Posts Tagged ‘economics’

By R.C. Seely

IN THE NINETIES IT WAS BEANIE BABIES, a market that when it went bust financially, hurt many who had expected it to be a long term trend. The early 2000s gave us the “Tickle me Elmo” doll craze, that caused violence as determined consumers fought each other for their doll. Today we have similiar product–one that I myself have made a modest investment in–with the Funko Pop figures. Will this be the next Beanie Babies or a substantial investment opportunity? I don’t know, only time will tell. 

    Fashion in general would be considered a “Fad Investment,” you spend lots of money at times, for an article of clothing that you will only wear once or until the trend ends. Not because you don’t like it or it’s in a state of disrepair but because you have to follow the crowd, that has already moved on. Bell bottoms gave way to baggie jeans, which moved over for skinny jeans. I hate skinny jeans and now they are everywhere. Worse still, is the material used, a nasty denim/spandex mutant fabric. Where are the natural advocates when they are needed? The major criticism here is that the retailers are choosing to cater to a single demographic. Like most trends, the skinny jeans are pretty much guaranteed to be temporary but for now it is an inconvenience. I doubt I’m alone in the hatred of this fabric. 

    Electronics–like clothing–are practical to an extent but it’s easy to make it a Fad Investment when obsessively buying the newest smart phone or a 3D HD TV or computer that has a feature that you won’t even use. But you must have it! This mindset makes even practical purchases a Fad Investment. 

    A little common sense in your purchases can help you avoid Fad Investing. For starters, if you have to mortgage your home to “complete the collection” then you might want to rethink your financial strategy. Gold or silver are a far better bet and will always retain some value. Precious metals have been around for thousands of years after all. Both are used in electronics currently so it’s naive to think gold and silver won’t be a sound investment in the future. The only real downside is that because of fiat currency the value is more organic and can be manipulated. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are also a better investment than those skinny jeans or the “the next must have toy.” Another way to steer clear of the Fad Investing is only purchase practical items–clothing and electronics for example–when replacing another product or has a feature that will be used regularly. If the purchase doesn’t break the bank or has genuine benefit for you, then go ahead and get it. As for me, after losing 10 pounds from going to the gym everyday, it looks like I’ll just have to keep tightening my belt until the “flex skinny jeans” fad passes. 

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture and his most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

THE 2016 ELECTION HAS ENDED WITH THE UNEXPECTED result of the extremely long-shot candidate winning. Not since Dewey vs Truman has there been such a notable upset. No one expected a Trump presidency, not the polls or the election betting predicting it, and the American left has been apoplectic since, taking every opportunity to make their displeasure publicly known. With constant protests, the “Not My President” movement and the non-stop cries of the election being stolen by the electoral college, it is getting difficult to even care.

On the other side, a few of the most hard-core Trump supporters have done all they can to aggravate the Clinton mourners, reminding the celebrities they promised to “leave the country” if Trump won. Others trolling the Clinton supporters online–conservative and libertarian–trying to justify their Trump support. Please! Trump is neither conservative nor libertarian. Yes, those smug Clintonites were beyond obnoxious but you can be the bigger one and let it go.

In between the cheap shots of the reneged promises of the “Orange Menace”, as I refer to Trump, Clintonites have also taken time to express their sadness of the end of the Obama-Nation era. Even now, they are still going on about their savior’s accomplishments, trying to validate their decision of putting him in power. The Obama administration could hardly be considered a success. He didn’t really do much at all, he didn’t close Gitmo or end the War on Drugs. He deported more immigrants than the Bush administration and with his responses to the domestic terrorist attacks he made the racial divide a crater. And less we forget his last minute Bears Ears National Park passing. A recent attack on Yemen–even though the Obama spokesman claimed it was not so–could be one of many interventionist policies by the “anti-war” president. Funny how the anti-war are okay with it when it’s “their war criminal.”

The most noteworthy last minute accomplishment by the outgoing president, is the proud declaration of adding 227,000 jobs and ending his presidency at 4.8% unemployment… and 4.8% is supposed to be a lofty goal? It doesn’t impress me much, but I don’t believe it either and neither should you. On the program The Street Economist Steve Blitz reports that this is not what it seems and has been manipulated. “Almost half… [of the jobs] were in retail, restaurants and healthcare” occupations. If the growth were in more white collar positions, the reports of such economic growth would be more impressive. Blitz goes on to say that because of other economic factors there was “no real wage gains” and that much of the growth was part time. He also speculates that the Federal Reserve is “on its way to tighten” up, in response to the current economic environment. Not exactly the rosy picture portrayed by the Democrats.

Will Trump be any better? Probably not, while Obama was comparably noninterventionist, Trump ran on the fact that he would shake things up and already has done so. Only time will tell, but there is ultimately no valid reason to conclude Trump won’t end his reign with last minute claims and legislature. After all, can you really trust a non-establishment president who has bankrolled establishment candidates? It doesn’t seem encouraging.

R.C. Seely is a Pop Culture Critic and author. He runs Americanus Libertae.com, Americanus Libertae Television and has written books about Pop Culture. His most recent is Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society