The biggest issue in America today isn’t who’s occupying the White House or whatever other “catastrophe” is up next on the media’s docket. It’s an issue that hits much closer to home for most people. The fascinating aspect of it, though, is that most people don’t even realize it’s affecting them.
I’m talking about the phenomenon of keeping up with the Joneses.
I assume you know what this phenomenon entails, but if not, let me give a brief example.
Mr. and Mrs. Mike Smith live in an upper-class neighborhood and make what most would call a decent living. They have two kids and drive one 3-year old Honda and one 5-year old Toyota. Over the past few months, both Mr. and Mrs. Smith have noticed that two of their neighbors have recently purchased a 7 series BMW and a Mercedes Benz E class. Shortly after, they start to hear other neighbors softly mention those “nicer” cars “owned” by those “well off” neighbors. Then, even their kids start to mention the neighbors’ kids getting driven around in nicer cars than theirs. Before you know it, Mr. and Mrs. Smith have traded in their 5-year old Toyota and have a new Lexus parked in their driveway. Never mind the fact that those funds were supposed to be for their kids’ college fund. It’s all about appearances, right?