With 774,746 written words in the Bible, it's probably a coincidence that cognitive scientist, psychologist, linguist, and popular science author, Steven Pinker started off his final chapter from his 1997 book; How the Mind Works with a seven-word sentence found in Deuteronomy 8:3.
The only reason for a Bible reference at this point, considering
Pinker's opening line, "Man does not live by bread alone," is paralleled with seemingly pointless know-how, safety, children, or sex. Deuteronomy 8:3 says, "... man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD."
There is no reference to the Bible and probably rightfully so. Pinker's views on religion are less than agreeable, to say the least.
Pinker refers to Thorstein Veblen's and Quentin Bell's analyses of taste and fashion as an acceptable explanation of the oddities of the arts. Conspicuous consumption is the spending of money on and the acquiring of luxury goods and services to publicly display economic power — of the income or the accumulated wealth of the buyer. Sociologically, to the conspicuous consumer, such a public display of discretionary economic power is a means either of attaining or of maintaining a given social status.
The development of Thorstein Veblen’s sociology of conspicuous consumption produced the term invidious consumption, the ostentatious consumption of goods that are meant to provoke the envy of other people. The term conspicuous compassion, the deliberate use of charitable donations of money to enhance the social prestige of the donor, with a display of superior socio-economic status.
Personally, I am reluctant to agree with any man's opinion when quoted as saying, "It is always sound business to take any obtainable net gain, at any cost and any risk to the rest of the community." I guess it's a tough subject to tackle.