Reading for Thought: Bloomberg Businessweek’s “Popularity” Issue

I like keeping record of what intrigues me now. With passing time I find that my taste changes, but ever so slightly. Seems to be the same way with the United States.

Bloomberg Bussinessweek’s latest issue is called “The Popularity Issue”, and does it deliver. It is not wordy, rather informative but any motives they might have with the inspiration is not necessarily subtle. The issue is very much a statement, loading readers with stat after stat of what Americans consume (those both edible and not so) and ending with what we inevitably owe, the national debt.

With an economic climate that is confusing to most financial and political professionals, it is interesting to view consumerism through the lens of popularity. Is what is popular necessarily what people need? Most of the items on the Bloomberg list do not impact an entire country of people, except in terms of pop culture. Everything that is shown on the pages of the magazine are popular because of strong executive decisions by certain people in powerful positions. Undeniably, I have heard about most of the items on the list making the popularity ever present but that still does not solve our issues. If we make so many goods and buy these goods in such quantities, how can we solve our national debt?

So we basically still like the same things America. Jeans? Been wearing them for decades. Oreos? People will still continue to debate the best way to eat them. Debt? Well, that is still here. And not going away any time soon. There is a movement out there for what is unique and what is different, but at the same time we like our popular comforts. We have room for the new, but we will not necessarily give up our standard of living. Nor should we. Perhaps we should remove popular from the equation. Mr. Pres should not be there just because he looks nice up on podium, he should be Mr. Ideas. Security, in jobs which would result in standard of living security, is what is right and deserved.

But like everyone else “I don’t know” is the popular answer for now. For now, yes. But when we start believing in that phrase for long our problems of today will seem trivial.

Just needed to get a bit of that put into writing, I think it’ll be quite interesting to look back upon. But for now, go and check out a copy of Businessweek. Where do you fall in the debate? Most likely with popular opinion.