Social expenditure - how much is justified and how would you bring it down

@vandana7 (57187)
India
January 5, 2012 1:49pm CST
So...my distant..very distant relative held a party. They had a bar outside for the guests, and believe me there was a big rush there..I am told they spent 5000000 INR, which is 100000 USD. It was not a marriage ceremony, or birth ceremony. It was a simple ritual of giving "dhoti" to male child. Traditionally, priest would come home and few close family members would be around. Now it has become a way to socialize and increase business contacts. While on this, I also must talk about another aunt who held the 25th anniversary of her husband's death. She hosted a very large party on that day completely destroying the solemnity of the occasion, only because her children were to return to states on the following day, and she had to inaugurate her new home. The rich spend lavishly out here, the poor are naturally annoyed, politicians appease the poor, it is the middle class that cries. So...how much do you think is justified as social expenditure for marriages, and functions such as these? Extrapolating it to personal lives, do we really have to meet people in person as often these days because we have cell phones and Internet to communicate with them each day. We could be saving on precious petrol you know if decreased visiting a bit. How often do you meet your friends / folks? And what measures would you suggest to curtail such expenditure. I would say, let them pay as much in taxes.
2 people like this
7 responses
@thesids (22455)
• Bhubaneswar, India
6 Jan 12
Hi vandana Are you serious? I mean do you really want me to cut down my expenses on the parties that I have When I spend that amount on my party, I am sure that there are many who are indirectly benefited - right from the sweeper of that place where I organize my parties to the flowerist, the pantry people(caterers), the dhoti preparing workers, the printers for the cards, the Internet service providers (I also send email invites, post pictures of the party on FB etc), the cake makers (bakery)... I am doing more of social work here just because I have the money to spend and that provides earning opportunities to so many... Oh I almost forgot the Media - Journalists and those TV guys you know, then in that there are street hawkers who deliver newspapers, the cameramen, not only those who shoot and make my party public but also those who make adverts that get telecast in between the telecast of my party live... at least the Party is a better option and more welcome than those Loksabha Live or the Soaps you keep watching or even Kasab and Co. Live Telecasts... Do you still think I should cut down my little expenses on these parties
@thesids (22455)
• Bhubaneswar, India
7 Jan 12
No response yet! Didnt Like My reply? Aw... c'mon, I am a poor guy and my parties are nothing beyond chocolates for me
@vandana7 (57187)
• India
7 Jan 12
No ... it is not like that.. I mean...I responded the other day to Janey tha holding Olympics and spending on it at this time is good for their country because it generates employment. I was mulling over the advantages versus disadvantages of such spending. :) In any event, I think we and our country would have been better off had that money been converted into gold or another asset rather than consumed as liquor.
@viju0410 (2286)
• India
9 Jan 12
Hi thesid, here the benefit goes to only the liquor co.. good news to Malliyas- King Fisher..
• India
6 Jan 12
thats ok if one need to make business contact through these large and lavish parties, its a part of life and every one wants to go up. expenditure on a small function is however fascinating as they are showing their happiness how they celebrate little happiness of the life. but i am criticizing it if is unfair by any mean for the poors.
@vandana7 (57187)
• India
6 Jan 12
I know for certain that this relative did not allow employees provident fund rules to be applied to the organization and sent away the official with some bribe. Effectively, part of that money rightfully belongs to his employees. In fact, all businessmen do that to an extent.
@cutepenguin (6458)
• Canada
6 Jan 12
I see my parents every week for dinner. My aunts, uncles, and cousins are there too. I don't know how much it costs, but it's definitely not thousands! It's just a simple family dinner. Parties are nice and I like to see people in person. I don't think it's the same as using a phone or the internet, not that it's better, it's just different. I can't imagine spending that much money on one party.
@vandana7 (57187)
• India
6 Jan 12
Close family is fine cutepenguin. There is a psychological strength in it. But there are ladies out here, who stay at home throughout the day instead of working. They consider it to be below them to work. They are, however, always ready for shopping and kitty parties. They visit friends regularly, i.e., three friends in three days out of each week. Do you think that is necessary? Parties are also fine. But excessive expenditure is mind boggling.
@webearn99 (1744)
• India
6 Jan 12
Half a crore for an "Upanayanam"? That is crazy! I wish I had that kind of money! While I should be jealous, I am a bit happy. At least the idle money in the coffers has reached the rotating market economy. God bless these big spenders, at least someone else is getting an opportunity to work.
@vandana7 (57187)
• India
6 Jan 12
And that is only part of the expenditure...the bar..remember? So you can imagine how much it cost them. Oh no, they dont spend that much webearn. Ask their drivers who double as domestic servants. They only spend well when they have to flaunt their earnings. They even go to the extent of denying others what is rightfully theirs, like PF, and Gratuity. :) Not worth envying webearn..god finds ways to collect it all back. :)
@dawnald (84131)
• Shingle Springs, California
6 Jan 12
Well technically it's their money, and they can do whatever they want with it, but it really is wasteful and irresponsible in my opinion.
@vandana7 (57187)
• India
6 Jan 12
I agree it is their money. But I was wondering if government cannot tax them enough? I mean people should be allowed to spend that much provided they pay equivalent amount as taxes. That should reduce a lot of wasteful and irresponsible expenditure, and that should also reduce a lot of black money because such people wouldnt be able to spend it anyway. They would also start becoming fair in their dealings. This distant relative deprived employees gratuity and PF for a long time. Whenever the official came to the office, he was sent away giving some bribes. :) So part of it is money that legally belongs to the employees!
• United States
5 Jan 12
Wow! This seems very weird to me to spend so much money. I can't even justify spending so much on a wedding. I couldn't do that. I guess if the people can afford it it's their business how much money they spend. If they worked for the money or were born rich it is their business. If it were my relatives I probably wouldn't even attend because I would be sure to feel inadequate for not having expensive clothes to wear to it. In some ways I feel it is a shame to flaunt so much money when there are so many so poor but then the other part of me feels they are entitled to do as they wish if they have the money. If I were hosting something it wouldn't cost even $1000 because I would have people bring a covered dish for food. Each of the guests would be asked to bring enough food to feed their family. Everyone's food would be put on like a buffet. I'd also have some singers and musicians. I know some and could pay them for their time.
@vandana7 (57187)
• India
7 Jan 12
Affording it depends upon how it is afforded. I mean, when this relative started his business, the provident fund rules were applicable to his organization. But he deprived his employees of that period such fund by bribing the provident fund officials to look the other way. So ...I do think there will be heart burn there. I too dont attend his functions but not because of principles - I am not invited. As you mentioned, I would feel terribly out of place in that crowd. I agree about 1000 dollars. That would be good enough to host a lunch for 150 people out here.
@kingparker (9698)
• United States
5 Jan 12
Sounds like you have a rich relatives. If they are rich, it won't be matter how much they should spend. They might even feel nothing at all. Why bother? Anyway, for me, I can't spend that much money, because I will have my own budget, and I will have to plan for the future too. The reasonable amount might be between 20 grands to 30 grands of those functions and party should be enough.
@vandana7 (57187)
• India
6 Jan 12
I am more perturbed because if we cant match up to those standards, we get left behind, as we already are. We are not invited anymore, because we cant host such parties. I agree with you as of date 20 to 30 grands is the most reasonable amount.