I think your post is EXCELLENT & expresses what I have been thinking & could not quite put into words. Thanks!
Thank you very much.
I follow this cart-leading-the-horse phenomenon from an economic perspective. The Instapundit comes at it from the political angle and has come up with what he calls "Reynolds's Law." There's a very good explanation of it here that you may find interesting.
It reminds me of Ayn Rand's explaining that people want to win the lottery to enjoy the money, of course. But that what they really desire is to be able to pretend and to give the impression that they'd earned it. That's where self-esteem comes from.