Conspicuous consumption is something Miamians know a thing or two about. It might be the closest thing we have to common cultural identity. And the luxury items Miamians spend money on are very likely influenced by the priorities established by the city's wealthy. According to a study published in Sunday's New York Times, the preferred status signifers of Miami are, uh, very different from other major metropolitan areas.
While New Yorkers and Dallasites shell out big bucks for designer clothes and shoes, Miami is more invested in sound systems. That's right Miami, you spend 290% more on sound systems than any other urban area in America -- a finding that's unlikely surprising to anyone who has spent more than a millisecond in the Magic City.
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In other facts that come as no surprise: Miami spends an "extraordinary amount of cash on parking spaces and car leases." Luxury cars might be the ultimate sign of arrival here in Miami and the the boom-boom bass of overpriced sound systems and leased, white BMW's screeching down the street are practically our city's urban music.
But if the Times' findings of what Miamians are willing to spend on are unsurprising, then their discovery of the luxury items we're unwilling to buy is downright disheartening. The Gray Lady found that Miami spends far less on education and, likely as a result, 65% less on newspapers and magazines and a whopping 73% less on books.
The study also found that in addition to being near-illiterate, Miamians also never wear underwear. You spend 22% less on men's underwear and 48% less on women's undergarments than 17 other cities in the U.S. If that wasn't bad enough, we're also pretty bad at giving to charity, spending 65% percent less.
So Miami, in the spirit of the holidays put on some underwear, turn down your music, drive your leased car to the nearest bookstore, and then donate some money to a charity of your choice. It's the least you could do.
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