Running with the sun/running for status
As I was running with the rising sun I thought about the Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250. I happened to see four of them while running.
Normally I wouldn't pay any attention or who I care. Yesterday one my colleagues talked about how he wanted to get one. I told him he would not get one on our salary. Since I don't know cars, he showed me a picture and how they are "only" around $20,000. I had no idea there was a "poor man's car Mercedes". As I did further research many of the high end cars have a "poor- man's accessible" version.
Since we both live in the city and don't have a garage, it would be street parking for the car....I think not. Plus, the upkeep and maintenance would be very costly. If I was going to get a "high end car" I would be getting the top notch high end, not the low end.
I'm always discussing social status and social class. Even if this is on the "low end", there is still the class and social status of having a Mercedes-Benz.
Then my colleague showed me the Mercedes-Benz that he really wanted. It was in the $60,000 plus. The S and SL class. A monthly payment would be between $685-$1000 a month. For a car. And there was such a HUGE difference from the $20,000 to the $60,000+.
Those in the know would know. After seeing the high end, you can't become common. Mercedes-Benz $20,000 common. LOL.
Spending over $60,000 is how much some people make in a year. Having a monthly payment for that car could be a student loan payment, mortgage payment, two-three "regular" car payments. If you can afford a car over $60,000 I guess you're not worried about a payment.
In other words, you might have neighborhoods in which the "wannabes" live and you'll see the "low -end" version. Then you'll see in certain neighborhoods where the "be's" live and the high- end cars, with the houses, land, schools, and other forms of "cultural and social capital". Low-ends are not welcome.
The stratification within social class is great compared to social class difference between classes.
Plus you never know who's owning or leasing it, since status is such a big thing for many people. Which is sometimes not always a good thing. Status not substance.