Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cheap is the new black.

I keep reading news stories about people ditching their cell phones and dumping cable TV and saving money, but none of these people are my friends. My friends have everything: smartphones with full Internet, smart 42" LCD televisions, smart kitchen appliances, smartpants.

Me, I wear the same old dumb pants and my cell phone only makes phone calls, which I only make about 3-4 times a week. But it only costs me $7 a month. I don't need my phone to do everything, and especially not right now. I grew up in a time when you had to find a phone, so whatever I need to do or say can wait ten minutes. Really? You absolutely need to text someone "lol" right now?

The only thing I need right now is a massage; I don't care where. If you want to rub it, have at it.

I don't like to pay for convenience. I believe in God, so I believe in inconvenience. Inconvenience is proof that God exists. Otherwise, science, math and evolution would have solved all of our problems by now.

So Cheap is cool. Or so says The Ultimate Cheapskate. The one thing I disagree with is that America's economy has changed from a saving economy to a spending economy. Whole industries are built on constantly moving dollars, not stationary ones like in banks or CDs or treasury notes. Money needs to change hands very rapidly otherwise we will all see just how broke we really are. It's like a game of musical chairs with 10 people and 2 chairs; as long as we keep moving, none of us will end up on our asses.

So Cheap for America shouldn't be about saving; it should be about spending. But spending in a way that creates jobs. Cheap is putting people to work.

And since we love our smartphones so much, I think we should combine the two and use our phones to create jobs.

I think we should go back to having telephone operators like the ones you see in the movies where you pick up the phone and speak to someone and ask them to get you a number. But not just for land line telephones, for cell phones and smartphones, too.

So you open your phone and say, "Marge, can you get me 555-1122?" And Marge politely puts your call through.

Or you say,
"Marge, can you text, "omg (space) nfw" to 10086 for me?"
And Marge replies with a cheery voice, "You betcha, honey."

What about social networking from your mobile phone?
"Marge, can you tweet, 'I just had the turkey, no mayo, which left room for cheesecake. Yum.'?"
And Marge says back,
"Are you sure you want to say that, again? You just sent that same tweet two days ago."
"Oh, no. I would look so stupid. Marge, you are a savior."

"Marge, can you google Ted's number at the Ramada in Dayton for me?"
"Goo-gol? Can you spell that?"

But sometimes Marge is such a smartass.