Unfortunately Q. You are absolutely wrong in the most profound way. And it's not even your fault for being wrong. Let me explain.
First, What is social status?
Now why is social status important in the context of this thread? Social status is important because it has been the primary method of selecting our mate(s) for millions of years. Yes, millions. Primates seek social status in different ways but they use it the same as we do; for procreative advantage over our competition. And even species more primal than the primates convert advantages in social standing into procreative advantages. From the very first animal that learned to dominate socially instead of eating it's competition, social life on Earth has been primariliy focused upon the securement of procreation.
Indeed, when we 'win' in competition, our brains release endorphins and adrenalin and increase production of testosterone. Our thinking literally becomes clearer and our body literally feels more energy; more drive. Winning in competition actually increases our future chances of winning. Losing also has the opposite effect. It's been shown to supress the immune system and to decrease testosterone and to release dopamines (chemically similar to morphine). Losing literally clouds one's thinking, dulls the sences, and makes one more suseptible to disease. But the energy saved from this sequence of events helps the person to survive long periods of starvation that was so commonly associated with losing competition that we've adapted for it. This is important because this also explains why the wealthy seek out status symbols, why the successful seek out ever greater success, and why the poor also tend to lack judgement, suffer from health and mental problems, lack ambition, etc..
When we were swinging in the trees, there is no question that the accumulation of fruit and other foods was desirable because we could then share them. Essentially trading gathered items for social status. Which improved procreative chances.
When we were hunting with sticks, there is no question that the successful hunt was desirable for the individual as he could then trade it for social status. Which impproved procreative chances.
As we became more sophisticated ourselves, we merely added sophistication to that basic theme; the accumulation and trading of material wealth for social status.
And it all boils down to our drive to procreate.
Why do you think luxury items in general are considered something of an aphrodisiac? Why do you think companies spend millions in an attempt to associate their product with sex? It's all just plugging into the drive to procreate through social status.
Whether it be teenagers buying the best duds they can afford or 60+ year old men arriving at the resturant in a rolls royce; it's all about social status increasing one's procreative chances.
Buying that BMW or Mercedes over the Kia is actually acceding to one of our most primal urges. Therein lies the problem with judging it badly; in fact in judging it at all. By doing so, you judge human nature as bad. Is it the mouses fault that it likes cheese? Is the drive to procreate the animals fault? Is it Mans fault he has a drive to procreate? Certainly not.
We are simply not advanced enough to toss aside and ignore our animal urges for very long. They've been with us for millions of years. One cannot expect us to just shrug them off in a mere few thousand. I don't know if we'll ever be that advanced. If we were to merely suppress them, I'm sure you know enough of phychology to know that supressed urges come out in unexpected and often very destructive ways. And we're talking about the one that is most primal; powerful. And the one most embedded into our genetic code of all.
The modern manifestations of our most primal urge to compete for social status may be redirected into another form, but you cannot simply abolish it any more than you can abolish the urge to procreate itself.