Is Luxury Shame Hurting the Economy?

As the economy continues to slide, the wealthy and the businesses that cater to them are starting to mask their affluence, according to a recent Associated Press article. Retailing experts call it luxury shame, or stealth wealth. 

And while it's true that there are overall less rich people today than there was last summer, there are still plenty of rich people. And it is these people who now feel dirty when they flaunt their wealthy by driving flashy cars, carrying $3,000 handbags, and ordering $300 bottles of wine. "Some shoppers are asking cashiers at high-end stores to put their purchases in plain white paper bags... others want their expensive clothes and jewelry shipped home so they can walk out of the store without any bags at all." But maybe there's a downside to all this regular guy stuff. If the super rich really want to help out their fellow Americans, living a less luxurious lifestyle isn't the way to go, writes the author of the piece, John Rogers. "Money dished out on pricey dinners and clothes keeps people employed." What do you think about the stealth wealth trend? Here's Bob Guccione, Jr., who is launching a new luxury lifestyle magazine in New York, talking about luxury in a recession.

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
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