Looking industrious has fallen out of favor among America’s upper crust. Jamie Johnson, who covers the lifestyles of the rich for Vanity Fair, writes that it’s fashionable for today’s wealthy heirs to lounge in bed until 4 or 5 in the afternoon—any stigma once associated with such sloth has vanished. “Ironically, wiling away hours in a state of blissful unconsciousness has become, of all things, a status symbol,” he writes.
“For much of the nation’s existence, industry and productivity represented what the rich wanted to project as a persuasive image,” Johnson writes. “Wealth and accomplishment were cast in material molds. … Now, it’s less tangible and more ethereal, like the dreams of a carefree sleep. Today, there’s a growing appreciation of what isn’t done, rather than what is.”