Showing posts with label Extravagance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Extravagance. Show all posts

August 26, 2019

Gucci Sneakers

Wow, these Gucci sneakers were over the top!

Thick, thick soles and built up sides. 

A strap adorning the sneaker with colored-stones (faux gems). 

Very heavy with a durable kick-a*s feel. 

All for $1,590 at Bloomingdale's.

As we joke as kids with a eastern European "old country" droll, "It's a bargain!" ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 17, 2016

Spending It All Down

So Parkinson's Law states that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."

The more time you have on your hands, the longer it takes you to do something. 

I find this to be so true...like on a day off, I don't find myself typically getting any more done than on a regular work day. 

But what is true for time, also seems to apply to money. 

The more money you make, the more you need

And while you may get more or better quality for your extra bucks, you still don't have a lot in net savings. 

Thus in line with Conspicuous Consumption, we spend more on luxury goods when we have more money and we spend more of our leisure time on doing the same basic set of activities when we have more time to spend.

Either way, more time and money often means more wasting of each, with people finding it extraordinarily difficult to save when they have (too) much of either. 

Perhaps, that why the big time hip hop artist, Kanye West recently tweeted about being $53 million in debt.

Or why Benjamin Franklin said, "If you want something done, ask a busy person."

Your personal decision is what you end up spending your extra time and money on. 

The only real difference with time and money is that money you can put in the bank, but time passes whether you are busy or not.

Perhaps the best investment for both is to spend on education, experiences, on loved ones, and on helping others. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Parg)
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December 28, 2015

Social Inequality To Make You Sick

Here's a copy of the sticker price on the car in the lobby of the local mall in Florida here. 

Oh, it's just a 2016 Rolls Royce for a mere $362,225.00

The car was unbelievably gorgeous.

But the extravagance of it compared with the regular poor, hungry and homeless people on the streets as well as the vast majority of all the other everyday middle class people is enough to make you want to puke. 

Immediately after this, when we got back to the hotel, the maid was still in the room cleaning up.

I had the opportunity to see--really see--this lady--this person. 

She was overly respectful, calling me sir numerous times, unnecessarily. 

She was kind in finishing the room quickly and asking if their was anything else we needed.

But I also noticed that despite her labor-intensive job cleaning up other people's shit in the hotel rooms, she had a bum leg and had trouble walking and just getting around. 

I thought to myself why was it that this poor lady was destined to have to clean my and other people's hotel rooms for a grueling living.

The next day, I saw some mini shampoo and conditioner containers that had fallen to the side of the tiny garbage can in the bathroom (didn't make the shot).  

I looked down--I thought for a split second, that's what the hotel get's paid for to clean up and service the guests--but only for a SPLIT second.

Then I bent my own stupid ass over, and picked up the bottles and put them in the garbage where they belong. 

The lady coming to clean the room doesn't drive a Rolls Royce and definitely, neither do I. 

We are one under G-d, and may he bless us all in prosperity, health, and peace. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 2, 2012

Mind Readers and The Psychology of Excess

Animal_house
Seeing a number of senior officials in the last year "ousted," I find it sort of scary the risks and travails that executive leadership can entail.

There are so many good, hardworking people at GSA making progress for the Government in terms of property management, contract management, fleet management, and more, that it was a huge shock to many today, when GSA leadership including the Administrator, were ousted for what White House Chief of Staff called "excessive spending, questionable dealings with contractors, and disregard for taxpayer dollars." 

This at a time when the nation is struggling to reduce the national deficit now at $15.6 trillion and avoid another debt ratings cut from the three credit report agencies that would potentially drive interest up and cause even more damage to the nation's economy.

Of course, the GSA is not the only example, just last year, we had the unfortunate "muffin mini-scandal" as reported by Bloomberg BusinessWeek (29 September 2011), where the Government was alleged to have paid $16.80 apiece for muffins.

What causes this psychology of excess where taxpayers end up footing the bill for extravagant items and events? 

1) Hubris--Are there people who feel they are so high and mighty, they just have all the trimmings of office coming to them and theirs?

2) Neglect--Do some executives rise too far and fast, and maybe things get out of control?

3) Misguided--Is it possible that some may actually really think that hiring a mind reader on the taxpayer dime is a good idea?

4) Accident--At times, oversights, mistakes, and accidents happen, and while we may prefer they didn't, they are a learning opportunities.

5) All of the above--Perhaps it is some combination of all the prior four?

It reminds me of something my father taught me that "G-d does not let any flower grow into the sky."

This means that no matter how good we are or how far we go in our careers and in life, we remain mortal and infirm, and subject to human imperfections. 

That's why it's never a good idea to tout your own infallibility.  Just Last Thursday, the GSA Administrator, as reported by Government Executive Magazine, told a conference "Why us? Because we're the expert shoppers. We're the folks you want on your team when budgets are tight, you're making purchases, and there's no room for error..."

Obviously, I assume there was no intent to brag, but we all say things like this at one time or another, and it's good to reflect and stop ourselves from going too far. 

This is not about the GSA or any other agency or organization in particular, but rather a lesson in humility for all of us. 

This unfortunate incident should not obscure the good work, done every day, at all levels, by every Federal agency.  

(Source Photo: here)

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