Don’t fall for the Midway’s shills

Published 8:44 am Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Minnesota State Fair gives us a chance to visit the Midway where shills entice us to play games and go on thrill rides. If you win one of the games you get a prize worth little more than the gold star on your report card. The Midway can be seen as the American economy in miniature.

When the productive capacity of the economy exceeded the needs of those who could afford to buy, shills were hired to create demands. Buying their products may give short-term satisfaction but long-term misery by bringing gambling, porn and identity theft into your life, forcing you to erect “firewalls” to protect yourself and your family. Paying for the shills products may leave you “one day older and deeper in debt” chaining you to the bubble machine that is the American economy. Growing the economy is an inadequate reason for existence.

If we have raised open-minded children in healthy communities and bequeath them a healthy environment, we can embrace death gracefully knowing that we have done our best to ensure that their lives need not be a “vale of tears” but what have we done? By allowing our society to be guided by businessmen and their shills instead of sociologists and community planners, we have placed the new generation in financial jeopardy and confront them with environmental disaster! We must move from an economy that produces more stuff to one that produces more substance.

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Turn off your TV. Unplug your computer. Build communities. Find ways of using what we have more efficiently. Grow roots. Abandon the hyperconsumptive “American Way of Life,” our every day version of the Midway.

John Gibson

Blooming Prairie