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The US Entertainment Industry: Catalyst for the Economic Meltdown

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posted on Jan, 9 2009 @ 04:44 PM
While I'm sure that my ideas are not new to anyone, I thought I'd get some reactions to this possible correlation between these two subjects.

Now that the US economy is in a very severe downturn and many notable economists are predicting total USD collapse, the question as to its root cause remains up for discussion. While the obvious answer is that the situation arose from conspicuous spending on credit, what is still left unanswered is why?.

It seems that the culture of the US has produced at least two generations (Gen X and Y) that constantly compete for the status that is shallowly achieved through material possession. The old ideal of "anything is possible in America" has run itself into such a frenzy that gone are the days when hard work equaled monetary reward and, in-turn, the ability to purchase luxury goods. Currently, the general mindset is towards instant gratification (i.e. sub prime mortgages, massive credit card debt, massively deflated interest rates, etc). How did the American ideal change?

The answer, at least in this author's opinion, lies within the Hollywood entertainment industry. Film, television, celebrities, tabloid news, and designer brand names have become such a staple in the lives of everyday citizens that the ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality is extremely blurred, if non-existent. The "brainwashing" process begins at a very young age and moves steadily through middle-age through "reality" programs and channels such as MTV and VH1. Young and impressionable teenagers "connect" to the stars they see on these programs and the material possessions they are seen with, which subconsciously makes them yearn for the same possessions. In fact, the soul of marketing lies within this precept.

Compare, for example, television shows from the 70s and 80s to shows of the 90s and 00s. Hasn't the quality of living on fictional sitcoms increased dramatically for the characters portrayed and the realism as to how they can live that way decreased? Think of "90210" or "The Hills" or "Friends" any show of the same nature. They portray characters who slide through life based on what? Their hard work, nose-to-the-grindstone personalities? Absolutely not. Instead they sustain themselves based on their wealthy backgrounds, good looks, and unrealistic professions (i.e. professional actor, author, musician, etc.).

The question that we as a country must ask ourselves is this: can humankind really handle true freedom or does true freedom lead us to greedy, envy, self-destruction, or any other combination of poor behavior? Can the entertainment industry be turned around to portray actual reality (with maybe a little flair for entertainment)?

I'm interested to see what others might think of this concept.

posted on Jan, 9 2009 @ 05:52 PM
I agree with you for the most part I am sure the entertainment industry, videos have some part in it to some degree, I think what has happened is the overall cost of anything in comparison to overall free money in a household to spend on something in cash and own outright has eroded considerably, the best indicator is the savings rate which has been negative for awhile.

I am not saying it is good to buy on credit but for many since that was the only alternative they are a slave to life itself, if you consider that before this recent debacle, families used to borrow off the equity of their home if they had it available, take out loans, send kids to college or have the money available as a result of investing to retire, maintain their homes and spend in the economy.

Both of those options have all but faded and so has the possibility of saving 25 or 30k for a downpayment on a house for the great majority of people, I do believe that the situation of the bubble was more a result of a cause than effect, I think banks saw profitability started to decrease, back in the late 90's after dotcom's demise when more and more people did not have money for downpayments on homes, or could not possibly qualify credit wise, the available amount of people that were excellent low risk borrowers, prime or AAA was not going to sustain any amount growth in housing or mortgages to keep the economy growing.

I really think that the gates were opened up on purpose by the bankers and possibly government to give out loans to virtually anyone without proper risk analysis, including illegal aliens or those with no social security number which really until the last 8 years was really unheard of, this also drew in the amateur speculator hording 2 or more homes hoping to flip them or make overnight profits, which people tend to forget that these folks in addition to subprime were the culprits too.

I think the plan was to ride the bubble and get through the period from say 2000 to where we are now without any foresight to see the bubble burst the way it did and actually affect the entire world.

I think greed is what has driven this, greed is nothing new, America has always been focused on the material, it is something that is actually a human trait, I think greed and current circumstances are to blame here plain and simple and the fact is the average person cannot afford America without credit.

[edit on 9-1-2009 by phinubian]

posted on Jan, 9 2009 @ 06:29 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~Political Correctness~~~~~~~~~~~

directly led to the clap-trap you see on TV...which your OP thread is centered on

P.C. also led to the forced hiring, at inflated wages, of unqualified people
P.C. led to the give-away mortgages to the dumb, uneducated, poor,
and flotsam-jetsam of the economy...
(the sit-coms of TV were only doing parody of the stupid situation, but very few realized what was going on)

the banks, Freddie & Fannie were instructed by the ruling Administration(s)
to extend credit & mortgages & over-paid jobs to the minorities & as to make a 'more equal america'...

blow-back is hell--ain't it


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