Our Thriving Huckster Economy
We should remind ourselves to ask whose best interest promoters have at heart — ours or theirs?
We may have finally reached peak advertising. Marketing first. Product or service second. Client/user experience last. Does this seem like a good rule of thumb for a successful business strategy? I don’t know for sure one way or the other, but I can say that it increasingly seems to be the mantra. Even Don Draper, Roger Sterling, and company might say that we’ve gone too far.
Writing about cryptocurrency offers a greater ROI than investing in it. Product peddlers and infomercial spokespeople have been rebranded as “influencers” complete with a new, glamorous image. Self-proclaimed “experts” hawk courses and empty self-help platitudes like a boardwalk vendor inviting you to try the water-balloon dart toss. Companies release broken products then pump them full of marketing dollars to turn a profit on a useless item.
Then, of course, there are outright “traditional” scams. You know, the criminal variety. Social Security scams on the elderly, cryptocurrency scams on naive investors with fear of missing out, bait-and-switch, and confidence games. I’m going to go ahead and dump car dealerships in here too, just because. Remember when people thought those mega-church prayer hotlines were bad? What an innocent time in scam history.
There’s always plenty of data available on our black market economy and the percentage of GDP it would represent. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a steady, reliable source of how much of our above-ground economy is well…nonsense. So I thought I’d take a few guesses myself.
Crypto-world: a huckster’s dream
I’d argue nothing in history has presented a better opportunity for the armchair salesperson than cryptocurrency. Over a period of years, a huge portion of the population became interested in a poorly-understood topic. The nature of currencies, with new ones popping up constantly and volatility always sky-high, allows for plenty of opportunities to write about…opportunities.
Now to be clear, there are some people out there who are really trying to educate on the topic and just as many who have their reader’s best…