Ruined economy today may save society tomorrow

Being broke sucks! It’s the last thing you want to go through, short of physical ailment, but it may cure us of a nasty, insidious, disease which may destroy society tomorrow.

Behold… The sense of entitlement

There was  a generation of children who grew up during the late 80’s to the early 90’s (myself included) who saw the absolute pinnacle of how much a child can be spoiled. I was born during the “Greed is good” era and was five years old when the movie that made that line famous came out. This was when I may have been exposed to industrial grade narcissism and a general feeling of entitlement among fellow children and many adults. Luckily my parents, and my mother in particular, were wise enough to dissuade that type of thinking at every opportunity. You should only keep what you earn including praise, as she would say.

Alas many other children weren’t that lucky.

At my day job, I’m exposed to more and more of the byproducts of failed parenting where it matters most and I fear that these people may destroy American society. And it isn’t just an idle thought, but a genuine fear. Some of the bile and filth expelling from these people on a daily basis because the world doth follow its own path and they be not the Sun, will cause this country to fail spectacularly if they don’t get called on their BS en masse.

Of particular note is the spoiled brat that demands customer service bend over backwards, which most do as that’s what they’re told, and it’s still not enough. The type that demands a free product and a refund and an apology for what is at the least, nothing and at most, a small inconvenience. The type that will charge-back when nothing is amiss or something minor is askew, which in and of itself says a lot about the mentality of that putrid psyche. Resorting to fraud to get what one wants is the absolute low point for any customer.

But not for long…

If you think businesses are resisting this advance of banshees (particularly small businesses), then you’re not seeing things.  Businesses have had enough of this plague that is not only slowly destroying not only their income, but also the quality of life for their employees. These pathological parasites who have grown up with everything provided for them, and then some, now expect the rest of the world to do the same. Tough luck there bucko!

Businesses aren’t going to be putting up with this for any long as they will be fighting back to stay alive. They’ll take that 2 of 5 star rating from some spoiled brat in stride if it means that they won’t be taking it any more from said the brat and their ilk. And more and more businesses are going old-school with deterrents.

You may notice more and more businesses are adopting a terms of use policy that allows them to record and re-use any communications they have with customers in any form. This may be for training or quality assurance, but all that information becomes fair game when it comes to protecting their businesses. And rest assured, they will put that information to good use.

Remember when you walked into your local store, there was a billboard with bounced checks as a warning not to accept any more from them? Now small businesses are putting up the contact information on these rampaging diva marauders for all to see. Especially right on their web pages. And they’re well within their right to do so.

I expect the next leap forward in the digital economy are Merchant Protection Agencies. Companies that log all the interactions customers have with their clients and blacklist those who attempt or have attempted fraud, who are abusive, abrasive or otherwise make life difficult for businesses for no particular reason other than personal gain (be it monetary or emotional). They do this all the time with other forms of spending data; where do you think a “credit score” comes from?

Merchant Protection Agencies can make quite a fortune in the coming years as our economy is going more and more digital. There will only be more demand for businesses that don’t want to put up with this nonsense. And they’re less likely to convey apologies and more likely to dish out lawsuits. And there’s nothing like standing in front of a judge to suddenly sync your expectations with reality.

How does the bad economy help?

Children who didn’t have as much when growing up, but weren’t deprived, tend to appreciate more of what they have and learn to live in harmony with their neighbors as (more than likely) they’re in the same situation. They often know what is a right way and a wrong way to get what they want as their parents were hard-working people who do the best they can to provide for them. Unspoiled children have plenty of opportunities to observe the value of hard work as they are often reminded by said adults of the value of labor.

When you work for every penny and realise there’s a cost of luxury that someone must provide (be it you, or your guardians), you’re less likely to expect rewards out of thin air. Children who grow up during this economy are going to be thrifty, wiser with investments, and more than likely appreciative of genuine customer service when businesses go out of their way to cater to their needs.

Children who grow up in this economy will save the future of our society by realising that everything has a cost and you don’t get something out of nothing and that sustainability also applies to your personal interactions. Someone has to work to get where they need to be, and idle rewards are hollow and quickly wane.

Nothing gives you a better idea of how you will handle yourself when you have the rug pulled from under you than your own memories of how you handled yourself as a child.

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2 thoughts on “Ruined economy today may save society tomorrow

  1. Children who didn’t have as much when growing up, but weren’t deprived, tend to appreciate more of what they have and learn to live in harmony with their neighbors as (more than likely) they’re in the same situation.

    My parents, while certainly not flush with cash by any stretch, made excellent financial decisions, and as such we were never really without anything that we needed when I was growing up. They made quite a few sacrifices on our behalf, primarily to send us children to fantastic schools, one of which was a private Catholic high school. Even so, our attendance there was only made possible through a rather generous alumni donation program they have set up which channeled a good portion of our tuition amount.

    Even so, we were by far the exception in terms of finances. Most of my friends lived in mansions I’d never seen the likes of before. My parents said it was quite a shock to them, including being able to converse with folks who spoke more about stock portfolios than PTA meetings.

    These were petty complaints, though, compared to how the majority of the students did indeed view just about everything as expendable. I lost count of the number of times a student would receive a tricked-out cutting-edge car for their 16th birthday, completely total it while drag racing down the interstate, then get a shiny new one two weeks later as if nothing happened. Having a cell phone that wasn’t the latest model was a lightning rod for peer criticism. And I cannot tell you how frustrating it was that every kid adopted their parents’ political beliefs and fanaticism without question.

    This all sounds really awful, but in reality, the education I received was second to none, the faculty were absolutely fantastic, and my best friends to this day are folks I met there. Still, just by virtue of the school’s location, and in particular its tuition rates, it caters toward a particular financial demographic, one which tends to coincide with high-powered working families and children who don’t ever need to learn the value of money, or at worst, hard work.

    • Wow… And that’s eerily familiar.

      But it’s good to see that those traits have rubbed off on you.

      You see, it’s all down to parenting. Almost any child can weather the storm if you have a strong moral compass at home. You understand how hard your parents had to work to get you where you are and that in turn makes you a better person and, maybe someday, a better parent.

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