Conspicuous Consumption


I realize that lifestyle issues can be volitile. Where to draw the line between legitimate expenditures and self-indulgent, narcissistic waste can be slippery and relative to determine in light of a variety of factors.

However, I find it hard for anyone with an awareness of a world in need and even a mildly sensitive conscience not to be saddened and even disgusted by what regularly appears in the Real Estate section that comes with the Sunday Los Angeles Times.

A letter to the editor in today’s paper says it better than I can:

“I was stuck by stories in two sections of the February 25 Times. The first was “Napa Medieval,” the fanciful castle-winery in the Napa area featured in the Travel Section and the second was “Bel-Air Home Has Two Lanes, No Waiting,” Home of the Week.

Any thinking, caring human being must register upon reading about these two huge developments, the extraordinary expense and scope of the projects and what the amount of money could do if even some of it was invested in a greater good. As long as a significant number of people are without decent shelter, adequate food, clean water and opportunity for basic healthcare, it is shocking to see the excess on which people with wealth choose to spend their money.

I just can’t comprehend a house with 20 bathrooms in 34,000-plus square feet or a winery that could hold 50 average sized homes. While even one person anywhere in the world is suffering unnecessarily, it is a travesty to continue building ever-bigger monuments to peoples’ egos.” — Carol Palladini, Santa Barbara

One Response to “Conspicuous Consumption”

  1. Jon Hall Says:

    Well said.

    It’s interestig to note as well, that in the editorial section of the L.A. Times this past week, a reporter lamented the direction the primary shareholders of the L.A. Times—an investment firm— has taken it. When interviewed, the investment firm’s representative responded to comments questioning the content of the L.A. Times, by stating that L.A. area readers prefer to read about celebrities, the rich and famous, and the Lakers, not news about the nation or world. He stated that national and international news can be had by the NY Times, Wall Street Journal or USA Today, and that there isn’t a need for a “fourth” national/international news source for Southern Californians.

    What a sad and myopic statement, by one of the emost influential sources of news and information sources for us.

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