Socialism, smartphones, and the circus

WARNING: If you are sensitive regarding your current financial condition you may not want to read this. Our family is not financially wealthy in any way. We also don’t see that changing anytime soon unless this Amway thing works out. Therefore the issue that I talk about here is one in which I have had to make decisions myself. It is also not as cut and dried as it appears on paper. Ultimately every individual has to decide what is financially important and necessary for their family. For some it may be a trip to the circus or a night at the fair. While your making that decision I would just encourage you to do what I always need to do as well – look at the long term results. With these things in mind, read on.

Are we so easily entertained that we must become a socialist state to survive? I have often thought about this but today I was reminded of my former musings. I do believe that unless we have a fundamental change in the outlook of the majority of the people in this country then we will continue our slide towards socialism, or as I like to call it – mass corruption which benefits a few.

I would love to claim some special economic knowledge or even special insight but I have neither. I simply make simple observations which flow from my convoluted mind. Whether they are right or not will only be shown in time.

I used to hate the fair. To be quite honest, I still do, although the reasons have changed. I learned as a retail manager that when the fair came to town that businesses suffered, really suffered.

I did not realize until later how deep this problem went. As I learned more I saw families take out payday loans to pay for trips to the circus, and go in debt with interest rates higher than 25% to pay for a night at the fair. Sure the circus is fun and you can even get food poisoning at the fair but the question remains – Why? Why do families overspend themselves to do something that they really can’t afford? Why is it that when these things are pointed out to them they usually just shrug their shoulders as if to say, “Oh well.”

Many people have seen these things as a way of escape from what seems to be a never-ending economic situation. The sad result is that these momentary escapes only deepen the futility of their current situation. A family that has borrowed $1000 to go to the fair now can’t set aside money to do anything different because they have this bill hanging over their heads that they can’t escape.

What does this have to do with socialism? Well let me make a connection that may sink home to some of us – cell phones; cell phones and more specifically, smart phones. The average smartphone bill is $107 (JD Powers). Multiply that times how many folks are in the household with those things and you now see where much of America’s capital is going – to entertainment, cheap entertainment.

I am not at all opposed to people having smartphones. If you can afford them by all means help yourself. However, I think that we could all agree that there are a great many people who are scraping their way through their bills while supporting their need for cheap entertainment such as Facebook and a myriad of apps from their smartphone.

The final point is this; people don’t care. It reminds me of the baby shirt that stated: Just give me back my binky and no one gets hurt. The average American doesn’t really care what the economic situation is or what it will be as long as you can promise them that they can keep their beloved binky.

Published by Daniel M Harding

Husband, father, associate pastor.

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