Affluenza

I’m still doing a bit of post-flu coughing and spluttering.  So I note that‘Affluenza’ is suddenly everywhere – the title of psychologist Oliver James’ new book.  Affluenza is described as ‘‘a contagious, middle-class virus causing depression, anxiety, addiction and ennui’

I suppose that kind of thinking is a natural part of ‘the times that are in it’  Suddenly the idea of playing at asceticism has become a new hobby for the affluent middle classes.  No wonder M&S is suddenly doing badly.  The Motley Fool is e mailing me and suggesting that I should try ‘Frugal Fridays’   But it’s interesting that Nick Spencer, in writing about Affluenza, notes the potential of suffering – and of religious faith – to help people to find less depressed and unhappy lifestyles ..

Meanwhile, we wait to see other signs of that public attitudes towards [ostentatious displays of] wealth might be changing.  Bad enough that Ronaldo wrote off the Ferrari in Manchester this week.  He might have been wiser to take the bus rather than the Bentley later in the day.

Andrew Grice writes in today’s Independent about the way in which people perceive some people [Sir Alan Sugar and JK Rowling] as more deserving of their wealth than others [Roman Abromovich and Lewis Hamilton]   But I suspect that it’s not so much the wealth itself – more how it is acquired and what the possessor does with it.

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