Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Our Recession Monster

It's primary day here in Michigan. Presidential candidates wanting my vote have been touring our state this past week, touting their plans to bring us out of our one-state recession.

Do it! Recessions are no fun.

At first, I thought a recession might not be so bad. A downturn in business should mean cheaper goods, right? I mean, if things aren't selling well at the posted price, then prices have to drop, right?

Not necessarily. Businesses just work harder to squeeze blood out of a turnip. I learned this after my wife and I went shopping for after-holiday bargains at an Eddie Bauer. Didn't find any "steals", but I bought a couple shirts anyway.

Checking out, the clerk asked me, "Do you want to save ten percent today by applying for an Eddie Bauer Master Card?"

"No." I know those credit cards are just gimmicks to entice you to shop there more or use their credit card.

"Would you like to purchase this multi-purpose tool for $7 more?" she asked, pointing to some plier-like contraption by the register.


Sheesh. Can't you just get what you came for anymore? Apparently not. I found this out again when I stopped by the grocery store to pick up the Sunday newspaper. Before walking away, I checked the paper to make sure the weekly TV guide was included. It wasn't.

I paged through the paper section by section and still no TV guide. I was just about to grab a different copy when I came across a notice from the Ann Arbor News. They don't include the TV guide anymore in the Sunday paper you buy at the store. You have to subscribe to get the daily TV listing now.

Drat! Well, I hate the Ann Arbor News anyway. Now I have one more reason to do so. But that's a clever gimmick to get you to pay more money for something you wanted and depended on. It's like our local Comcast cablevision which is moving our local government news and public service channel to a digital service tier. So you if want to see what's happening in local government and schools, then you have to subscribe to a premier service and pay more money.

It's coming people. I read where the music industry, part of which is in a recession because of declining sales of CDs, wants a cut from internet service providers because of illegal file-sharing of music. So they want to "monetize" (love that word) this file-sharing by bundling some type of legal file-sharing service with the internet people are already paying for, at extra cost, whether they download music or not, whether they want it or not.

It's the recession come hither. People being forced to pay more for what is now free or included in their current bill(s). So what to do about it? I'm going to discuss some solutions at my new website currently under construction which will be available to paid subscribers only.

Heck, if you can't beat 'em, join em.


Blogger Matty said...

Big Dave,
I'm not paying for what I can get free.
I'll stick to this blog...
Being serious now...I know how you feel. Seems we can't go anywhere without being asked if we want a credit card.
Even my grocery bill - on the bottom of it...it says if you had a President Choice Card...you could have saved $ 42.51

I don't want or need anymore cards.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous MSU GAL said...

I posted about election and recession today too!

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Spartan Che Guevara said...

"Heck, if you can't beat 'em, join em."

Wow. That quote pretty much summed up the current American school of thought on all the corporate/political bullshit of today.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Send details of fees and address Dave and we'll join you... or not.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Squirrel said...

Ha! I totally love that last paragraph!

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL...you're too funny, Dave and in today's news world, I must say I really welcome this.
However, I think I'll pass on the paid subscription for your blog. I've always said the best things in life are free....so I'll stay right here reading you.
Ditto on all that you said here. Very true and sad.

7:08 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Big Dave ~ Isn't this where Napster got sued for copyright infringement and then went legit? (and now charges [and pays] for the file sharing?) Every system they come up with for protection is a HACKERS next challenge.

By the way Dave... "Would you like this $7 tool with your Tall cup of Arabian Mocha Sanani by Starbucks® Coffee?" ~ jb///

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Deb said...

My store does the same thing. Once the poor little cashier was trying to hock toothpaste. With a straight face, I asked: 'Why? Does my breath stink?" Hehe. She didn't know how to respond to that. LOL about the last paragraph.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Carine said...

I do not pay for websites-I think the best ones are free of charge-trust me, look at the ones I read and am loyal too!

Have to share:

DD was taken off the steroids and the terbutaline-
we're on baby watch for DGS #2!

here's the big question will DGS#1 (Dylan) be a big brother by his first birthday next Friday or not????

4:21 PM  
Blogger Kacey said...

The people of this country are in for a rude awakening. If we don't wake up and realize that hoping to make a profit on goods that are not selling by raising the price is not gonna happen. The stores didn't get it when the "holiday season" didn't make much money, but who can get excited about buying everyone presents for "Winter Festival"? I am so frightened that we are heading for a serious recession and all about me are losing their heads and melting their plastic. Wake up America --- read Big Dave!

4:31 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

The recession is right around the corner for the rest of us. I knew Michigan was having a serious problem but the Primaries made me much more aware.

Out here Mervyn's is the biggest promoter of the 10 or 20 percent off if you use their card. I hate to be told I really need their card, particularly with the high interest rate that comes with late payments. So I resist and tell them no thank you.

I am looking forward to your new website. Remember however that I am a retired school marm and darn but I have a fixed income and it is fixed quite low. Therefore, I hope you will consider a special rate for Seniors. :-)

4:47 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Sorry Dave, I guess I won't be reading your new website...I love ya, but I'm not paying to read you. Maybe, if you gave a free trial subscription, I might consider it.. lol

Here in Houston, we can suscribe for ONLY the Sunday paper if we want to. I bet you can do it up there in Michigan too, if you just ask... You might try reading about government and local news on the Internet. TF and I read the Houston Chronicle online. We still suscribe to it for the coupons and sales ads.

I found some incredible deals shopping the after Christmas sales, it's all a matter of timing.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, good luck with that website, Dave. Actually I would probably sign up because I like to support the arts. tee-hee. Seriously the music/CD issue is a huge problem. There is literally no way a musician can make money now without being constantly on the road, touring, staying in dumps, eating bad food. That means it will even more quickly narrow the field down to teenagers and young adults who think that's a wonderful way of life and the superstars who will continue to charge enormous amounts for concert tickets. What fun is that? Places like the Ark, the FireFly Club-really struggling. For Dan it means he stalls on some important things in life, like family and home.

Otherwise, it's a crap economy and it makes me angry that it was so very very predictable and could have been headed off at the pass but no. Check out StoryofStuff.com.
Interesting and sobering. I know Michigan is really in the soup and I talk about it with all my friends there.

On a positive note, Eddie Bauer shirts wear well. :-) Cheers, Dave!

6:07 AM  
Blogger Babette said...

Sounds like you need a little SPARTAN spirit, Dave: Keep your chin up! It's always darkest before the dawn! If life gives you losses, get out the matches!

8:33 AM  
Blogger Dust-bunny said...

Hi Dave,

I do feel for the artists out there who could be making ten billion dollars a month instead of ten million. It does kind of bring a tear to one's eye. Sniff.

But far be it for me to say...I pirated music all the time onto my cassettes from the radio when I was young. Hardly ever purchased an album. I'm lucky I didn't get arrested. ;)

Seriously, I do think that they should be making SOME kind of cut from all of their music that's downloaded onto the ipods, etc. But leave the rest of us out of it. I'm sure if they charge one cent per song to download, they'd still be making millions! Why is everyone so greedy? Not all of us own ipods (yet)!

As for the recession, I don't believe we're headed towards one. We are in it already. We'll be lucky if it doesn't turn into a full-blown depression. Scary.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:33 PM  

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