* Professor of English and Advertising, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
* Author, Living it Up: Our Love Affair with Luxury (Columbia University Press, 2002)
* Professor of Sociology, Boston College
* Author, The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need (Basic, 1998)
* Author, The Middle of Everywhere: The World's Refugees Come to Our Town (Harcourt Brace, 2002)
They now have day spas at J.C. Penney's and cashmere bedspreads at Kmart. Luxury items are no longer just for the rich. According to some economists, luxury spending in the United States has been growing four times faster than overall spending. But what's behind America's love of luxury and what does it say about us?