Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"The Peacock Syndrome"

"The Peacock Syndrome"
by James Quinn
"Researchers at the University of Texas recently published a study about why men buy or lease flashy, extravagant, expensive cars like a gold plated Porsche Carrera GT. There conclusion was: “Although showy spending is often perceived as wasteful, frivolous and even narcissistic, an evolutionary perspective suggests that blatant displays of resources may serve an important function, namely as a communication strategy designed to gain reproductive rewards.”

To put that in laymen’s terms, guys drive flashy expensive cars so they can get laid. Researcher Dr Vladas Griskevicius said: “The studies show that some men are like peacocks. They’re the ones driving the bright colored sports car.”

It seems a vast swath of America refuse to shed their peacock feathers. This explains why you see BMWs, Mercedes, Escalades, and Porsches parked in the driveways of $100,000 houses. Automobiles are the truest representation of American peacock syndrome. Very few people look at a car purchase in a rational long term financial sense. It’s about impressing the neighbors, your peers and your family. Driving a brand new luxury car gives you the appearance of success. The neighbors don’t know you are in debt up to your eyeballs. This explains why 30% to 40% of all luxury cars are leased. A man could buy a $20,000 Honda hybrid with 10% down and finance the rest at 0.9% for three years. His monthly payment would be $500. After three years he would own the car outright, with the added benefit of getting 45 mpg. He could then invest the $500 per month for the next seven years in gold and silver or something else that benefits from Federal Reserve created inflation. In today’s society this would be the act of a dodo bird.

Why drive a putt putt car when you can drive the ultimate peacock machine – a BMW 528i with 24-valve inline 240-horsepower 6-cylinder engine with composite magnesium/aluminum engine block, Valvetronic, and Double-VANOS steplessly variable valve timing, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s and front passenger’s seat with 4-way lumbar support, and memory system for driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors, along with high-fidelity 12-speaker sound system, including 2 subwoofers under the front seats, and digital 7-channel amplifier with 205 watts of power. Plus it looks really cool. This materialism machine can be leased for the same $500 per month that the dodo bird pays for his Honda hybrid. Of course, after three years of renting luxury wheels the peacock has to turn in the 528i and lease an equally luxurious auto because driving an economy car would now harm his reputation. Colorful plumage is everything to a peacock.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans cling to their borrowed peacock feathers as the butcher of reality bears down upon them. The end won’t be pretty. The brave conquerors of strip malls across the land can enjoy their toys, gadgets, and treasures for awhile longer, but they need to remember one thing – glory is fleeting and death can come suddenly.

“For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.” - Last scene from the movie Patton"

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