MONEY CAN MAKE YOU STUPID
All right, all right... Don't get your panties in a bunch. I'm not saying everyone with money is stupid, and I'm not saying that enjoying having money is stupid. BUT, it does make people fall for really stupid things (marketing campaigns). I know, because I am a recovering gullible idiot.
Before we move on to why it can make you stupid, here are some indisputable facts about money, and why it is so damn important:
- This isn't 4000 B.C. where we don't have running water and electricity. Last time I checked, that shit costs money. So, the fact is, in order to have the essentials to live today, you need money. (Egg McMuffins aren't free either people)
- Egg McMuffins aren't free. (see, I told you)
- The average American spends 6% ($3K) of their income on entertainment. Any form of entertainment costs money. Movies, Television, Art, and yes, some people actually spend money on Musicals. (even though I think Musicals are stupid, you aren't stupid for liking them) (you're welcome)
- Food is expensive. The average American spends 13% ($7K) on food. Unless of course you are a farmer who farms every meal from their back yard or a hunter that only eats what he kills. I don't personally know anyone who falls under either of those two categories. Do you?
I could go on for days, but I even caught myself yawning there, so I will move on. By the way, I spend WAY more on food and entertainment than the average. WAY.
WHY MONEY MAKES YOU STUPID:
Let me clarify. Money doesn't automatically make you stupid, but, the more you have tends to make humans all the more gullible to clever people who are good at marketing. Clever people who are good at marketing make otherwise smart people with money, look and sound REALLY dumb sometimes. Here are just a few glaring examples...
If you go to the grocery store and pay twenty to forty percent more for a food that is labeled Organic, you are a victim of a marketing trick I like to call SELL WORDS. Every marketer worth his or her mettle knows how to get you to pay more for no reason by strategically using sell words.
Sell words are basically bullshit terms that marketers use to help separate their products from the rest and make you use more of your cash to buy essentially the same product. ORGANIC is a sell word. People with extra money to spend buy food marked Organic because they have been told by Sally that it is better for you. Sally might say it's pesticide free if it is marked Organic (not true). She might even say that it is safer, healthier and more nutritious (not true, not true and not true). A lot of times people with extra money to spend don't fact check. They just figure if it costs more, it must be better. Stupid.
Organic food is not more nutritious, and pesticides ARE still used. The problem is, on Organic food, they use natural pesticides instead of chemical pesticides. While that may in theory sound healthier, the fact is, we know FAR less about the effects of natural pesticides on our bodies. Why? Because they don't have to be rigorously tested like chemical pesticides do. One COULD say that, in fact, Organic food, is actually MORE dangerous. (oh the drama)
Don't believe my take on organic food? People much smarter than you and me understand these facts, check them out here: http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2014/06/the_biggest_myth_about_organic_farming.html
Bottom line here, use common sense. If ever you want to fall into the trap of sell words, you'll find it in the skin care aisle. Ladies, I am obviously talking mostly to you. I'm not saying that you are stupid for spending your hard earned money on skin care, I promise. Just please use common sense, and most of all, just look at the labels on the back. And, don't let THEM (the mean ole marketers) tell you that you need six hundred different things to make you look pretty. You don't. That new expensive cream from such and such that Jessica says is just... "omigod, totes amazing", really isn't. It's just more expensive. That cream that is $1.99 at Waly-World has the exact same shit in it. Just look. The difference is, it doesn't have Blake Lively selling it to you, and it doesn't have that super chic packaging... or apparently, a good team of marketers on staff. Extra money in your pocket keeps your eyes from reading labels and makes you think you need things that you don't. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/04/fashion/04skin.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
This one is probably my favorite. You ever ask someone for a restaurant recommendation and after that meal is over you spent $200 and you still have to drive through Mickey D's on the way home? Me too. Far too many times. You know why? Because, people that have extra money to spend fall for things like the "COOL FACTOR". What people who fall for this fail to realize is that, while it is perfectly ok if you like to spend your money on things like ambiance, or vibe, the rest of us like to go to restaurants for the FOOD (crazy concept, I know). I too enjoy cool places and good vibes, but not at the expense (literally and figuratively) of my meal. Salads don't cost $18. Pizza, no matter how many wood fired and hand made and farm to table sell words you give me, doesn't cost $20. Not a pizza for one person any way. No, those things only cost that much when you are worried about other things, like the scene. You know who cares more about those things than the food? People with money. Cause they are told that is what you do when you have money, you go to places where the food has presentation, not pesky little things like taste or substance.
And listen, it is perfectly ok if you like those places of course. To each his own. Just don't tell a friend who actually wants a real meal that the food is "to die for!" when you got tricked by the food's surroundings. Like I said, I like me some ambiance too, I'll just take that after my meal, you know, when they have fooled me into paying $15 for a drink! Which leads me to my final example of why money can make you stupid...
Admittedly, the other examples I have given could be considered subjective (nah, not really). This topic cannot. After six years of being a partner in a liquor company, the simple fact of the matter is, you do NOT necessarily get what you pay for when it comes to booze.
Talk about sell words... this industry takes the cake. Hand Crafted, Triple Distilled, and Small Batch are just a couple of examples of BS that you will see on the front and back of designer bottles of liquor everywhere. Let me tell you for a fact, it's all bullshit. NO major brand of liquor is hand crafted. It doesn't matter if you distill vodka one time, or 1,000 times, it's still the same vodka. And small batches? Small compared to what? The 700,000 barrel batches that your other label uses?
Don't fall for it. What separates good liquor from bad liquor are its ingredient mix, the water used to distill it, how it was aged and how long it was aged. That's it. Just have fun trying lots of different things and buy what you like. Here is a real world example: When my partner and I were taste testing to choose our vodka, we blind tested our vodka against Kettle One, Grey Goose, and Smirnoff. In EVERY single taste test, the most expensive, and according to their slogan, "The World's Best Tasting" vodka, Grey Goose, finished dead last. That was the result in over twenty different taste tests. Dead last every time. Expensive poison is the same as cheap poison. Just choose the one that tastes the best to you, regardless of price.
YOUR POINT SIR?:
The bottom line in all of this nonsense is to buy what you love. Don't let other people tell you what you should buy or what you need. You worked way too damn hard for your money to blow it on things that aren't necessary, or what others tell you, you just HAVE to have. Yikes. Don't let money make you stupid. Let money do what it is supposed to do and make your life easier.
At the end of the day, it's your money, you made it, you can do whatever the hell you feel like doing with it. GO WILD! Just don't become so disconnected from reality by it that you become THAT GUY/GIRL. The only people that want to hang out with THAT GUY/GIRL are people just as oblivious to life as he/she is. And by the way, we have all been fooled by those clever marketing tricksters. They get paid a lot of money to pull the wool over our eyes. I am no different. All you have to do is announce on a sign that you serve the "world's best pizza", and I will eat it. No matter what. Even though I know full well it won't be the best, it's still pizza. Maybe my mom should have taken that approach with broccoli.
Thanks for stopping by. These are just my silly opinions and observations. Feel free to argue any of these rantings by shooting me an email. Thanks!