The nouveau riche. The petit bourgeouisie. The well-to. The affluent. The conspicuous consumers. The people whom we might call the “Glamour Globals.” History, literature, and sociology unfortunately repeat the all-too-often objectionable tale of people who suddenly come into money, and seem to have no better purpose for that money than to flaunt it, requiring ever more money so that they may be show-offs and of course they long to acquire ever more—more money, more goods—and seemingly with no higher purpose than to display that they have these things. Money, for such people, is power and status, not to do something positive with, but to have, end of story.
The tale of conspicuous consumption—which refers to using buying decisions as a form of displaying one’s social status—and of its close cousin “invidious consumption”—which is displaying one’s wealth through material possessions with the specific intention of invoking envy in others—is inevitably replaying itself again around the globe, as the globalized economy takes root in new regions and among people of all kinds.