Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'd argue far more that there's a difference in the nature of positional goods depending on the level of income and wealth inequality in a soceity.

In the 1960s in the US this took the form of one of the neighbors buying a riding lawnmower instead of a push lawnmower, or the outrageous Christmas light display.

Now it may mean gated communities, special hospitals, etc.

We can never make everyone equal, but we can create social norms that discourage the arms race mentality of consumer captitalism.  And encourage the formation of peer to peer social relationships rather than hierarchical ones.  That's the dirty little secret here.

Keep this shit up with the arms race mentality, and yuo just may wind up with a society in which most social relations involved extreme hierarchy with neither security nor autonomy for those on the bottom.  What then happens to democracy?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Oct 20th, 2007 at 04:30:46 PM EST
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