2 cents: burning green/saving green

Michael Phelps smoking from a bong

Regarding the Michael Phelps deal, the question “How dumb are you?” comes to mind. If he wants to burn one down, that’s his business. It isn’t yet legal, but it’s his business. But when you’re an Olympic medal-winner–and now role model, and Rosetta Stone hawker–don’t you think you need to have a little more control over who’s taking your photos? Myspace, Facebook, Flickr… once it’s out there, it can’t be scrubbed.

Even more interesting on that story, however, is the purported offer from his PR company to bury the story.

[Octagon] Spokesman Clifford Bloxham offered us an extraordinary deal not to publish our story, saying Phelps would become our columnist for three years, host events and get his sponsors to advertise with us.

In return, he asked that we kill Phelps’ bong picture.

Also this relatively new story about how thrift hurts the economy is just killing me. I say relatively, because after being bombarded with stories about how retailers were suffering from this past holiday season’s lack of sales, this should be a no-brainer.

The downward spiral has hammered the retail and manufacturing industries. For years, stores enjoyed boom times as shoppers splurged on TVs, fancy kitchen decor and clothes. Suddenly, frugality is in style.

I realize that there are huge ripple effects when no one spends, but to say that adopting a more frugal attitude hurts us all is a bit contradictory to all of the financial advice we usually get. While it isn’t this simple, a recurring soft news story comes to mind.

Every year, as the DC region faces potential snow and ice (that doesn’t come), some news outfit always does a story about how the region’s hardware stores are stuck with a bunch of snow removal accessories that they may not sell (that season). There’s always some employee with a sad tone in their voice talking about how they’re going to get stuck with stuff. Now, someone near the top made the decision, based on whatever data, that the stores would try to sell a certain amount of snow/ice removal stuff. If it doesn’t sell, or more likely if people still have the stuff they bought the previous year and didn’t use it all up, that’s not heartbreaking, it’s business!

Some industries more than others have “little guys” that greatly suffer from poor decisions made in the boardroom, but retail generally seems to have its finger on the pulse of consumer trends and consumer confidence. While I don’t agree with a Best Buy, or similar, having to drastically cut the price of an HDTV to sell it, I do wonder why they didn’t already know that people ain’t got the money for such a big purchase in the first place. I did find it interesting that with all of this newfound fiscal responsibility, consumers didn’t necessarily want less, they just didn’t want to pay as much for the same amount of stuff.

So as Americans are finally learning some good habits, don’t then make us feel that we’re hurting the nation as a whole when we’re just trying to financially feather our nests.

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2 Responses

  1. Kyle says:

    I maintain that 90% of the people doing drugs are doing the ones they don’t need. People drawn to speed should probably be doing pot (chill out, people!), and people drawn to pot should probably be doing speed (get off your ass and do something!).

    Then there are folks like Phelps. The man has ADHD, and pot is an attempt to self-medicate. He’s one of those rare folks for whom it is actually beneficial.

    As for little ol’ me, I’ll stick to caffeine. It’s legal, and it makes me feel very good.

    latest entry: plans

  2. shindo says:

    Mike Phelps doing pot – big deal. It’s actually silly how our culture punishes people for being potheads, but “role models” get punished for doing anything. At least he didn’t get behind the wheel this time and really do something stupid.

    I feel sorry for the banks if more people start stashing their cash under their bed or some secret place. However, can’t blame people for doing it if they do.

    latest entry: Resplendence: The Nakedness of the Gold Lady is the Work of God (Feuille 32)

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