Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Does Consumerism Consume You?

A lot of people mistakenly identify wealth with having high status symbols such as a big house in an upscale neighborhood, a luxury car, designer clothing, expensive jewelry and the like. Few people knew that this is not the case.

According to the book “The Millionaire Next Door”, just a small percentage of people who display high status living are affluent. Most who live “just like the rich” are not really rich. They are “the wanna-be’s” who are greatly influenced by the media.

The media is an effective tool for consumerism. They feature celebrities or personalities wearing the latest, having the latest and driving the most expensive cars. The people are left with the idea that successful people own branded things, luxury cars, live in mansions and have the best of both worlds.

Mike Tyson’s lifestyle cost him approximately $400,000 a month. He was able to spend all the $300 million he earned during his boxing career. After his divorce trial, which cost hin $9 million in legal fees alone, he incurred a debt amounting to $27 million.

Michael Jackson had a lavish lifestyle during his time. But after his death, it was reported that Michael Jackson was in $400 million worth of debt.

Mike Tyson and Michael Jackson are just two of the celebrities who lived like kings but never managed to keep themselves out of debt.

What drives this spending frenzy? They thought that people will not idolize them unless they display a lifestyle lavish enough to please the audience.

The scary part of the story doesn’t end with the celebrities. It actualy starts when people try to live like celebrities. So next time you see a person spending so much on things he doesn’t need to please people who don’t care, remind him of the stories of Mike Tyson and Michael Jackson.

~Till then

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