Plentiful are the signs that America is, by and large and once again, drowning in wealth.
Sure, there are big exceptions, but by most every major economic indicator we know, prosperity abounds like few times in modern history. The economy, thanks to that hateful commie Obama, hasn’t just recovered from its Bush-era decimation, it’s exploded. Unemployment is way down, investment is way up, corporate profits are completely obscene, the Dow soaks in a diamond-crusted Jacuzzi of record highs as entirely useless companies like SnapChat and Pintarest are valued higher than the GDP of greater Europe.
Here in SF, the skyline is being fast transformed by gleaming new (or newly renovated) buildings owned by the likes of LinkedIn, SalesForce, Uber, Facebook and Google and who the hell cares who else. The median monthly rent just hit a stupid, gut-punching $4,225, for which you get a scabby one-bedroom in the Sunset with bad lighting and no parking between here and somewhere north of Seattle.
Luxury goods? Roaring. Sports cars, jewelry, bling, artisan, boutique, specialized, customized. Apple has a $17,000 watch. Lamborghini and Bentley (and even Rolls-Royce) are building super-luxury SUVs, already sold out before they even finish designing them. Every whim and service and imaginable is available via app and click, from booze to pot, haircut to shoe shine to hiring some schlub to stand in line for Beyoncé tickets for you. It’s an entitled douchebag economy, bro.
When the 1% are this flush, things start getting a little… absurd. Obscene. Sort of stupid.
The rule holds: When a culture’s basic needs are so thoroughly overmet, when no simple desire goes unfulfilled, we start making sh-t up, covering it in diamonds, plating it in gold, adding platinum handles to the refrigerator. Because we’re bored and tacky and have no idea what we’re doing, is why.
Behold, for one example, the humble camping cooler/ice chest. Decent ones are, by most accounts, perfect consumer products: solid, reliable, nearly perfect exactly as they are. Affordable, too. A big, basic Coleman cooler costs about 75 bucks and will last 20 years. Perfect.
If you’re a wimp, that is.
This is 2015, silly. It’s a time of overpaid tech bros, “unicorn” valuations, hideous Hublot Bing Bangs and Porsche Cayenne Turbos given as high school graduation presents. Settle for a basic Coleman? In this economy? As if.
Obviously, you need to upgrade that ice chest. Add some bling to that bad boy. You know, for the children.
What you need is custom Coleman cooler, covered in premium, hand-stitched leather, for a cool $1,500. Pair it with a steel garden bucket that normally costs a buck or two at the flea market, now also covered in leather, for $150, and you’re really rolling.
Am I right? Who doesn’t need that? Perfect for that case of Vueve and the $10K worth of cocaine and caviar you just had delivered by some plebe on a bike, via app, using Apple Pay, at the cost of what remains of your soul. Because America. Because awesome. Now go.