Most boomers I run into are living their normal life. But also like most boomers, I know a few people who have been slammed by the recession. (Note I refuse to use the words “in this economy” anymore.) It’s a recession, lets call a spade a spade like it really is.
Jayne Clark wrote in USA Today that people who can afford luxury travel are calling them guilt trips.
In a time when posh has become a four-letter word, forget about keeping up with the Joneses. It’s more socially expedient to stay down with them. Economic turmoil is giving luxury a bad name, it seems, and not just among the private-jet set, either. The desire to tone down consumption is affecting how some Americans vacation — or at least how they say they vacation.
And I agree, luxury international trips by boomers should be curtailed. Spending money overseas won’t help US/U.S. But other travel should be encouraged. I don’t feel any compassion for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Bureau being singled out as the face of wasteful corporate spending. Las Vegas is excess, they built their business by staking out that territory.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority issued a statement last week saying that “it is unfair to punish an entire industry that generates billions of dollars in economic stimulus and jobs for the American public.”
Instead of whining about it, they need to stay on point and on message: Las Vegas is excess, but now excess can be cheap. Embrace Your Inner Excess ™ (pending)
Boomers can get the economy rolling again by spending money. Consumer spending is the biggest economic force we control.
My uncle-in-law builds fifth-wheel trailers. In Elkhart, Indiana – yes, the one you heard about having the highest unemployment rate in the country. He builds custom trailers, from the axles up. All custom. He recently took an order for the most expensive trailer he will ever complete. It was the most expensive, in part because material costs have increased, but mostly because the customers wanted top-of-the-line everything.
His customer works for a circus.
Boomers – especially empty nester Boomers are spending money. Grandma Henke and Lynn will be hitting the road in a wild party bus. The Retired One has the returning home blues. Rhea took a trip to Texas a month ago.
Don’t want to travel?
Here are some other spending ideas that will stimulate US/U.S.
- Buy a BATV (Big Ass TV) So what if it’s made in Poontang Valley, Korea. It took a truck and two guys to deliver it to my house.
- Buy a new computer to run your new BATV. Yes, we will have a “media center!” Make it a Dell, I think they are assembled in the U.S., even if they aren’t, UPS will deliver it, and it has a Microsoft Operating System with Vista which is almost finished. (Bill Gates is a Prick.) And Dell still sends out printed catalogs by mail. Printers and postal workers hard at work.
- Buy yourself a new computer desk and your computer a new fan.
- Plant flowers in the freakin’ dessert.
- Update your will. Lawyers are people too.
- Buy bulk baloney and fresh bread and ask it to be sliced paper thin. You may have to use a dozen slices to make a decent sandwich, but that counter worker will love you.
- Buy a car. Any car. Parts are made all over the world, so forget that Buy American crapola. You want to support those car clerks that used to be in sales.
- Get your oil changed every other week. But keep the old oil and have the greasers rotate it back into your crankcase every third time. (Remember when guys with lots of Brylcreem in their hair were “greasers?”)
Here are some ideas that don’t cost money that can keep people working…
- Call tech support and just chat. If your talking to Bompa in Bangalore, hang up. If your talking to Jeff in Jeffersonville (Dish Network) keep him chatting for a while. Say, Jeff, could you repeat again what the up arrow does on this thingy?
- Cancel your email blasts and get printed catalogs.
- Litter. This may only cause work for prisoners. If that is the case, try for adding more road-kill, jailbirds won’t touch a dead possum.
- Don’t pay your taxes. TrailerParkBarbie has a plan.
- Clip coupons. Stores hate ’em because they have to pay somebody to keep track of them and submit to manufacturers for reimbursement. Use rebates too.
Boomers unite, let’s put the boom back in Boomer. Let’s put the spend back in Spendthrift. Let’s put consume back in Consummate, the expend back in Expenditure, the wipe out back in wipe out.