What is a luxury good?
Yes, I know the economic definition of a luxury good but I want to know the Monkey's definition of a luxury good. (For those that don't, I'll post it at the end)
I recently read about a guy who has spent a great deal of time documenting what, exactly, a dollar will allow you to purchase in the supermarket. The example he likes to use, and the one that made me think of this, was that of a blueberry. He claims, and I have no idea if this is true or not, that a blueberry is considered by nutritionists to be a super food full of all the nutrients a person could possibly need. A dollar will apparently get you roughly 22-24 run of the mill blueberries at the grocery store but if you want the organic blueberries, those cost about 10 cents a piece or about 10 for a dollar. He goes on to claim that these 'normal' blueberries have less nutritional value than the organic version because of the pesticides used in farming them. The point is, you pay more to get the better stuff (I was shocked too). But when does this 'nutritional premium' make something a luxury rather than a necessity?
Here's the question I'm posing to you my fellow primates as you start your week. Where's the line? When does food become a luxury? Or, better yet good or service? Transportation? Most of us, with a little effort, could easily use public transit and negate the need for a car but don't for convenience sake. Is this a luxury even if your car is tore up from the floor up and was passed down from your parents to your sibling and then on to you? Clothing? Grooming? Pick whatever item you want.
On a forum populated by people largely influenced by compensation and status, I was curious as to how some of you would answer this. We talk about Ferragamo Loafers and Patek Phillipe Watches on WSO almost every day but when does something go from being a necessity to being a luxury in the real world, not in the textbook?
According to LSE Glossary of Economic Terms:
Luxury Good: One which has an elasticity larger than one