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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 11-05-2005, 08:14 AM   #61
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Yes.

More specifically, M&A was very good, as was commodities trading, some equity and bond trading. Underwriting was probably average. Anything to do with CDS probably had a banner year. Certain specialty businesses (like life insurance securitization) did very well also.

Too bad a good year on Wall Street doesn't always filter down to Joe-Jane investor. Glad you had a good year though. Help's offset that Jersey cost of living.
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 11-05-2005, 08:54 AM   #62
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

I was thinking more about what I said about my feeling of guilt and wanted to add that guilt is not necessarily a good thing unless it makes me act in a more useful way.*

I don't know if a better description would be feeling in conflict because along the lines of Juliet Schorr's thesis, I am a part of this group here in the US with its living standards and also a part (although not as much) of the group over there in the third world with its own living standards. Maybe I feel both.

The conflict and/or guilt comes about mostly around big-ticket purchase items or "expensive" items; otherwise, I would not be able to function or live OK if I kept converting dollars into pesos and what my dollars here could buy there.

It's been said before, but it's all relative really--what is spending too much, what is conspicuous consumption depends on one's income level, one's circles of association and aspiration, one's society or country, one's upbringing, beliefs, experiences, and exposure, etc.

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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 11-05-2005, 09:27 AM   #63
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

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Originally Posted by wab
Is that considered cheap for old panels?* *Our neighbor just put up a bunch of brand-new Sanyo HIT panels at a little more than* $4/watt.

Sanyo HIT
$4/watt is cheap on Oahu! That panel would sell here for $6-7 watt, and installed would be about $8-$10/watt.

Most buyers are looking for high-power-density panels to fit on a small roof. We have plenty of roof space so we're able to bottom-fish for the older stuff. I found some scrap structural aluminum the other day so aside from a few nuts & bolts I'm ready to make my own mounting racks. I'm just not sure about a metal-cutting blade on a table saw...

After a few years of technology-driven price declines, I fear that PV prices are going to jump in 2006 by 10-25%. The new federal tax breaks appear to be very popular and manufacturers are already behind world demand.

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Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
(I'll bet Nords has the best de-compression stories. Getting off a submarine after three months or more of active duty in a life-death situation, occupied by required life-death activities, etc.)
The best decompression stories come from liberty ports. Unfortunately most of them aren't suitable for exaggerating the lies repeating in a family forum, although I did tremendously enjoy the full-time housekeeping/personal services staff in the 1991 Subic Bay quarters for a room rate of $5/day. Nothing sleazy or slimy, just a daily routine that included fresh-pressed uniforms, highly-polished shoes, a personal shopper, and a massage at the end of the "work" day. I felt like MacArthur, but I haven't been able to reproduce that life here at the same price...

Coming home is a good deal for the first 48 hours, but then repair people are crawling all over your gear and finding new ways to break it. After a month of "upkeep" you wish you could go back to sea but you just can't fix it fast enough.

That first 48 hours:
- Your spouse/roomate has taken charge of everything in the house routine that used to be "yours", including all the dining, recreational, & child-raising decisions. Battle-scarred veterans learn to defer on everything for the first few weeks until you learn the new rules (and until people decide to listen to you).
- You realize you're sleeping in a position that requires less than 72"x24". Even your nightmare thrashing fits within that space.
- Your eyes are still learning to focus on anything more distant than about 25 feet.
- Driving a car is terrifying. Everything moves so fast. You realize that you can navigate underwater from Oahu to Kauai blindfolded, but you no longer remember which highway exit to take to get home.
- Everything is so bright & shiny. You squint a lot.
- Your senses of smell and hearing are hypersensitive. Burning food and loud noises make you jump with paranoia.
- You sunburn a lot faster than you remember.
- You tend to walk with one shoulder thrust forward so that your body doesn't take up "so much" side-to-side hallway space.
- You have no concept of personal space, and you tend to pass by people much closer than they'd prefer.
- If it wasn't mainstream national news, you probably didn't hear about it. You have no clue about stock market trivia or the latest celebrity gossip or the deaths of famous people. This tends to make you very quiet when the group is talking.

After that first 48 hours it's time to deal with months of old mail and a huge backlog of maintenance. The odd thing about that last sentence is that it happens both at work and at home.

After 16 years on Oahu, and over a decade since my last sea duty, my spouse still knows the island's roads much better than I do. I'm slowly catching up but I apparently missed a lot during the first few years or just wasn't paying attention. But I can still remember all the course changes to navigate the Pearl Harbor channel!
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 11-05-2005, 10:12 AM   #64
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

Humm when I think of Conspicuous Consumption I think of another thread on this board about a live in maid.

I'm trying to live by that rule - If you can't say something nice then say nothing at all.

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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 11-05-2005, 10:21 AM   #65
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

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Originally Posted by TargaDave
Too bad a good year on Wall Street doesn't always filter down to* Joe-Jane investor.* Glad you had a good year though.* Help's offset that Jersey cost of living.
The year isn't over yet and I work at a company that makes money from gain or loss, not being a middleman. Year's not quite in the bag yet.
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 11-05-2005, 10:43 AM   #66
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

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Originally Posted by flipstress
I was thinking more about what I said about my feeling of guilt and wanted to add that guilt is not necessarily a good thing unless it makes me act in a more useful way.

I don't know if a better description would be feeling in conflict because along the lines of Juliet Schorr's thesis, I am a part of this group here in the US with its living standards and also a part (although not as much) of the group over there in the third world with its own living standards. Maybe I feel both.
Sometimes I wonder this: if my family were to switch places with a family from a third-world country, would that family feel guilty once they had my job and lifestyle and I had theirs?

Would they do any "better" morally than I try to do? Especially once they became used to this society. Lots of movies I'm sure address this, one I can think of is "Trading Places" (well, maybe it doesn't address exactly this situation...)

Perhaps we are all where we are for some purpose. I try to help others as I can, but what more am I supposed to do? I don't see how feeling guilty will help anyone.

Besides, if I feel guilty and they are happy in their own way, then who needs the help here?

I will add that I have had very limited exposure (next to none) to living in a third-world country, but I suspect that in thier own way, many people who live there are "happier" than many people in the U.S.

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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 11-05-2005, 11:56 AM   #67
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

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would that family feel guilty once they had my job and lifestyle
Whether it is guilt or a sense of responsibility, many send money home to help those they left behind.*
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 11-05-2005, 02:40 PM   #68
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

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Originally Posted by Brat
Whether it is guilt or a sense of responsibility, many send money home to help those they left behind.*
They call this "remittance."* It makes up a major potion of many Central American countries' income.

"Remittances to Central America in 2002 amounted to $5.5 billion. In Nicaragua, remittances that year supplied 29.4 percent of the country's gross domestic product, 11.5 percent in Honduras and 15.1 percent in El Salvador."

http://tinyurl.com/bly62
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 11-06-2005, 01:58 PM   #69
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

The oil companies are all doing well and my neighbors are all spending like mad on their new cars (new BMW convertible for a 16 year old, second weekend car for another 16 year old - I kid you not!), other toys and diamond rings for the ladies.* Partly I suppose due to the age of the neighborhood many families are seeing their kids go off to college around this time, but none are choosing to RE at this point as their day-to-day family responsibilities are ending - they just carry on regardless to fund this lifestyle that they adore.* It is the "American Way" after all.* Most of the posters on this board would be seen as deeply disfunctional by almost everyone of my acquaintance in this town.* Conspicuous consumption and a spend, spend spend philosophy is what the keeps the US economy strong.* We should all be very grateful to them.

By the way, we live on the "cheap" street in this neighborhood, a house without lake front.* *

jj
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 11-07-2005, 10:32 AM   #70
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

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Originally Posted by Sheryl
They call this "remittance."* It makes up a major potion of many Central American countries' income.

"Remittances to Central America in 2002 amounted to $5.5 billion. In Nicaragua, remittances that year supplied 29.4 percent of the country's gross domestic product, 11.5 percent in Honduras and 15.1 percent in El Salvador."

http://tinyurl.com/bly62
Yeah, remittance--I make mine semi-annually via a bank in NY.*

Philippine remittances are expected to be $10.3B for the year, but as much as $3B more go through non-bank channels:* http://www.nextbillion.net/node/1587

In 2003-2004, remittances were about 10% of Phil. GDP.* Philippine economy is also very dependent on these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by just_hatched
Perhaps we are all where we are for some purpose. I try to help others as I can, but what more am I supposed to do? I don't see how feeling guilty will help anyone.
Yeah, I agree, we are where we are and we pick/assign a purpose to our lives.* I don't really think guilt is useful, either, but for some, it might be the starting reaction to a disturbing situation.*

I think awareness of problems is very important because then the next logical step is how to help solve the problem, if one had a sense of responsibility that Brat referred to.* One difficulty is drawing the line as to what is my problem and what is not my problem, and even what do I choose to make my problem.

In my case, because I am related to my family abroad who live in a financially poorer nation, my sense of responsibility is more immediate than a person here who has no ties there.* If my family were living here, I might not be as financially helpful to them because it is easier to make a living in the US than it is there.

I limit my giving mostly to my family abroad but I admire people who are helpful not only to their family but to those not related to them as well.*
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 03-03-2007, 09:51 PM   #71
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

So true about the stupidity of CC...

I've always said that when I was a kid, I always wanted a Ferrari...

When I could afford one, I was an adult...and decided I didn't need or really want one anymore
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 03-04-2007, 06:15 AM   #72
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

I hope everyone keeps the CC up... It is good for business and my investments.

Go Baby Go.
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 03-04-2007, 08:46 AM   #73
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
I am not inetersted in conspicuous consumption (CC) and never have been. Lately, I have been exposed to some really world-class levels of CC. I guess Wall St. had a good year and will be distributing obscenely large bonuses soon. I am hearing news reports of luxury goods retailers already ramping up their business, and no doubt things will start going into overdrive. My colleagues are infected with all this nonsense as well. One of the junior partners has purchased the following since I joined up in April: 2005 Mustang convetible; a 4BR house in a nice NYC suburban neighborhood (which has been completely gutted since the purchase), and most recently a Luxus RX330. A senior analyst mentioned yesterday that his wife is starting to talk about buying an Escalade (despite the fact that her Durango is 3, maybe 4 years old).

I don't get it. These guys work hideously long hours for the comp they get, and then they apparently piss a lot of it away on luxury junk. I guess I am a bad Merkin or something, but I find it strange and off-putting.
The problem is how do you hold your line? Judging by Wall Street standards, your colleagues are quite conservative. I haven't even heard a single mention of a Cirrus SR22.

Frankly, I don't know how you do it driving an old Subaru to work everyday. The peer pressure on you to spend must be enormous.
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 03-04-2007, 11:04 AM   #74
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

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The problem is how do you hold your line? Judging by Wall Street standards, your colleagues are quite conservative. I haven't even heard a single mention of a Cirrus SR22.

Frankly, I don't know how you do it driving an old Subaru to work everyday. The peer pressure on you to spend must be enormous.
Like I said, I could care less about all that stuff. Besides, now that the subaru is a few years old with the usual scratches and dings, all I have to do to change lanes in traffic is find a pricy luxury car to budge in front of.
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 03-04-2007, 11:55 AM   #75
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
Like I said, I could care less about all that stuff. Besides, now that the subaru is a few years old with the usual scratches and dings, all I have to do to change lanes in traffic is find a pricy luxury car to budge in front of.
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 03-04-2007, 01:31 PM   #76
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

Hey Brewer, Subarus are not exactly chopped liver. Check this one out-

http://www.subaru.com/shop/overview....mmand=overview
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 03-04-2007, 02:30 PM   #77
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

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Hey Brewer, Subarus are not exactly chopped liver. Check this one out-

http://www.subaru.com/shop/overview....mmand=overview
They are compared to Porsches, 7 series bmws, etc. I work down the block from a Lamborghini/Bentley dealership.

Actually, I have the base version Legacy that I had to actually special order to get it without a sunroof.
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 03-04-2007, 02:31 PM   #78
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

my friends from high school who went off to high income careers are very wrapped up in what they buy or want to buy next...i think most of them are not that "interested" in what they actually do beyond earning potential and they find personal happiness (real or perceived) in these objects - i find it weird.

but i still like nice things just don't want to be a slave to them...and in my non-profit world, you can likely have the opposite effect if you too conspicuously consume, you can be shunned for such behavior

what i do envy are the great trips and vacations some of them have taken - that is something i would like to consume someday!
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 03-04-2007, 03:07 PM   #79
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

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They are compared to Porsches, 7 series bmws, etc. I work down the block from a Lamborghini/Bentley dealership.

Actually, I have the base version Legacy that I had to actually special order to get it without a sunroof.
Just gave away some shutters via freecyle yesterday. The woman came with her two kids in a subaru station wagon, had about 100k on it and loved it. She said she only got rid of the previous one - with 200k+ miles on it - because someone sideswiped her and totalled it! It almost seems a groupie thing, everyone who buys one seems to stay with it forever. DW's old boss, now a VP making big money still drives his outback...
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it
Old 03-04-2007, 03:16 PM   #80
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Re: Conspicuous consumption: I don't get it

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Just gave away some shutters via freecyle yesterday. The woman came with her two kids in a subaru station wagon, had about 100k on it and loved it. She said she only got rid of the previous one - with 200k+ miles on it - because someone sideswiped her and totalled it!
Heh, was she a lesbian? That's me: I drive a subaru and I love women, just like Ha.
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