Our Thriving Huckster Economy

We should remind ourselves to ask whose best interest promoters have at heart — ours or theirs?

Peter Shanosky
Marker
Published in
10 min readMar 23, 2022

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Image by Svetlana Gretchkina on Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.0 license.

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…

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Peter Shanosky
Marker

Former commercial lender enjoying a less stressful existence. Also on Substack. https://petershanosky.substack.com/