-- "Why are diamonds valuable? No, really, why?"
++ "Well, they're used as cutting instruments in industrial processes."
-- "Yeah, but those diamonds are tiny and cheap, and those are actually used for something. I'm talking about those things in jewelry stores that just sit there and look pretty."
++ "Well, even if they're just hunks of coal, they're very scarce, and the companies that mine them entitled to a return on their money in harvesting, polishing and selling those coal bits, right? You're not some commie pinko now are you?"
--"No, of course not, I've read Atas Shrugged you know - cover-to-cover."
++ "Right, then you understand that people are engaged in the industry for selfish reasons, i.e. to make a profit so they can earn a living, just like the rest of us. I mean, it's not like there's diamonds laying all around that the De Beers conglomerate keeps off the market so as to artificially inflate the price as it exploits nearly slave labor to keep already rock bottom costs low, all the while marketing the hell out of the idea that you can only love a woman if it's expressed in diamonds....Why are you laughing?"
-- "Buddy, De Beers makes OPEC look downright charitable."
IMPORTANT: Linked article written in 1982 - still fun, but not entirely au courant. Link props to FARK.
MORE: Most telling quote from the article, actually from a DeBeers study:
Women are in unanimous agreement that they want to be surprised with gifts.... They want, of course, to be surprised for the thrill of it. However, a deeper, more important reason lies behind this desire.... "freedom from guilt." Some of the women pointed out that if their husbands enlisted their help in purchasing a gift (like diamond jewelry), their practical nature would come to the fore and they would be compelled to object to the purchase.What saps we are...