The Theory of the Leisure Class

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The reason to show off the wealth

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Nowadays, many people love to keep cats as pets, especially Americans. In the United States, about one-third of families own a pet cat. Altogether, there is an average of 2.2 cats for every American. That is how much Americans love cats. China comes in second: in China, around fifty-three million people have cats. This high demand makes purebred cats even harder to get, and of course, the number on their price tags increases accordingly. The most popular and expensive breeds include British Shorthair, American Shorthair, and Ragdoll. There is another breed called a Sphynx cat that is also quite expensive; this breed of cat does not have a single hair on its body, and thus requires extra attentive care from its owner. In contrast, it barely costs a thing to purchase a cat that is not purebred. Why are the purebreds so expensive? Is it because of the high cost required to breed them? Or is it because of a high transportation fee? Both of these reasons could potentially be the cause behind it, but they certainly cannot fully explain the outrageous price of the purebreds.

The Theory of the Leisure Class provides an answer to this question: the reason purebreds are so expensive is that they are a product of the leisure class. The leisure class does not care about their money, and it can even be said that their pleasure is greatly based on their extravagance. You might be wondering how this is possible. What is wrong with these people? The explanation can be found in the following Bookey.

Veblen published THE THEORY OF THE LEISURE CLASS in 1899 when he was 42 years old. This book is his first and most important work. For over a hundred years after Adam Smith's the Wealth of Nations was published, most studies related to economics have not made breakthroughs and progress. Suddenly, The Theory of the Leisure Class was introduced. It immediately became one of the most popular books at that time and was a must-have for intellectuals. This book also helped to establish Veblen's place in the history of economic theory and allowed him to be known as “the father of institutional economics” and the “great master of economics”.

In this book, Veblen analyzed the relationship between consumer behavior and psychology and explained how the rich became a part of our society. To demonstrate the life status of the capitalists, Veblen introduced a new concept: the leisure class. He was thus able to reveal the leisure status of the upper class to the public.

Let us now go through the key points of THE THEORY OF THE LEISURE CLASS by breaking them down in to four different parts.

The first part deals with the origin of the leisure class.

The second part deconstructs the major characteristics of the leisure class.

The third part exposes how the leisure class lives.

The fourth part uncovers why the leisure class exists as a deeply rooted part of our history.

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