Yes but. Given the thrust of your excellent article, John, it may feel “natural” to fork over two months’ salary today only because the mass cultural mesmerism of the De Beers advertising machine first implanted that suggestion four decades ago. Boom!
Consumerism feeds off a sense of lack, which savvy marketers beginning with J. Walter Thompson in the late 19th century learned how to induce in the US populace in order to manipulate it. (It’s how Clairol’s “Do blondes have more fun?” and Blackglama(r)’s “What becomes a legend most?” got the power.) These days the virus is happily breeding in the DNA of millennials.