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The iMentality and Gadget Induced Coma's

Politics / Social Issues Jul 13, 2007 - 12:55 PM GMT

By: Andy_Sutton

Politics Economics has long been described by renowned Austrian economists as being the study of human action. The basis for this assertion is that human actions are what drive all decisions that relate to economics. Behind human actions are human thoughts. So when we seek to develop a better understanding of economics, then we'd better be in tune with what people are thinking. This is also an excellent explanation for why history tends to repeat itself. Human nature rarely changes or sees major paradigm shifts. In this regard, we do drive our own destiny. It is much better to understand history than ignore it. The former serves as a crystal ball where the latter dooms one to repetition.


With the recent release of Apple's iPhone, we have seen the latest in consumer-driven crazes. Lines at electronics stores, unprecedented media hype and for good measure, even a few beatings. The mania surrounding this newest in the arsenal of gadgets was very similar in nature to the release of the XBOX last year. Even Rush Limbaugh is giving them away on his radio show. For the life of me, I just can't imagine why anyone would rush out to buy something that costs $600, plus $50 per month for the service, and will increase the likelihood of the user developing neurological issues.

We are a society and a country that faces many difficult challenges. Complicating matters is the fact that many of us aren't even aware the challenges exist. Taking a long look at human action will undoubtedly go a long way towards figuring out what will transpire going forward. How can we hope to conquer the problems that face us given the fact that society seems for the most part to be paying attention to the wrong things?

Frequent contributor CJH and I have sat in local watering holes and devoured countless orders of chicken wings, chili cheese fries and other pub fare in the quest for an answer to that very question. Generally, these excursions result in more questions than answers.

This past weekend, we sat in a local pub doing what we do best: observing human actions. We continue to be amazed at the utter loss of any type of social skills, particularly the younger folks. We watched people hooked on their gadgets, unable to put them down for even a few minutes. Phones, Blackberries, iPods etc. Many folks were so absorbed in their gadgets that they missed the entire evening. Think about it. How many times have you seen someone mindlessly text messaging on a cell phone? A few months ago, I actually observed two people sitting at the same table text messaging each other! Certainly one could argue that this is nothing more than a display of novelty surrounding all these new gadgets. To me though, it appears to be a pervasive obsession. We have become a society that is easily enamored with anything that entertains us. Absent that entertainment we lose our ability to function. We have become simple-minded. I heard an excellent referral to this state of being recently: As a whole, we are a mile wide and an inch deep.

So what's the point here? We know that the gadget revolution has led to increased efficiencies in business and personal communication. It has changed the way we bank, the way we spend money, and the way we live. Many times, financial commentators will speak of a great awakening during which Americans will realize that their purchasing power is being stolen by the man behind the curtain. In my opinion, the 64,000 dollar question is how is this awakening going to occur when much of America is stumbling around in a gadget-induced coma? If human actions drive the future economically speaking then I wouldn't count on our country's economic problems being solved until 'Trade Deficit', 'National Debt', and 'Dollar Index' become downloadable ringtones for the latest cell phone.

By Andy Sutton
http://www.my2centsonline.com

Andy Sutton holds a MBA with Honors in Economics from Moravian College and is a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon International Honor Society in Economics. He currently provides financial planning services to a growing book of clients using a conservative approach aimed at accumulating high quality, income producing assets while providing protection against a falling dollar.

Andy Sutton Archive

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