“Where have all my AV friends gone? Long time passing. Where have all the customers gone? Long time ago. When will they ever return? When will they return?”
Another AV shop has closed their door forever. It was a special place for customers and those who worked there. Together they were members of a cutting edge AV club that got to play with, listen to, and view, some of the finest audio and video gear of the past two decades. The price of admission was to simply show up with a sincere enthusiasm for audio and video.
The ownership and staff have resumes dating back to the 1970’s. They witnessed and participated in a special era in consumer electronics. This was a respected team with a unique mix of skills and personalities who shared AV knowledge with customers that many others could only pretend to know.
In addition, this shop has a story. It’s a tale that reads like a detective novel filled with mystery, drama, and comedy. I’m sorry. I don’t have the time and energy to tell it here. But it’s good. Catch me sometime, and I’ll spin this yarn over a cold beer.
Now they’re gone. And I am bummed. Some blame Internet shopping for the demise. Others point to an inability to adapt, a lack of marketing expertise, and the laundry list continues. But none of the above is the actual case. Their door closed because too many of their customers stopped buying. Why did they stop? The economy tanked.
Why is the economy in the ‘tank’? It is because to much of our resources have been abducted, wasted, and looted by the takers. Who are the takers? They are local, state, and federal governments in concert with public employee unions and taker-business-cronies from Wall Street to Main Street.
But they have always existed. Why do they matter now? They do because the takers have taken too much from those who actually make stuff. That stuff is our goods and services plus corresponding jobs. Makers simply have less to make stuff with. That is why our economy is in dire straits.
Some folks believe that taking from those who make to give to others to spend is equal to, or more effective than, the makers spending what they made. That is the principle behind government ‘stimulus’ spending. Spending is spending, right? But it isn’t because the takers spend someone else’s money with much less care than those they took it from.
Why does taking and spending someone else’s money with less care matter? Here’s the deal. A maker such as Gibson Guitars buys an appropriate amount of materials. They produce an appropriate amount of guitars and sell them. They profit by spending less than they make. Millions of makers worldwide do the same. Their billions of transactions freely allocate and distribute capital and other resources. Their more efficient careful spending releases unused resources for other makers to make even more stuff. That’s how an economy grows.
Resources in the hands of a taker is a different story. These resources have been taken, backed by a silent threat of force, from private hands. At best, the takers squander and waste much of the take; at worse, they loot.
The takers give the take to failed green energy projects, and other favored campaign funding backers who walk away with buckets of cash. Government employees party in Vegas on maker dimes. Connected big banks take almost free bail out dollars and profit by purchasing T-Bills. It’s money for nothing. Tens of thousands of takers pad local, state, and federal government payrolls and then retire early with grand pensions. I bet you know a few, I do.
The waste is analogous to a buffalo hunter in 1877 who took the hide but left the carcass to rot. The remainder of that buffalo could have been used to feed, clothe, and house human beings. Contemporary takers are much the same. They leave the wasted carcass of looted resources on thousands of Solyndra-type floors throughout the land. This stuff could have been used to feed, house, and clothe folks. The poor are the hardest hit. But the looting hurts everyone.
So who cares? There is always more to take, right? Just add another tax here, another fee there, print more dollars, and the problem is solved, right? Some folks really think so. But they’re wrong. Because you can only take as much as folks make. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
Yet the takers don’t stop there. They pile on oppressive, wasteful, arrogant taker regulation, licensing, and permitting that dictate how the makers use what little is left. As the takers overtake makers the economy collapses into recession, or worse a depression.
Where are we today? Well, even customers who still have ‘bank’ buy less because they feel as though they have less. They’re anxious and fearful because their neighbor and brother-in-law were laid-off. A friend returned to the work but settled for part time work. Their college graduate, who can’t find a job, has re-camped in his old bedroom. So apprehensive customers have to ask, “Will they be next?”.
That is why another AV shop closed their doors. Raise your wine glass and toast the great shop that was. They will be missed. Who’s next?
I have a friend that believes I want to eliminate government. That is not the case. Allow me to explain my position by paraphrasing Neal Boortz. Government is like a drug. In proper dosage it can save your life. If miss-used it can lead to addiction. An overdose can be fatal.
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