People like luxury, especially if someone else is paying for it. To a remarkable extent that has generally been the case for the well-to-do. whether corporate CEO’s or officers of virtually any organization. Dinner in fancy restaurants is great as long as one isn’t paying for it personally; the same for first class travel, nice hotel suites, etc. But the same people have always been remarkably stingy when it comes to spending their own money. An airline official was once asked what question they get the most from CEOs. The answer was how to get a first class seat without paying for it. Better to spend their money on luxury items, but then there never were enough of them to support famous brands, so luxury sales always depended on wanna-bes seduced by the allure of a “brand.” That has now ended as prudence takes hold. High-end, upscale stores and brands are doing poorly in this economy. In fact the only retailer currently doing well is WalMart, and a few other downscale enterprises.