On my recent trip to Florida, I got to listen to the radio for a few days while driving around. It made me wonder if you can’t tell a lot about the culture of a place by their radio ads. Florida certainly has the great weather, but they aren’t doing that well economically. The state was hit badly in the mortgage meltdown, still has pretty high unemployment, and millions of not so well off residents. But they still want stuff beyond what their wallet and income can afford. So you tell me what it says about their financial state when these where the most common radio ads:
I went bankrupt, cash is tight, and I need Jesus to help my credit. But I got a new car with 96 cents down at 1-800 new ride. Yes, we have lots of this so-called subprime financing here, too. Just look in the back section of any Sun newspaper. You’ll be paying 25 to 30% interest and the fees will be $1,000 to $2,000. It is massively profitable for the dealer and there are lots of people who’ll pay whatever the price is to get a new vehicle. If that’s you – don’t. Send me an email as there are alternatives. Once you’ve signed for a 30% car loan you’re doomed for years, with no hope of trading or getting out of the trap.
Want new wheels and rims? First week special of only $20 gets you the choice of any rims and wheels! Go to rentawheel.com for the location near you. Yes, renting tires happens. At $40 a week and up, people with no money can make their ride look cool at annualized interest rates that make payday lenders blush.
When you’re in an accident, call the police, call a tow truck, and call us right from the scene of your accident at 1-800-411 pain. Yes, a lawyers ad for car accident victims. They’re not promoting their competence – they just want to be first to be called. After all, the US is a very litigious society and millions of people would just love the free money from a lawsuit, even if it takes 30 to 50% fees to the lawyer.
One of the stupidest ad lines I’ve ever heard: “Investing in gold and silver is the new savings account.” Hmm…let me think: A savings account may get a bad rate of half a percent or so, but there’s never been a savings account that’s actually lost money. Gold goes on a monthly roller coaster and is down about 40% in the last year. Adjusted for inflation, it’s not even close to being back to what it was in the early 1980s! Yet, these ads somehow makes you think it’s the place you should put your savings? That has to be the most insane idea I’ve ever heard…news flash: As of today, gold is barely over $1000 an ounce..buy at $1800 and take a 40% loss on your so-called “savings?”