Monday, May 10, 2010

Fame and Fortune

Hello Kitty is a Japanese brand. They market to consumer kids. Or kid consumers.
Hello Kitty was the rage here in the U.S. in days gone by. When our daughter was in Middle School, it had about run its course.
But there were Hello Kitty pencils, pens, notebooks, binders, lunch boxes.
Sweatshirts, tennies, tees. Little girl makeup, mirrors and hair brushes. Boom boxes.
In the late 80's, Dr. Mary Pipher observed a little girl out on the beach with her mother in a very small and rather isolated community in Scotland. This little girl had on bright pink Barbie boots.
Dr. Mary commented that it finally dawned on her then that consumerism had won. It's the thing we are most successful at doing as human communities. We may not teach kids to read, write, speak and understand the English language or a foreign one. We may not teach them to know God or to pray.
We may not teach them the work ethic or the value of money, how to balance their checkbook, to not spend more than they earn. We may not teach them how to love, commit, be faithful or parent. We may not teach them to be law-abiding, drug-free or citizens who responsibly exercise their rights and duties here.
But the one thing we will succeed at 99.99999% of the time is making every human being a consumer. And that microscopic percentage that somehow falls through the cracks is more than made up for by the majority who don't.
That's why today 70% of the U.S. economy depends on "consumer spending."
Dr. May wrote that a frustrated Mom once remarked that the first words her children learned to say were "I want".
No wonder it's hard to keep ourselves upright some days. Most days.

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