Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Live free or buy

This (below) is a good article on living a more simple life. A less expensive life. A more enriching life. A happier life.

I am convinced that most possessions are a bigger pain in the hind quarters than they are worth.

Take for instance new cars. I drove by a dealership the other day and they wanted 30K for a new, not particularly fancy, family sedan. 30K is the cash price. If one finances it it is a good bit more than that. For most people this purchase is simply asinine given that a nice used car, just a couple of years older than the new one, can be had for say 12K. Simply put if one buys new cars one is a sucker.

I've been a sucker. Thankfully I learned.

As I read the following article I flashed back to a Capital Gang show I watched in the mid-90s, when Mona Charen was one of the talking heads. For those who don't know her she is Republican.

At the end of the show each pundit got to pick something to bitch about. This week Mona decided to bitch about Disney.

She had just bought the Lion King tape, if I remember correctly, and her beef was the ridiculous number of ads for other Disney videos, merchandise, etc, that her kids had to sit through to get to the actual movie.

I remember her saying something to the effect of, "No one ever said that capitalism isn't gauche."

Her statement obviously made an impact on me and it reflects my feelings on consumerist society pretty well.

Through boneheaded manipulation the US economy is/was driven 70% by the US consumer and their credit cards. That is why so many economists (the enablers of the boneheaded manipulators) have told people to go out and spend in this recession. We need people to buy extra bath sets at Linens N Things for the sake of the economy.

Look, I don't begrudge people who go buy SUVs or McMansions or whatever. Spend your money. I love capitalism. If this is what floats your bass boat, or Boston Whaler fantastic. Have fun. Seriously. If things are what are important to you buy away. It is literally your right.

But getting out of this mindset and letting others float the economy has real benefits.

She had so much.

A two-bedroom apartment. Two cars. Enough wedding china to serve two dozen people.

Yet Tammy Strobel wasn't happy. Working as a project manager with an investment management firm in Davis, Calif., and making about $40,000 a year, she was, as she put it, caught in the "work-spend treadmill."

So one day she stepped off.

Click here for the story.

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Nick Sorrentino is the Editor of The Liberty and Economics Review and CEO of Exelorix.com a social media management company.