“I was taken by your focus on the feminine allures of a capitalist society built on consumerism”, a reader said in response to my recent article Keeping Up With The Irresponsibles. “And thought, whoa, wait a minute. We guys are equally preyed upon by Madison Avenue! When I think of the beer commercials, new car commercials, all selling us sex along with product of the day. And the drug commercials, also pretty much selling sex, explicitly. Erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, etc.
All of these ads appeal to our “manliness” in the same way the ads appeal to a distorted version of what a woman’s body should look like. And don’t get me started on kids’ advertising! Your point, of assessing what we need versus what we want is right on target. Try reminds me of Bush’s exhortation after 911 for everybody to get out and shop, and show those terrorists what’s what! But it’s a deeper malaise than that. We are an addicted society, to so many things. Sort of a bummer review, sorry, but you started it!”
It may be a bummer but anytime we’re asked to dig deep to find what’s really going on, it’s usually a downer. It’s so much easier to keep going in our mental fog—following the unconscious prompts coming our way like the “get out and shop” message he mentions. Most of us just loved getting that rebate (remember?) we didn’t stop to think about the “spend, spend, spend” message coming our way. Unfortunately, when the recession fully hit us—slamming on the spending brakes was just plain painful.
The moral of the story? Keep your money radar on alert. Make it a habit to Stop, Look and Listen to You! After all, aren’t you the one that should be making your financial decisions?