress. My friend from Denton always joke, "from the moment I get off the plane at DFW, I know I'm in Dallas based on the women".

You'd be surprised how homely women are in SA, Houston, and Austin.
 
Old 02-20-2007, 03:07 PM
 
244 posts, read 1,093,370 times
Reputation: 201
Now don't get me wrong. I think there are a lot of rich people in Dallas (approx. 35,000 millionares), but I also think there are a lot of wannabees. People who pretend like they have money, but in actuality just work a basic job.
 
Old 02-20-2007, 03:50 PM
 
14 posts, read 54,578 times
Reputation: 19
I am from Orange County, CA (some say the materialism capital!) and plan on moving to Plano next year. The materialism doesn't bother me because here where the average house price just DROPPED to $600,000... you have to pretend like you are rich to survive! Looking like you have money makes life easier no matter what anyone says, it may not be right, but it's true! Someone who looks like they have money will be treated better at stores because they are looked at as less likely to shoplift and more likely to spend money. My 2002 Chevy Trailblazer is considered borderline old and trashy here, so my husband and I take his new truck most places. I choose not to spend my entire paycheck on wasteful things, but I have learned to be able to fit into this kind of society without directly participating in it. Most people I know think my husband and I make a lot more money than we do, but we actually spend less money than anyone I know. It is almost a competition for me to have the best life possible for the least amount of money! People only get sucked into materialism because they want to, there are ways to get around it and still be happy.
 
Old 02-20-2007, 04:28 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,743 posts, read 14,306,863 times
Reputation: 1627
Quote:
Originally Posted by krishnarama View Post
I see pizza guys delivering pizzas in BMW in my town(Attleboro,MA) . I would imagine lots of them are buying Plasma TV,High Definition TV, suvs,McMansions using zero down,variable rate,no documents loans. <snip>
Actually, pizza delivery folk can make REALLY good money.

Just sayin'.

As for the thread topic;

My ex in-laws are from Dallas. I didn't have much experience w/Dallas folk prior to them (I'm from SA), but they are completely snobby, materialistic, and obsessed with "appearances".

They about popped a cork when their son wanted to marry ME. LOL. Blue collar background, single mom, raised by a single mom, living in low income housing at the time.. they about died!

Oh well...
 
Old 02-20-2007, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
50 posts, read 300,150 times
Reputation: 29
It is interesting how certain aspects of different cultures are tangible and associated with different areas.

I have lived in two other states besides Texas and can say that I too notice more materialism in Collin County than the other two states. Keep in mind, though, that Dallas has a long history of wealth. The Oil and Gas industry alone has helped to create a very wealthy climate here.

Here's a few of my thoughts on the topic:

1. Materialism is a matter of personal values.

We all know people who are very rich and you'd never know it. We know people who are rich and make sure you know it. We all know people who just act like they are rich. All of these types of people can be found in almost every state in the US; Collin County is not unique.

What people value the most becomes evident over time. Whether it is materialism, social issues, spirituality, or any else.

2. It is human nature to congregate in a cultural area that matches our individual values.

In other words, "birds of a feather flock together". People who live comfortable, wealthy lifestyles like to be around people of like mind and values. Perhaps Collin County gets the rap it does because wealthy people like to be around other wealthy people. What's wrong with that?

Gay people like San Francisco because it is an area where many people share the same values towards sexual orientation.

If an area doesn't match your values then we have the freedom in this country to move to a location that does.

3. The opposite of pervasive materialism is not any better.

One of the states I lived in is notorious for being one of the poorest in the nation. It's not, however, because they have somehow been cheated or oppressed by rich people. It is because of a cultural MINDSET. An oppressive poverty mentaility is just as repellent as abrasive materialism.

After being around people who rarely aspire to do anything other than maintain the status quo, I have personally concluded that I would rather be around those who strive to better themselves, their lifestyles, and want more out of life.

By the way, I drive a Lexus and I love it. It only costs $15/month more than my Ford Taurus. Does that make me materialistic?
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