The Decadence Index
I’m not sure whether there is, in fact, a decadence index. If there is, one of the useful sources for constructing it would be the current Hammacher Schlemmer catalog. Among the merchandise featured are items I think of as tailored for people who haven’t been taxed enough. They serve as indicators of the degree of decadence in America.
The latest catalog, which I received yesterday, contains an item that sets a new high in decadence: a very special type of rubber raft you can prop yourself up on while floating about in your swimming pool. No more tedious paddling across the pool for you once you own it. No such plebeian labor is required when you’re the captain of this Hammacher Schlemmer raft. It’s equipped a tiny electric motor that will propel you across your pool with no effort at all.