Now, I’m all in favor of someone charging as much as they can for “high-end” stuff. If you can, without lying, convince the sort of executives who loudly extol “diversity” while censoring opinions they don’t like to spend a hundred bucks on a can of Campbell’s Chicken Neutical Soup… hey, great, wish I’d thought of it. But if you’re on the other end of that transaction, what exactly are you getting out of it?
There is novelty value, I suppose, as well as the presumed value in showing off. But if you’re rich, does showing off how much money you can blow on nonsense make people want to invest with you? Seems counter-intuitive.
One of the leadoff images in the article is a distressingly small piece of meat that looks like a Wendy’s burger patty with some corners cut off, dressed with Actual Gold. That’s always a way to impress people… you’re consuming *gold.* And surely that’s a good justification for the high price, right? Gold is expensive, right? Thousands of dollars per ounce? Yeah… no. One of the amazing things about gold is its ductility, meaning it can be beaten or rolled into astonishingly thin sheets, just a few microns. And you can buy edible gold foil sheets off of Amazon.
That’s ten sheets, 3.14 inches on a side, for seventeen bucks. Yeah, that piece of meat has maybe a dimes worth of gold on it. You’re looking at gold the thickness of which is probably a small handful of *atoms.*
When I first read the piece, my first thought was “the rich really are different.” But then I remembered “no, they’re not.” Because for every instance of a rich schmoe splurging what is for him undoubtedly a tiny fraction of their wealth on something fundamentally pointless, there are probably thousands of instances of poor-ish people spending money they really can’t afford on stuff almost equally overpriced and useless. Amazingly overpriced sneakers (and people rioting for them) spring immediately to mind, along with all variations of “bling.” Given the extremely minimal actual cost of edible gold foil, I’m surprised I don’t see low-end restaurants making a killing by adding a quarters’ worth of gold to a cheap piece of meat… turn an $8 steak into a $30 one. Additional cost is nothing; additional profit is huge.
Now if you’re excuse me, I’m going to go get a breakfast burrito from the gas station.