I’ve written many times in the last few years that we haven’t had a uniquely new status consumer item in the last 50 years, the last one being colour television. So far no-one has contradicted me.
There are two apparent exceptions at the present time. One is the smartphone and the other is the electric automobile. But neither of these are uniquely new, both being developments of items that were originally genuine signs of social status 100 years ago. The latest versions confer brief status but this soon goes as sales of both rapidly expand.
The drone has been suggested. But this is either an unmanned aerial vehicle used in warfare or a plaything for boys and immature young men or a genuine production item as, say, Amazon wants to use them. There’ll be hundreds, if not thousands, of similar innovative items in the decades and centuries to come.
The expiry of new status goods in the advanced countries speaks for a profound change in our economics and cultures in the years to come.