Insanity and Consumerism – Do You Really Need That Premium SUV?

You know, I am truly scratching my head these days as I sit in front of my TV and watch some of the strangest commercials I have ever seen. It’s not really important to comment on them, but we all know that people love to talk about them non-stop—the funny, sad, and ridiculous stuff that seems like a mini drama sometimes, that last 30 seconds. In fact, the Super Bowl commercials are the main reason some people actually watch the game at all!

Jeep SUV on desert road representing consumerism

But one thing is for sure: If you watch TV for even just an hour or so on any day or weekend, you see commercials all the time. I’m here to tell you that “officially” the world has lost its mind, and you can blame that insanity on consumerism and the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer!

Hey, Got an Extra $100,000 or so Hanging Around?

Try not to choke on this one, but here’s an example of something that makes absolutely no sense to me, and that is the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Series III 4X4. The base model lists for $107,995 plus taxes, license and registration, and fees.

It might take a minute or two for that to sink in, I’ll wait.

Did I hear that announcer say it right? I swear I had to stop the commercial, and play it back three times to see and hear it again!

Yes, I heard it and I don’t believe it. But we now live in an insane world and frankly car prices are not the only crazy symptom of a world gone mad. Consumerism has exploded so that the enemy has advanced right into your wallet and taken over. If you want to blame inflation on any of a hundred reasons these days, add one more to the list: consumer obsession for the biggest, shiniest, most expensive things they can find and buy!

Is It Any Wonder We Are Spending So Much These Days?

Coming out of the pandemic after literally being cooped up at home, so many of us are now getting out and being in the world again which has triggered the spending switch—and this one goes to “11”. It makes me ask the question: Have you become a compulsive shopper? How would you know if you were?

Signs of compulsive shopping include being preoccupied with thoughts of purchases, buying items you don’t need, hoping you’ll feel happier when you return from your shopping trip, experiencing something like a “high” during the purchase, and perhaps feeling even a little guilty afterwards.

It has been said for years that advertising draws us into overspending and makes us act more impulsively when we shop. That’s a fact here in America and the temptations which were on high anyway have been turned up way past that since business is now determined to make us spend to help them recover those pandemic losses. But there is even more to it than that. We aren’t just spending our money on Grand Wagoneer’s these days. We are overspending on almost everything and that includes food, clothing, and shelter. Have you been caught up in it? I’m betting that you have.

If your shopping causes financial and/or marital problems but you continue to shop anyway, then you have become a compulsive shopper.

We Live in a World Where You Could Make $43M to Throw a Baseball Every Season

Does the name Max Scherzer ring any bells for you? If you follow baseball, you probably know he is the highest paid player in the game, a game where millionaires are on just about every base in 2022. But Max is the gold standard.

Now don’t get me wrong here. He is the best pitcher and has been for years and now at age 37 he’s getting an obscene amount of money to play a game that he has been playing since he was 5 years old. By the way, just about everyone would love to get the rewards that he’s getting and he isn’t to blame here. We are.

Max is earning his biggest contract yet now and for the next two years. It’s a three-year contract that will pay him $130 million to throw a baseball for the New York Mets.

Here is a record of what Max Scherzer has earned over his baseball career so far:

200924Arizona Diamondbacks$ 1,450,000
201025Detroit Tigers$ 1,500,000
201126Detroit Tigers$ 600,000
201227Detroit Tigers$ 3,750,000
201328Detroit Tigers$ 6,725,000
201429Detroit Tigers$15,525,000
201530Washington Nationals$17,142,000
201631Washington Nationals$22,143,000
201732Washington Nationals$22,143,000
201833Washington Nationals$22,143,000
201934Washington Nationals$37,505,562
202035Washington Nationals$35,920,616
202136Washington Nationals$34,503,480
202237New York Mets$43,333,333
202338New York Mets$43,333,333
202439New York Mets (Player option if he wants to play again)$43,333,333

Don’t We All Want to Be Max Scherzer?

Max Scherzer pitches about 30 times each season. If he is lucky and pitches well (as he usually does), he’ll throw about 200 innings this season. He averages throwing about 100 pitches each time he goes out to the mound so we can guess that he’ll throw around 3,000 pitches this year. 3,000 pitches for the NY Mets at a cost of $14,444 for each pitch.

We all want to be Max, but we can’t. And that’s the rub here.

Why So Many of Us Are on the Brink of Disaster

You wake up each morning in the real world, not the one that a professional baseball player lives in, but you quickly forget that as you let your emotions catch every wave of stimulation out there. It is on steroids right now as we recover from the nightmare of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. And even worse, business owns our desires to travel, spend, and enjoy what we have missed, the expertise of American business and advertising that can turn us up to “11”.

Final Thoughts

There may come a day when you can buy all the things you really want and can actually afford them. But that only comes when you are planning and making purchases with thought and not impulsively buying. When you are being stimulated by ads, it makes the process much more difficult and for many it leads to rampant consumerism and financial disaster.

I guess it comes down to some sort of intelligent self-control to avoid buying a car that cost $100,000 or more, or any other ridiculous purchase. For 99.9% of us, it’s not a thing we can or should do. Yet we see it in us to act just a bit crazy. Unless, of course, your name is Max Scherzer…then it may make perfect sense.

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