Those of you who know me know that I am an unabashed capitalist bastard. The best way for a scarce resource to be rationed is using a price set in a well functioning capital market. When you have a market where many goods are available, there needs to be a way for people to choose one similar product over another. The most effective way for a given firm to do this is by advertising. With advertising, a firm can convince a consumer that even though there are many substitute goods, their good is the best and worth the maximum expenditure possible.
I have no issue with this
Unless they are advertising to my children.
My kids only get to watch network TV once a week, on Saturday mornings. They will happily sit and stare at the tube for four hours while they are bombarded with ads for every possible gizmo that they absolutely must have. Period. After the fifth time one of the kids came up to me and said they wanted to buy something they saw on TV, I instituted a simple rule: I will not buy anything seen on TV. They are free to save up their money and purchase it themselves, but dad is not going out-of-pocket for it.
But do not fear. My seeming rejection of a fundamental capitalist principle has a happy conclusion. Now that they know that dad won’t give them whatever they want whenever they want it, my kids ration their financial resources to try and obtain the products they want. They look for ways to help around the house and earn money and are careful to save whenever they can. It makes me proud to know that they are learning these principles at a young age.
I think I’ll encourage Noelle to get a subscription to the Economist…
And so it goes.