"American males enter adulthood through a peculiar rite of passage - they spend most of their savings on a shiny piece of rock. They could invest the money in assets that will compound over time and someday provide a nest egg. Instead, they trade that money for a diamond ring, which isn’t much of an asset at all. As soon as you leave the jeweler with a diamond, it loses over 50% of its value. Americans exchange diamond rings as part of the engagement process, because in 1938 De Beers decided that they would like us to. Prior to a stunningly successful marketing campaign 1938, Americans occasionally exchanged engagement rings, but wasn’t a pervasive occurrence. Not only is the demand for diamonds a marketing invention, but diamonds aren’t actually that rare. Only by carefully restricting the supply has De Beers kept the price of a diamond high."
Ivor Tymchak said:
A great article, however, he forgot to mention the recent development of manufactured diamonds that makes the situation even crazier. I wrote about it years ago.
A thought experiment gives us a clue: Say we made diamond rings from factories, which nobody could tell from the slavery-produced ones, and told people what they were, and sold them at 20% of the price? Would anybody buy them? Nooo! And most of them would not stop buying the "real" ones either.
Which tells us: they know they are only buying status. And 2: they will rather buy very expensive status symbols than they will have food on the table.
Being able to kick sand in their neighbor's face is more important to people than an easy life.