So, this could be a 10,000-page dissertation.  We will spare you that.  We’re going to just give the quick and dirty on the economic system we live in:

1) Sales, Sales, Sales

The U.S. economy is based on sales.  You buy things, people buy the products you sell or produce, it’s the primary way money circulates.

2) Debit and Credit

To ensure there is more cash available to buy things, credit was created as a way to generate money from nothing but time (you spend the banks money, they get to charge interest and increase the amount you owe them, thus generating extra money on top of the original amount you owe them. Great for the banks, less great for you).

3) Big Purchases, Big Industry

Big ticket items that put you into serious debt (home buying, cars) are a multi-million $ industries because you put up cash, and then borrow more cash (credit), so money not only circulates, but banks make great money off the interest you pay over an extend period (a 30-year loan for instance). Then the manufacturing/sales industry gets the hard cash for your purchase from the banks.  We have been taught these large ticket items are ‘must-haves’ for our American dream, which leads to point #4.

4) Sales and Marketing

In the world of Google analytics: you are a target market. If #1 and #2 are true, then be sure businesses spend a lot of time, energy and money trying to figure out how to get you to buy things.  Making it sexy to have that new iphone, targeting the feeling of being happy by drinking Coca Cola, that new fashion trend that will be ‘out of style’ in three months (yes, ladies, we’re talking to you).  We are all influenced by years of marketing via a number of sources (television, radio, movies, web sites, mobile devices, youtube, etc).  When you have a desire to buy something, it’s highly probably that need was artificially created.

How to

Our point is this:  we live in a system that is designed to take money from us, and even charge us more money for doing so.

We will reserve our comment on the ethics of the consumer market and leave you with this truism: It’s your money.  Your money represents your time and the energy you spend making it. This amazing man says it all (esp. minutes 1:44- 3:20, but the entire interview is…um….incredible).

Choose to be smarter than the system. Choose to rise above it and not fall prey to advertising that says you are cool if you own this “amazing” thing.  Choose to learn the system so that you can navigate it with style.

How do you learn the system?  Always follow the money.