10 obscene displays of wealth that shock average Americans

  • metta

    Posts: 39118

    Sep 23, 2016 6:21 AM GMT
    10 obscene displays of wealth that shock average Americans

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-obscene-displays-of-wealth-that-shock-average-americans-2016-09-22?siteid=nwhpf
  • metta

    Posts: 39118

    Sep 24, 2016 2:44 AM GMT
    A bunch of stories here:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/53v4w5/whats_the_most_obscene_display_of_private_wealth/


    "Lived in the international dorms in college. First week of school move in happens and you get to meet a bunch of people. One of the people I met was this girl from Singapore. She's pretty cool and whatnot, but after a few weeks she realizes that to get around she needs a car, as public transport BLOWS. So, naturally, she calls her parents to tell them that she needs a car. No biggie.
    She tells them that she needs a Mercedes S class. hmm, okay. Nice. But remember, she's from Singapore. If you know anything about Singapore it's that cars cost anywhere from 6-9x what they do in the US. Casually, her parents wire her enough money to get an S class..... in Singapore.
    Girl gets $650,000 wired to her account, not knowing that it cost 6x less here. She goes to the dealership then comes back in a hour with no car. I asked her what happened, and she says "oh, it's getting delivered". Sure enough, 2 days later a brand new car shows up, except it's no S class. It's a Lamborghini Murcielago. Touche, well played.
    I later find out she doesn't know how to drive, so she hired a chauffeur to drive her around. She would sit in the passenger side of her own lambo and be driven places. What made it more hilarious was that the chauffeur would actually wear a black jacket and hat."
  • JackNNJ

    Posts: 1051

    Sep 24, 2016 1:09 PM GMT
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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2016 5:14 PM GMT
    I attended college in 1967 in Oklahoma, for their School of Architecture. Their policy was to require all Freshman to spend their first year in double-occupancy campus dorm rooms. You couldn't even pledge to a fraternity and possibly live there, until you were a Sophomore. You weren't even allowed to rent a place off-campus.

    I arrived equipped pretty basically, 1500 miles from home. Just my clothes, portable typewriter, and a small B&W TV. Had to leave my car & motorcycle back home, until I settled in, so bought a bicycle that became my transportation.

    But I remember the other guys, with oil money. One arrived driving a vintage Cord 812 (the one with the "coffin" grille hood). Not the replica that had begun production a few years earlier. Other cars included Corvettes, Jaguars XKEs, Ferraris, every kind of dream car a wealthy young man would drive back then.

    One guy and a friend were hauling a Persian rug into his room. I made do with the standard cold vinyl floor tiles. Another was carrying beautiful framed oil paintings. When someone commented he replied: "They're from my daddy's art gallery." Another guy brought a portable color TV in, back when the little ones were new & rare and could be more expensive than a full-sized one. Which our dorm rooms were too small to allow. And a course there was an assortment of golf clubs & tennis rackets.

    But the best was about a month later, when I heard some guy in the hall calling out that he wanted to borrow a plane to fly down to "D" Day, when UO played Dallas in football. And someone answered him.

    "Sure, ah got muh aeroplane up at Will Rogers" [World Airport in OKC] "Yah don't wanna fly down yourself?" "Nah, I gotta..." The rest of his reason I couldn't hear, they were both in his room by then.

    But this wide income disparity & conspicuous consumption wasn't the reason I left that school. It was the suicides, the male student riot that seriously damaged a number of the sorority houses one night, the demonstrations against the Vietnam War, the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) agitating, the massive ROTC presence on campus and uniformed cadets bullying other students (think Cadet Neidermeyer from "Animal House"), just a crazy place to be living. I was trying to focus on my purpose for being in college, not being sidetracked by all these non-academic distractions.
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    Sep 24, 2016 6:26 PM GMT
    Regarding Liberace, a lot of those "obscene displays" were to promote his entertainment image. Even his lavish home life (that I personally find rather tacky & tasteless) was a part of that image. His piano-shaped swimming pools got him free publicity in the press (installing the first in 1953), and became one of his trademarks. Along with the ever-present gaudy candelabra on his stage piano, a silly item that served no useful musical function.

    He didn't call himself "Mr. Showmanship" for nothing. He was probably better at that than he actually was as a pianist, which really was hardly better than a lounge performer can do. He created his fame with his outgrageous over-the-top style, and it made him very wealthy. It was a calculated tactic, not solely a life-style indulgence.

    And BTW, in case someone slams him as having been a "rich white liberal male" (and we all know who that would be saying that here), the truth is his politics were conservative. Anyone want to term him a "rich white convervative male", and apply that taint indiscriminately without justification to others? That seems to be the pattern with certain RJ member circles.