Posts Tagged ‘economics’

By R.C. Seely

THE MEDIA HAS REPORTED that “malls across the country are dying off.” The supposed culprit for their demise is the internet and it’s impact on the business models. I don’t think so. The internet simply demonstrated the vulnerability of big business, they over extended themselves. 

    At times of excess before the great recession of 2008, the biggest retail organizations in the United States just kept building while ignoring the looming change in business. The internet did what mail order did and gave the customer more options; in areas with few brick and mortar stores, this proved to be a saving grace; in areas with more stores losses were inevitable. 

    And with both additions to the market, the “big boys” complained about the competition, but ignored the fact they were responsible for the damage by not adapting when they should have. So they had to perform massive scaling back measures closing many stores and cutting the jobs. That’s the bad news. 

    The good news is that the internet has made it easier for the little guys to fill the niches. Online commerce has proven to be the leveler of the market that had been distorted by big corporations, all thanks to the minimal regulations and restrictions on the “information superhighway.” The internet is mostly tax-free on products, and fees for advertising and selling are minimal, making it ideal for growth.

    The internet was sent up in the 1980s, and started showing the signs of the coming changes in the nineties. By the early 2000s if you didn’t have an email address for your business you were behind the curb, the big companies least affected by the web already designed a solid online infrastructure. Target, Walmart and Home Depot, didn’t lose as many stores as the other large corporations. They welcomed the new manner in doing business and fewer local economies were hurt. 

    The damage done wasn’t due to the internet but short-sightedness on the part of the large companies who foolishly believed the internet was simply a fad–a similar sentiment about mail order, I’m sure. It’s a fairly effective way to avoid culpability for your failures, and make the other guy look bad for doing so.

    Many of us do business almost entirely online thanks to Amazon. All my books couldn’t be possible without the services of Createspace, one of Amazon’s subsidiaries. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything the company does, but they perform services along with selling discounted products that benefit the consumer and that can’t be denied. 

    Amazon has also given another point of consideration, while many are shutting down their brick and mortar stores, this retail giant recently opened it’s first one. Clearly they don’t see this as the end of malls and they have been pretty accurate in their predictions so far.

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

By R.C. Seely

AMERICA IS THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY, if you aren’t afraid to get to your hands dirty and work for it. That’s not good enough for some people. Not only do they disagree with the idea of “equal opportunity” being fair, they believe we need “equal results” and in the world of safe spaces and free speech zones, they can end up suppressing the discussion.

In come the opportunists–proponents of the progressive agenda–to aid them by further reinforcing their feelings of social inadequacy and impotence. You are the victim and due. Theres even a social buzzword for it: Microaggressions. Besides the clear violation of freedom of speech, as an entrepreneur, I find this repulsive and insulting.

Here’s why: I went to trade school, while working during that year. It also included about 600 clinical hours and having to take both a national and state exam, which required going out of state to take. That was only the beginning–after that the work of building a clientele list and my career began. It wasn’t easy, and it didn’t go as planned. Because of the local market, I abandoned the job after putting my all into it.

Since then, I have picked myself up and tried this writing thing. It’s unclear if it will pay off or not, but at least I’m trying it. I’m making sacrifices and paying my dues, because that’s the responsible thing to do. But it’s what I enjoy doing and has prospects. There’s no safety net however, so if it fails, it means getting up again and trying something else. That’s what an entrepreneur does, but when working for others it could still be necessary to pay your dues.

There are days that you get discouraged and consider throwing in the towel and sticking with that day job. It offers a degree of security but also the risk of being terminated. The risks if occupational self-sufficiency is worth it for those who possess the grit to see it through to the end. The euphoria felt after each accomplishment does outweigh the feeling of defeat from the failings. And each time you falter you will learn from it.

This acquiescence to the wave of Microaggressions is hurting this country, not only is encumbering speech but in discouraging others from even trying. Why go through the heartache of entrepreneurship, when you can have the same thing guaranteed without the effort? Because the effort is what truly matters. It’s what makes the results worth it.

The land of opportunity is still alive in the USA, despite the Microaggressions. It’s made the road a little rockier and unfortunately disenfranchises others who will now be less inclined to start a business. Thing is that they are needed as much–if not more, thanks to the information age economy. The traditional businesses have proven to not be “too big to fail” and have been shrinking instead of growing.

The economic impact from Microaggressions has been covered, now on to the censorship. The era of Microaggressions have made sure to make everyone dependent on government, while silencing its opponents. Even saying the phrase “Land of Opportunity” is considered hurtful and a Microaggression. And since what’s deemed offensive is subjective, it’s difficult to have an open discussion on any subject. Many people are sensitive to social pressure, and being called out as culturally insensitive or politically incorrect is all it takes for them to concede, it’s an effective plan of attack.

It’s a problem that is rampant in the two-party system, Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly are as bad–or worse–than any of their “tolerant” progressive counterparts.

Progressive groups called to have Last Man Standing pulled and the Media Research Center petitioned to have Dan Savage’s sitcom The Real ONeals canceled. Both were in the wrong. A petition from progressive groups was sent to MSNBC to have the conservatives formerly from Fox News fired; while they pushed for Net Neutrality, which would force them to hire progressive commentators.

Microaggressions are having a detrimental effect on our nation–both in the area of free speech and economics. It’s not worth trading freedom for security, because whether it’s in a battlefield across the ocean or in a classroom across the road or a political discussion across the room, security is at best fleeting and can be used against us when the individual relinquishes control. Security can be achieved with Freedom, but Freedom is generally suppressed with security.

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

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 similar 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 every day, 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