Yesterday I walked the streets of New York. Up the Fifth Avenue, into the Central Park, and down the Seventh Avenue, past the Times Square, where I sat on the red stairs, taking some shots.
I looked at all the noise around, and it seemed like this is everything that’s wrong with this wild American capitalism.
Competing for customer attention,— my attention, with bigger screens, brighter lights, maximum possible wattage. Some of these seem close to burning out.
And the consumer is still pale, gets no tan from all the exposure to these neon lights.
Or she might be pale from contemplating her credit card debt? The one all those commercials motivated her to get into.
This system only caters to her needs up to the limit on her credit cards. The moment she’s in too deep, she will get shunned.
No more special offers, extra discounts, and the only coupons will be the food stamps.
I was listening to The Minimalists podcast while sitting on the Times Square’s shiny red stairs.
It felt like being a spy. Misfit.
As I looked around, I noticed those big golden arches. McDonald’s. It was packed full, with hordes of hungry shoppers, lining up for their junk food carb refuel.
Extra energy to continue their power-shopping spree, at least until the next sugar crash.
$MCD at over $140 a share. That’s what I saw. Cash flowing in for my dividends. Driving up the price of my investment.
You skip Mickie Dee’s about ten times, and you can buy one share, and then they pay you.
And I had the same feeling being in the Fifth Avenue Apple store. $AAPL over $145 a share. Store was packed full. For less than a price of the AirPods, you can buy one share.
The first ones I bought when I once skipped an iPhone upgrade. Got some ten shares then. And they produced fifty percent return, not even counting the dividends.
Americans living beyond their means are stuffing investors pockets.
So you can chose to be on the other side — the one that’s not crippled with consumer debt, and sugar-powered pending heart attacks.
You’ll find it more valuable if you turn your spending into investing money in $MCD, enjoying $SBUX, refreshing with the $KO, and get paid by $AAPL.
A minimalist. You buy less, you own less. So your stuff doesn’t end up owning you.
Invest your savings, and ride the consumerism wave, don’t get drowned by it.
Basking in the morning sun of the Bryant Park, I notice it’s not that packed. The lawn is trimmed, shiny, green, perfect.
A colorful group slowly moving in tai chi. Young woman doing her e-mail. Black guy scribbling something on a piece of paper. Elderly Asian lady with closed eyes, warming up in the sun.
It’s a little oasis, a getaway from the Fifth, and the Seventh.
It’s not about the pursuit of happiness, it’s more about realizing life is amazing, and you should enjoy the ride.
Each and every day.