It’s the simple basic economic tenet of capitalism of “supply and demand” that has made many rich and left so many holding the proverbial bag when it comes to the luck of the draw that is dealt by that elusive “invisible hand” of the free market, but also all based on timing: when someone cashes out, a bull or bear market, current (or lacking) legislation, are all factors that can make someone’s dividend pay out tenfold, or ruining the investment of many lives: it’s all a matter of… timing.
The most infamous example of this would be the 1929 Stock Market Crash, where practically no one thought investing in stocks was a bad idea, unbeknownst to the many was that the power of so few at that time yielded to a bankrupt and decay of the entire fiscal system. The most recent example of this being the 2008 Financial Crisis, socked by bad credit, fraudulent mortgage lending, and corrupted derivative and credit default swap practices filled a balloon ready to burst, nearly bringing down the global economic system with it.
It is the “law of scarcity” that has allowed items few and far to find go up in value, but when that same item floods the market, it’s ready availability drops the bottom from under it’s cost. It is in this vein that leads collectors to collect everything from sports cards and stamps to comic books and antiques, and what drives hoarders to well, hoard, as seen in such accurate modern depictions of American life like the TV show “Hoarders“.
It is this obsession with collecting that has personally garnered me shelves, drawers, and piles of dusty VCR tapes and colorful DVD collections from years of dutiful video cassette recording from TV and amassing a fairly respectable video library. All of which I have found to be rendered completely obsolete with my recent subscription to Netflix.
Here before my eyes, for a small monthly subscription fee, I have immediate access to what had previously taken hours and hours of record/pause button pushes for attentive commercial editing and diligent attention, is now made meaningless with practically every TV series in their entirety there to peruse. What had cost hundreds to buy to construct a DVD home library is now bled dry with almost every title available to stream through Netflix.
What convenience we live in now, a far cry from the days of the now-lost art of reading the structure of commercials to predict a program returning from break, or scrambling to grab a new video tape to replace one that had unpredictably run out sooner than planned, or the difference between EP and SP, are all now just a mindless click away.
Years worth of video tapes capturing wrestling pay-per-view events, movies, boxing fights, concerts, documentaries…all previously rare, hard-to-find articles whose preciousness only escalated in value due to their complete lack of abundance are now drained of practically everything but sentimental value with the advent of Netflix, leaving tapes and discs deserted on shelves, forever remaining untouched and unviewed cocooned in their cases, now little more than wall decor, as they become what the TV channel knobs became to the television remote: yesterday’s inconvenience. Not that I was banking on cashing out on a stack of Hulk Hogan cage matches or personally compiled tapes of Seinfeld, but the sheer ease of availability of viewing these items really makes me question all of that misspent time and those unwisely spent dollars. Clearly not being worth it in hindsight, it begs the question: What are we wasting time on now that will soon be made irrelevant by an emergence in technology in the near-future? Only time…can tell.