Annals of The Top One Percent: Engagement Proposal Planning Edition

A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 24 2011 12:38 PM

Annals of The Top One Percent: Engagement Proposal Planning Edition

Motorcyclists ride past a KFC restaurant in downtown Hanoi on September 8, 2011.

Photo by HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images

It's perfectly possible to imagine an economy that combined full employment with sky-high income inequality, it might just take a lot of bizarre business schemes like Sarah Pease who charges between $500 and $12,000 to help men plan to propose to their girlfriends:

Sarah Pease, the owner of Brilliant Event Planning in New York, was focused solely on weddings and parties until 2008, when a friend proposed with an engagement ring at the bottom of a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. She then became a proposal planner as well.
“I figured there must be a better way,” she said, quickly adding that the bucket ploy worked for that couple.

The fact that the KFC couple is happily married seems to me to cast into doubt the need for such a service, but as long as people have the money positional competition will ensure escalating expenditures on such things (for the record, I got engaged relatively recently without the assistance of a planner). An economy more balanced toward broadly based purchasing power might see more innovative energy directed at inventing useful new mass market products and less aiming at this kind of rich sucker market. 

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.



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