At Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok has an interesting post about black/white differences in what Thorstein Veblen called conspicuous consumption. It begins:
Several years ago Bill Cosby chided poor blacks for spending their limited incomes on high-priced shoes and other items of conspicuous consumption instead of investing in education.
The comments are fascinating, including this:
Merely being white is a way of signaling wealth. If you don’t believe it, visit Peru.