I know how to stimulate the economy.
Not create job growth, necessarily. This plan would almost certainly not address the United States’ breathtaking national deficit.
And it probably won’t increase the nation’s Gross Domestic Product because I’m pretty sure most of the money would be spent on products manufactured in foreign countries.
But here it is: Give a stimulus check—say, $1,500—to every kindergartner in the country and let them spend it however they want.
I didn’t say it was brilliant. I just said it would stimulate the economy.
Would you believe my only economics class was my junior year of high school and that I was smoking a lot of pot during that period of my life?
Highly implausible, I know.
As Seen on TV
My five-year-old son is officially the most-impressionable person I have ever met.
Because I don’t like television commercials, I tend to record things I want to watch on my DVR and view the programs delayed so I can fast-forward them.
It has gotten so bad with my son, that he chastises me when I fast-forward commercials during children’s programming, which is always some really colorful ad showing a bunch of kids having an amazing time with some toy or bad-for-your-health snack food.
He loves commercials. And he believes every single thing he sees in them.
Last night, he saw a commercial for Snackeez! They are colorful dual-compartment cups which the TV advertisement claims will reduce messes in vehicles and living rooms.
The advertisement wasn’t on screen for 10 seconds when…
“Hey dad! Can I get some Snackeez!?”
“You seriously want one of those?”
“Because they’re cool.”
“You think Snackeez! look cool?”
“Dude. There’s no way I’m ordering those.”
There’s no way that’s true. The eliminate-messes part. I could attach a vacuum hose to my son’s chin, and I guarantee he could still get crumbs and pieces of food on any floor space within a four-foot radius. He almost never spills drinks. But he almost ALWAYS gets crumbs and shit everywhere. It’s uncanny.
The commercial shows a bunch of kids just spilling stuff everywhere. On light carpet, of course. Just four idiot kids spilling all of their stuff while playing video games or watching TV on the living room floor with grape juice and chocolate milk and other dark liquids I’m certain every responsible parent would put in the hands of kids in such a spot. *shakes head*
Snackeez! cups will save the day. Don’t worry. Order now, and you can have a second $9.95 cup (plus shipping and handling) absolutely free! Act fast before your kids spill stuff all over the floor!
It dawned on me just how serious the problem was this morning while getting him ready for school.
“Hey dad! Can we get an I spy bird feeder?”
“What’s an I spy bird feeder?”
(He meant the My Spy Birdhouse, it turns out. I was previously unaware of this thing.)
“You stick it to the window outside, then you watch the birds from inside your house.”
“Do you want to get every single thing you see on TV?”
“As a general rule, it’s a bad idea to order things you see on TV. Most of that stuff isn’t very nice, kiddo. Do you get a second bird feeder for free if you order in the next 10 minutes?”
“No! You get it in a package at the end of the day!”
“Nevermind. We’ll talk about this later.”
Get Rich Quick
Some people do get rich quick. They win the lottery. They start a business that takes off. They accept Facebook shares of stock instead of $60,000, and seven years later are worth $500 million.
Everyone wants to get rich without putting in the time.
As I’ve aged, I’ve learned to believe strongly in the get-rich-slowly method. That way is GUARANTEED to succeed. We’re all going to be older someday. And we’re all going to have regrets about things we did and did not do. I hope I’m disciplined enough to at least ponder those regrets with a large bank account because I slowly and systematically put money away for Future Old Matt.
One night in college, I was sitting alone in my apartment really late, high from smoking a bowl. (That’s marijuana for all you responsible types.)
It must have been 2001 or 2002. I saw an ad for the get-rich-quick scheme: The Internet Treasure Chest. They promised to refund your money if you weren’t satisfied and rich within 60 days.
I can’t lose!
I ordered it for $100 (which was a lot of money for me when I was in college.)
A few days later, it showed up. I left all the boxes of crap just laying by my computer and never did anything with it.
And that’s the entire story.
I gave the Internet Treasure Chest people $100.
My Son in the Future
Is this something that’s universal to all kids?
And are these impressionable tendencies I’m seeing now something I’ll have to worry about as the years advance?
I don’t want to wake up in 10 years to find my son on the cover of USA Today because he tried to rob something:
“Austin called me a chicken!”
“Oh. Right. Do you have any idea how much it’s going to cost to get you out of this?”
“Don’t worry, I’ve got it covered.”
“I ordered the Internet Treasure Chest 2.0 last night! It’s guaranteed to make you rich in 60 days or they give you your money back!”