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Keep up with Joneses

[ 2012-03-21 10:54]     字号 [] [] []  
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Keep up with Joneses

Inability to "Keep up with the Joneses" might result in dissatisfaction, even for people whose status is high.

I am just a regular Jones

My comments:

The Joneses are any one of the families living in the same neighborhood as you. The Joneses are, in fact, one of your rich and more resourceful neighbors. Look at the fancy things they buy. Two years ago, they bought an Audi. Last week, they upgraded that with a new model – which costs them $35,000. The husband wears designer suits. The wife always has an LV bags in hand. Tom, their only child is chauffer-driven to school, and this morning he showed off his latest iPad to my son….

You see, the Joneses have all the money in the world to spend, creating an enormous pressure for me to do the same.

In short, keep up with the Joneses – buy whatever they buy and do whatever they do – is a game many families can’t afford to keep playing, and quite frankly it’s driving some families to the brink of bankruptcy.

And the thing is, even the Joneses themselves may not have all the money in the world to spend. It just appears that way. It’s all a façade. They don’t have the money to buy all that they buy, but it’s the only thing they can struggle to do to keep up with other, even richer Joneses down the street.

The upshot: Many families are overstretching themselves financially just to look good. Deep down, however, their inability (they know it) to keep up creates widespread dissatisfaction and disappointment.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.