Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Age of Despair

June 11, 2013
13 Things That Seem Like Scams But Are Actually Really Great

People are always on the lookout for scams. You kind of have to be, these days.

These days, we do kind of have to be on the lookout for scams. I can't speak for you, but I kind of miss the old days. I remember them fondly. It was a time before the massive accounting scandal at my former employer. It was a time before the dotcom and housing bubbles. It was a time before my telephone became a Fraud of the Month access point.

Speaking of which, has anyone noticed that the Do Not Call list is a complete joke? Politicians exempt themselves. They can and do call as often as they like. Well, they don't actually call personally. Their computers do. Politicians are way too busy doing political stuff to speak to the peons directly, unless a news camera is involved of course. May the best automated politician win.

Businesses all over the country call us too. Apparently all it takes to get a call is to have done business with a business which has done business with a business. That really limits the field, lol. Sigh.

How about charities? The Do Not Call list doesn't apply to them either, which is great because there is nothing I enjoy more than giving to the charities that call me most. Reward that good behavior I say. Let's form a virtuous cycle of the more I give the more my phone rings. Awesome.

As surprising as it might seem, the criminal scammers don't respect the Do Not Call list either. I know. Shocking. That's probably 10% of my incoming calls these days. Did I mention that I miss the old days?

Welcome to the new normal. Ethical behavior is so yesterday. As the ability to make money off of money continues to dwindle (as seen in long-term treasury yields and the popularity of TV shows such as Mad Money and Fast Money), I very much doubt that trend reverses. Everyone "needs" to hit their numbers, be it a politician, a pension fund, a business pushing Candy Crush, or simply a telephone scam artist.

The end won't justify the means though. Sigh.


mab said...

I remember an SNL skit where Eddie Murphy was a pimp with a talk show. The talk show guest was Ron Howard. Eddie Murphy kept calling him Little Opie Cunningham.

It's amazing the thinks we remember. It's even more amazing the things we forget.

Orwell was an optimist. And Edward Bernays..........

Anonymous said...

Ethics are so yesterday and be sure to check them
at the door in the workplace.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Edward Bernays? Don't even get me started on public relations!

Reminds me that banks are always looking to form relationships with me. Yeah, right. I can't think of a better time than dinner and a movie with my bank. Where will it lead? If the housing bubble is any indicator, we'll both get #%^*ed and then as a taxpayer I will get #%^*ed yet again. Good times, lol. Sigh.

Stagflationary Mark said...


You can get your ethics back at the door during the layoffs. Have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but you have to trade your dignity for it.
Ain't nothin' free.

Stagflationary Mark said...

My girlfriend was laid off once and her boss kept assuring her that he would give her a good reference.

Seeing as how he very rarely returned any phone calls (to anyone) before she was let go, she didn't actually hold out much hope of that. True to form, he became impossible to contact once she left the building.

I guess that's what makes a great manager. Over promise. Under deliver. Always have a scapegoat handy.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Some of the best things in life are free!

Take playing with my dogs on the front lawn. Granted, I pay property taxes on the lawn, lawn watering costs, licensing fees for the dogs, vet bills, and need to pay to feed them.

I had a point here but seem to have lost it. ;)

dearieme said...

I had a cold call the other day where the chap was trying to sell me a gadget to ban cold callers.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Good frickin' grief!!