If you needed any more proof of income inequality in America, look no further than retailer Neiman Marcus‘s annual Christmas book, which for 2011 is encouraging the 1% to buy their loved ones a $75,000 yurt.
Yes, a yurt — not a well-built shack or a pre-fabricated outdoor dwelling, but a fully portable, climate controlled round tent decorated with one-of-a-kind pillows and a crystal chandelier. Reuters reports that this is just one of a few extravagant gifts included in this year’s book, which for a long time now has been the first and last word in über-expensive holiday giving.
The book also includes a $45,000 ping-pong table, a $125,000 custom library from Assouline filled with vintage books and a $1 million dancing fountain from the same company that designed the famous dancing fountain at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
To be fair, there are a lot of other, more affordably priced items in this year’s book — and there always are. For example, just because you don’t have $250,000 to buy your dad a speed boat doesn’t mean you couldn’t get him a $25 combination paperweight and desk calendar from the same catalog
And to be completely fair, the most expensive presents are called “Fantasy Gift,” which is exactly what they are. Moreover, every time Neiman Marcus sells one of them, they take a percentage of the sale proceeds and make a donation to charity. The $420,000 international flower show trip, for example, means a $5,000 donation to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. You’d think Neiman’s could be a little more altruistic than that, but hey — every little bit counts, right?
Anyway, it’s just another reminder that, basically, Christmas is just around the corner. Start saving up kids: this year’s gonna be tough.
[Reuters, Neiman Marcus]