Ed Driscoll

Change! 'The Era of Mass Affluence is Over'

Found via Ann Althouse, an interesting, if grim post at MetaFilter claims, “Madison Avenue no longer marketing to the middle-class as the rich have all the money:”

According to Financial Blog TooMuch, a new white paper from AdAge claims that the era of “Mass Affluence is over”. This means that because the middle-class no longer have the dominent share of disposable income that marketing directly to the super-rich is the future of advertising. This means that if you’re over 35 and make $100,000 to $200,000, Madison Avenue no longer really cares about you.

Apparently no one in America really realised what it meant that “The top 10 percent of American households.. now account for nearly half of all consumer spending, and a disproportionate share of that spending comes from the top 10’s upper reaches.”

It reminds me of that Steinbeck quote, that ‘Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.’

It reminds me of this post by Virginia Postrel from December of 2008, which spotted wide swatches of both the MSM and Madison Avenue having a serious case of what Virginia dubbed “Depression Lust, and Depression Porn.”

To see what “Depression Porn” looks like, one need only check out last year’s fall catalog from Restoration Hardware, or as I like to think of it, The Furniture of the Damned — whose advertising copy reveled in economic collapse.