The AOS people are a worldly bunch and reading some professor's standard liberal blah-blah about conspicuous consumption probably doesn't cause the outrage-o-meter to even twitch over there. In my little patch of nowhere, this sort of thing from someone whose pay comes from my tax dollars and who should know better causes much eye-twitching.
This from a September 1st AP story:
"Do you actually need to have that amount of space to live a good life?" said Susan A. Eisenhandler, a sociology professor at the University of Connecticut. "There are homeless people. There are impoverished people. There are serious social concerns, and we're not addressing that."
As one whose livelihood is tied to the construction industry, I would like to take this opportunity to note that Susan A. Eisenhandler is an idiot of the first water.
Sue, (you don't mind if I call you Sue... good) back in the World War II days, Bell Aviation was working on developing a jet airplane. In order to confuse potential spies, they built a fake propeller to attach to the thing when not in actual use - the theory being that enemy spies would see the big spinny thing on the front and conclude that this was just another piston engined airplane. The point is, they didn't actually try to fly the airplane with the propeller on.
That propeller is you Sue: functionless, completely for show, and actually dangerous when employed.
When whatever gazillionaire built the monstrous house, he employed architects, engineers, bricklayers, ditch diggers, and a drooling half-wit with a push broom to clean up after everyone went home for the night. Those people give to charities or at least pay taxes, and every one of them has a skill for which someone is willing to pay them for the practice thereof.
In short Sue, the building of the rich man's house provided more real, measurable benefits than all the sociology professors of all the universities in the whole wide county.
Here's a little test for you Sue, quit your taxpayer funded job and go free lance. That's right, hang out your shingle as a sociologist for hire. Drop us a line once in a while so we can know how its all turning out. Worse comes to worst, you can always try to wrestle the guy's broom away from him.
Frankly, my money's on the drooling half-wit.