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Old 10-16-2007, 01:08 PM
 
164 posts, read 464,465 times
Reputation: 65

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jinxor View Post
I've heard that consumerism is good for the economy. Charging up my credit cards, I'm just helping the economy out of the slump here. Half-joking of course.
Every year at tax time I complain at work how I feel I'm being penalized by the California tax system for saving money in a bank and earning interest, and every year I get a half-serious lecture about how the government doesn't want me to SAVE money. The government wants me to SPEND it to help our economy.

So when did saving money go out of style?

Our ecomony is built on consumerism, but its gotten out of hand in my opinion. We see commercials and ads about how great it is to own a product and its easy to fall into spending money on fun things...after all, we've worked hard and have earned a few luxuries, right? Soon, that luxury becomes something we feel we have to have - a want becomes a "neccessity". Then, there are no savings to fall back on when something goes wrong.

I do it too, but at least I'm not spending all my emergency money. I still would like to get better and live more simply - but its to hard to do in Orange County, California.

So, if we all started saving more money by spending more reasonably, what would happen to our economy?
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:27 PM
 
164 posts, read 464,465 times
Reputation: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenMachine View Post
8 Snake,

It's a little of both, really. But it is difficult not to be influenced by one's culture. If you think you're immune, try moving to another country and see how different you really are!!

I know that Bloomingdales is a weakness for me. That company has done an amazing job planning these "sales" to incent people to spend more money. For example, the last sale was 25% off shoes if you buy two pairs and an additional $25 off if the total amount is over $100. Plus, you get $15 certificates to come back and spend on more shoes once the sales is over. Next thing I know, I'm buying four pairs of shoes !!!! I returned them all later of course, but I was really under the spell...

Greenie
I hate to scare anyone here, but Corporate America actually DOES try to influence our behavior. It's not a science, however, and it does take our consent. There are efforts to make it _more_ of a science, though. Studies are being done on tracking eye movements over advertisements, improving consumer's retention of ads, etc etc. It's not brain washing, not by a long shot. Everything is done, however, in an effort to influence you to buy and buy MORE. It's gotten pretty sophisticated.

Our purchases are tracked, and our purchase behavior is studied. Bloomingdales does sales like that because they've studied their customer's bahavior and found that tactic works. Credit cards have made much of this study possible. Your credit card company saves your info and sells it to other companies.

I read up on the subject because I find it interesting and because I'm a graphic designer.
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:07 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,074,490 times
Reputation: 692
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artful-Thang View Post
I hate to scare anyone here, but Corporate America actually DOES try to influence our behavior. It's not a science, however, and it does take our consent. There are efforts to make it _more_ of a science, though. Studies are being done on tracking eye movements over advertisements, improving consumer's retention of ads, etc etc. It's not brain washing, not by a long shot. Everything is done, however, in an effort to influence you to buy and buy MORE. It's gotten pretty sophisticated.

Our purchases are tracked, and our purchase behavior is studied. Bloomingdales does sales like that because they've studied their customer's bahavior and found that tactic works. Credit cards have made much of this study possible. Your credit card company saves your info and sells it to other companies.

I read up on the subject because I find it interesting and because I'm a graphic designer.
Dear AT,

Wonderful post. You are absolutely correct. Much brainwashing going on in our culture. I myself have allowed myself to become victim to many a Bloomingdale's sale. I was just there an hour ago, eyeing once again a pair of beautiful Tara Rose $545 brown boots.

Greenie
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Georgia
1,258 posts, read 2,031,820 times
Reputation: 667
Personal responsibility seems to be a lost trait nowadays.

But it seems there are 2 types of people doing this, 1. The morons spending spending spending so they can decorate their 400k home with only the best stuff, drive only the best Mercedes and Beamers, buying $1000 purses, getting cell phones for their 7yr old kids, etc.
2. People who maybe have some 'unnecessary expenses' such as cable tv, high-speed internet, going out to eat once a week, but for the most part they are struggling to get by. As the price of EVERYTHING is just going up and up and up, their salaries are staying the same, both parents are already working full-time just to afford a $160k home. So to get by, they are charging everything, hoping something will get better before it's too late and they lose their house, and everything else because they cannot pay their bills anymore.
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:03 PM
 
554 posts, read 1,991,275 times
Reputation: 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye48 View Post
I realize many people are using credit to purchase big ticket items like plasma screen TVs, but what's really sad it that many people are now using credit cards to pay for basic items like food and utilities. For many people like these, they are way past living paycheck to paycheck, and are so overloaded with debt they're close to foreclosure and bankruptcy.

Sometimes I wonder if our whole economy is built on a house of cards.
How True. These are scary times. Not only are so many in personal debt, our government spends and borrows like there is no tomorrow. The biggest debtor is the government. Congress has been far more irresponsible than the average American. Even credit card companies impose limits. Who imposes limits on congress?
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Colorado, Denver Metro Area
1,048 posts, read 3,926,070 times
Reputation: 396
The title said it all, they are digging their own grave. I am not sure what the heck is going to happen 20-30 years down the road when they are in debt 50 times over their head.

It is sad that people do not think ahead, spend money to be like the John next door, and the banks are taking advantage of them while the gov does not really help/educate about saving (in sake of keep the economy 'going').
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:03 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,074,490 times
Reputation: 692
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenMachine View Post
Dear AT,

Wonderful post. You are absolutely correct. Much brainwashing going on in our culture. I myself have allowed myself to become victim to many a Bloomingdale's sale. I was just there an hour ago, eyeing once again a pair of beautiful Tara Rose $545 brown boots.

Greenie
Oh, I just realized you were responding to my wonderful post!!!

We're both wonderful!!
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:19 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,408 posts, read 9,675,942 times
Reputation: 1369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye48 View Post
I realize many people are using credit to purchase big ticket items like plasma screen TVs, but what's really sad it that many people are now using credit cards to pay for basic items like food and utilities. For many people like these, they are way past living paycheck to paycheck, and are so overloaded with debt they're close to foreclosure and bankruptcy.

Sometimes I wonder if our whole economy is built on a house of cards.
I think one of the problems is that [some] people treat credit cards as money instead of debt When they get a new credit card with a $5000 limit or so, they act as if they won a $5000 lottery and quickly run up the card.
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Southwest Missouri
1,921 posts, read 5,559,654 times
Reputation: 910
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelle3 View Post
Who imposes limits on congress?
We, the people...
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Southwest Missouri
1,921 posts, read 5,559,654 times
Reputation: 910
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoWeb View Post
and the banks are taking advantage of them while the gov does not really help/educate about saving (in sake of keep the economy 'going').
Sorry, but this really grates on me. I have yet to hear a story of a bank breaking into someone's home and holding a gun to his/her head until said person agrees to take out a loan. The people are voluntarily assuming all of this debt because they have no self-discipline.

Now, to touch on the other aspect of your post. The government is NOT responsible for our actions. The United States is a free country, that was founded by people who wanted to escape a tyrannical government. If a citizen (yes citizen, not subject) of the US needs help or education about saving and finance, he or she is free to gain as much knowledge as needed or desired. By the same token, you and I are free to utilize or ignore all of the information that is available to us. We are all personally accountable for our actions, period.
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