Writer and scholar Tressie McMillan Cottom asks that provocative question in this must-read post. She explains that designer bags are purchased "For the same reason all but only the most wealthy buy status symbols, I suppose." It all comes down to society running on exclusivity and belonging. "Belonging to one group at the right time can mean the difference between unemployment and employment, a good job as opposed to a bad job, housing or a shelter." And, adds Cottom, "You have no idea what you would do if you were poor until you are poor."