Where’s she driving that economy to?

So I was thinking about math and money. Forget government subsidies and welfare, and other gynocentric bailouts for a moment. I’m thinking in terms of cash in hand.

I can’t understand women’s selective comprehension of numbers as meaning anything. All through school, I remember girls saying, “Math is hard, math is tough, I don’t like math…”, and now my own girls are going to school and I’m hearing it all over again. And throughout my life I’ve looked around and seen women in jobs which handle money; cashiers, bank tellers, accounting, waitressing, receptionist, etc. How does one differentiate money from math? I suppose a bloke like myself – who can’t be bothered to differentiate gold from ore – just wouldn’t understand. But I feel the real issue has more impact than # vs $; if I am correct, be afraid, be very very afraid.

Most of the money changing hands is done by women with limited and/or poor education. As such, this means that fickle poorly thought out spending habits are what drive the economy; is it any wonder economists run scared when asked what they predict the state of the economy will be in six months; today it’s fifty shades of grey, tomorrow it’s the latest kitchen appliance destined to collect dust after one use, the day after… what?

You go to a department store, and who’s taking your money? Some moderately cute girl who can’t do basic math in her head on a single item (much less multiple items) without the assistance of a virtually flawless machine called “the cash register”, or a calculator back-up. Now, I can give you an anecdote or two about this (one of them very recent), but anyone who “consumed” before the time of the laser scanner will remember this sound (tickatickatickatick tick err… tickatickatickatick tick err… tickaticka…; you get the idea).

I wanna talk about vehicles right now. Men require specific vehicles for specific tasks; and often find that the standardized extras are really so much wasted money. Looking at pick-ups, one has to wonder what a woman needs with a pick-up, seriously; you can’t find a half ton pick-up with a long box; the only reasons for getting a short box is for looks, and for ease of parking, end of story.

When men buy a pick-up they do so for a specific reason, to haul things, and no matter how you try to wrap your skull around it, the short box is completely useless; not two feet less useful, it’s useless; a long box can comfortably hold a snowmobile, dirt bike, ATV, or gawd forbid, construction material built on a 4×8 dimension, or, drop the tail gate, and you can put 12 foot goods in there, and you’re still under the legal overhang limit of 4 feet; so there you go, an easy riding pick-up that can do whatever you want it to do, short of heavy construction, but it no longer exists because of the demand for the short box.

And that wasn’t good enough, the short box was still too big for the people demanding these vehicles, but a new demand came out at the same time, something that didn’t even exist beforehand, because of it’s complete lack of utility, the half ton crew cab mini box, commonly known as the Avalanche. Look, if you want a big car with a massive trunk and shitty gas mileage, buy a Cadillac; oh wait, no, because Cadillac has also moved into the useless market of SUV, as has Buick, Chrysler, Lincoln, and Porsche… seriously??? Porsche??? One of the most useless SUV’s on the market is also one of the most expensive. Ok Lamborghini made a one limited edition SUV sometime in the ‘80s; however, it was designed with a specific task in mind, but why they wanted the market on desert warfare baffles me, none the less, it was a good desert four-wheeler.

And to top things off, compact cars have gotten bigger, what’s up with that? I thought the point of a compact car was that it was… well, compact. So back in the day, when a compact could squeeze four people into a tin frame covered in tinfoil, for the modest price of a couple thousand, it was enough to please the budget of a low miles driver. Canada’s bestselling car (Honda Civil) used to be “compact”; today, it is within a veneer finish of being a full size family car, managing to squeeze in a fifth person, and a multitude of safety features, for whopping fifteen grand.

I question the necessity of those standardized safety features; yes, vehicle fatalities per capita have indeed gone down since their implementation, but at the same time, vehicle accidents per capita have gone UP; so we pay more, to survive so we can… pay more, to do it again. Remember, a lot of these safety features are single accident safety features; a fender bender is no longer a case of banging out the dent, slapping on some bondo and a coat of paint and be on your way; you crack any of the lights, it’s hundreds of dollars worth of damage. And on that note, I gotta wonder if it’s the safety features which are saving lives, or the roads themselves; during the time that traffic fatalities have been reduced, interstates have been built, Trans-Can highways have become multi-laned and in the twenty years I’ve had a license, I’ve literally watched curvy BC roads get straightened and widened, and tree lines moved back; and laws regarding seat-belts and alcohol strictly enforced. Remember, while most accidents will happen within five miles of home, working men are much more likely to become a traffic statistic, and we commonly hit the highways… at speed. And danger zone barriers have gotten exponentially better at preventing fatalities, at better than highway speeds… for transport-trucks.

And just because it bugs me, I want to point out that a family van comes with multiple DVD players, multiple lighter sockets; both of which are standard issue. However, you won’t find an ashtray or an actual lighter; both of which have become “optional”. Granted, I don’t smoke in the family wagon myself, because smoking is my bad habit, not my kids’. So even when making long trips, I make plans to either go without, or make do with potty stops; but why make do with a lighter socket at all if there’s no lighter to put in it? Why not… GASP… install an outlet?

So let’s look at the vehicles specifically designed with men in mind. The standard work pick-up is the draft horse of the blue collar world, has everything needed to drive and haul goods; very little in the way of frills, in fact the standard safety rating is three at best, which means a good wreck will really mess you up (so the family he’s working to provide for – the least likely to get into a serious wreck – get the best protection plus needless gimmicks; yet the one needed to provide such creature comforts and is most likely to get into a severe wreck, gets the protection of what amounts to a leather hardhat). Priorities people, we got’m.

The ATV is the mule of off-road vehicles; it goes anywhere, does everything. The snowmobile is like the dogsled, there’s nothing fancy about it but it gets the job done. The dirt bike is like a pony, it will get you from point A to point B in the closest thing to line of sight, or as the crow flies. Likewise, the road bike will get you to where you want to be – or maybe just a journey of discovery – but it’s noisy and uncomfortable and downright dangerous, but a lot of fun; and the infamous crotch-rocket does exactly what it was designed to do, it goes fast. They put lights and gauges on it to make it street-legal, but it’s not a street bike, those things are just a distraction, the sitting position is not conducive to checking your speed is within limits.

Sports cars are the thoroughbreds of the automotive industry, and they present a particular sense of refinement and means, and they still don’t have unnecessary frills. Most of them, on first glance, still appear to be very much bare bones; again with minimal safety features. Muscle cars are pretty much the warhorse, and hyper-cars are mutated frankensteinian monstrosities only the truly insane would spur to the limits, as Jeremy Clarkson once said, “If you show up at the pearly gates with a fireball behind you, that’s a cool car.”

How about houses. Men and women shop for houses with two different mentalities. Men look at a house; it’s got a driveway and/or garage, enough bedrooms for the kids, shingles are new, yard is basic so easy maintenance, recently renovated so shouldn’t need to do any work for the next ten years, the price is reasonable and there’s space for a man-cave. Women look at the house and it doesn’t really matter how illogical the basic design of the house is (and let me tell you, some house designs, baffle the fuck outta me; don’t design while blackout drunk, just don’t do it). She will look at the same house and think, “it’s got so much potential.”

Her man is going into life debt as it is, doubly so if he’s already married her and she’s already digging his grave good and deep; and gawd forbid he says no to any upgrades she takes a fancy to, and fancy she will because there’s fourteen channels of Home & Garden extreme makeovers to surf while he’s busting his ass to pay for the blasted thing, and to cut costs he will have to use his spare time to bust his body renovating the damned thing. Don’t ever buy a house!

Or how about new houses; they’re such a deal. If you’re a newlywed hubby do yourself a favor, or two in fact. First, if you’re the one paying for it, make sure it’s in your name alone. Second, don’t ever, ever ever ever, let her know or see it until it’s completed and ready to move in. Building a house on the pretext of “our home” is the quickest route to divorce that I’ve yet to come across, and every damned one has gone way over budget.

Why do I know this? I’m the floorlayer, I’m one of the last of the construction crew who has to deal with these couples, I get to hear the sordid history of these houses, the structural changes, the paint schemes, the supposedly wrong cabinets, the upgraded riggings, etc. And I show up with low quality flooring and see a dirt bike, snowmobile, and brand new mustang GT in the driveway all sporting pretty little “for sale” signs. “Our home” is his nightmare. Don’t ever build a house if you’re still in that five year twitterpated phase.

BC is contemplating raising the minimum wage to $14/hr. The concept is to make minimum wage a living wage, and to raise the minimum wage to match the cost of living (someone’s smoking some really good crack). The problem isn’t that minimum wage is… minimum. The problem is that single mothers glut the minimum wage market, and they can’t make a living on it. Couple that with the more driven women (who still avoid blue collar work like the plague) who advance themselves in the white collar service industry and you get an economy built on a house of cards. Women can pat themselves on the back and claim independence all they want, it doesn’t change the fact that the service industry survives on the spending of women. In short, if one can’t spend (because they aren’t married to a wallet), the other won’t earn.

Now, they do happen to do one thing right… which happens to be wrong. A basic understanding of math will show you just how wrong this “right” is. Women have a prehistoric disposition for “sales” – put bluntly, shopping for the better deal or just plain getting cheaper shit. The problem with this is that first world employees will only work for so cheap, worker’s unions made sure of this and you can’t get a first worlder to work for a dollar a day. Even back when a dollar was still worth a blowjob, we just don’t work under those conditions; we may be disposable, but we still have a modicum of pride.

The CEOs found that it was cheaper to have shit made on the other side of the biggest fucking ocean on this damnable rock and ship it back here, than it was to make things right here in North America. Sure, it’s cheap, fine. But every dollar that leaves for China is a dollar that will never come back, because China doesn’t need much from us, they’re quite happy to manufacture cheap (and I mean cheap) knock-offs of anything North America has to offer. So while we buy basic goods like… clothing and… well fuck, everything’s made in China, and our dollar is worth less and less. And because all these “basic” products are made overseas, it’s cheaper to throw away a broken product and replace it, than it is to try to repair it. More money frittered out of the economy. And to make matters worse, we are losing our industry intelligence, one product at a time.

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