The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Friday, September 03, 2010

A marketing ploy I absolutely hate!

This is sort of off topic, but I need to vent.

I get a lot of e-mail from companies with which I've done business. And one of those companies sends me e-mail just about continuously, with coupons offering deals that are good only for a short time. I just got one, which must be used this weekend, for a pretty good deal. But it's this "use it this weekend" thing that bothers me.

Like most people, my income comes in discrete chunks. When I was employed, it was usually every two weeks; now that I'm retired, it's monthly. (When I was employed, the frequency varied with the company; one paid me weekly, one went from monthly to semimonthly just after I started. But biweekly was usual.) So every month, there may be a period when I'm particularly short of cash, and if I get a good deal like that, I'd like to put it off until I get my monthly deposit. (Other months, I've spent less than my income, so I may have more to spend at this time. Only a few of my expenses, like the rent, are predictable.) This is one of those months when my expenses fit my income pretty closely. But I get paid next week. So I don't want an extra expense this weekend.

It's these short-term deals that really get to me. If I knew I was getting another coupon soon that was equally good, I'd simply pass on this one. But they send different coupons in different weeks. Some are only good on things I never would buy even if they were free. This is a marketing ploy, I know. But it hurts. If the coupons were good for more than just a few days, I'd use the ones I wanted to, but when I had the money. This time, I'm forced to choose: do I pass on this coupon, or do I dig into savings (and hopefully remember to replenish after I get paid)?

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