M.P. Dunleavey adds this commentary on MSN Money. She talks about “luxury” products that draw the attention of middle-class individuals to help them feel like they have a wealthy lifestyle. One of her points is that the premium paid for a high end item very rarely justifies the price difference. Dunleavey includes examples of various types of products with a luxury equivalent that draws people who can’t afford them, such as watches, chocolate, sneakers, and baby products.
She quotes a psychologist who calls the cause “miswanting” — what people want (a life of wealth) can’t be satisfied by acquiring luxury items.
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published February 22, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.