Notes and Reflections on Books and Media
by Hannah Leitheiser
New York Times
One of the traditional signs of class was owning luxury products, and certainly $20,000 coats and watches made of gold are still out there, but in America we've come into such a state of material availability that it's harder to tell people apart by their possessions. You can earn in the lower quartile and still enjoy Starbucks coffee while texting on your iPhone.
The disparities are growing, though, in more sinister ways -- in access to health care or housing, for example.
Luxury, now is more about services. What camps do your kids go do, what saloon does your nails, how do you vacation, or even how much time can you afford to volunteer? It's lifestyle more than stuff.