I felt compelled to write about this after my recent encouragement on this blog of consumers strategically abandoning their mortgages.
Chronic over-consumption seems to be the American way, but the drivers behind this have been so refined, become so subtle that it’s rare you even notice why you want to buy any given item.
For me, this item is an HDTV. We don’t have one. We don’t have a video game console, we barely have cable (or the time to watch TV), and yet – I want an HDTV. With another move now on the horizon, I think it’s time to abandon our 55 pound, 20″ CRT television (my wife is dragging her feet – a little). I’ll probably give it away, or see if I can get $20 for it on Craigslist. The plan, then, is to purchase a new HDTV upon our resettlement. So – I keep my eye on prices, features, etc., which is how I got to this article from Men’s Health: An HDTV for Every Budget.
Where does the budget start? $1,200! It only goes up from there, with pit stops at $1,500, 1,700, $2,150, and more – capping off at $5,000.
Today, quality HDTVs are available for $500. The technology has not significantly improved, and even now it’s difficult to find 1080p broadcasts, much less for the human eye to discern between 720p and 1080p. And yet, here’s a magazine advocating that if you don’t spend at least $1,200 on your next TV, you are somehow less of a man.
This, my friends, is why chronic consumption has stricken America, why most Americans are over their heads in debt, underwater on their houses, and generally in the tubes.
Stay strong out there, consumers! Some even suggest it’s your money or your life.