Sheep, shepherds and shopping
Here in the UK, the post Christmas sales have started. They are selling off the junk that wouldn’t sell at Christmas. People were queuing overnight in places, to try to pick up ‘bargains’. Are they bargains? Is that pair of designer jeans that was marked up at over a hundred pounds and now half price; a bargain? Look at the label that says where they were made, rather than the hyped up designer label.
Many designer clothes are made in places like Bangladesh, China, Cambodia and Vietnam. In fact as economies develop they move to making more high tech products and away from famous name designer clothes. That must-have smart phone was probably made in Korea or China. The advertising and marketing make them desirable. The marketing creates a market and the bigger the market, the higher the price that market will stand.
You use the money that you have left over when you’ve have paid for all the things you need, like housing, food, energy and taxation. The sheep gather together in flocks and are led by the shepherd. People tend to belong to tribes and are led by their tribal leaders. They are like sheep; they like to stick together and conform. No one wants to stand out like the black sheep. We dress alike and want our homes to be socially acceptable to our tribe. Even body markings are important and support industries like cosmetics. In some ‘tribes’ skin marking are important, these are called tattoos. Hair styling and colour can be important to the people who follow like sheep. Clothing is important to the whole tribe, with different tribes adorning themselves with different types of clothing.
This desire to fit in can cause problems. Some people don’t have enough money left after they bought the things they need like food, to afford the adornments that they feel will help them fit into their tribe. This can lead them to be treated as outcasts and they will even borrow money to buy things that will make them more acceptable.
The temptation to buy more clothes than they can afford is exploited at this time of year by marketing people who want to move stock that isn’t selling well. They reduce prices. They don’t reduce all prices, just prices on those products that they previously over-priced. The shepherds; the tribal leaders, ignore this. They have less need to be socially acceptable. The sheep scramble to spend what little money they have left. This leads to the sheep getting fleeced!
They say the ‘sheep’ spend up to four times more time in queues than the shepherds… They would, wouldn’t they? Sheep queue to be fleeced… I knew there was a reason that I hated queues! The British are famous for queuing patiently…
I will do some shopping this afternoon. I have food to buy and I’ll phone to try to get a better tariff for my gas and electricity. Ignore the sales? Nah… I need a new coat…