Rathbun: Fake realityWritten by Gary Rathbun | | GaryRathbun@PrivateWealthConsultants.com
Although I have not seen very many of the “fake reality” shows on television, other than “Deadliest Catch” on the Discovery Channel, I am very aware of the formula. During the first season you capture the interest of the audience with the nuances of the jobs and try to discover which characters the viewers love and which ones they love to hate.
During the second season you introduce drama. You have characters throw a temper tantrum and yell at the cameraman and storm off the boat, the dredge, the job or whatever is deemed the “set.” Family members and/or business partners start to fight, sometimes verbally, sometimes physically. The threat is always there that maybe by the next show they will be out of business, broke or partners with someone else.
By the third, and usually last, season the show is no longer about the job or profession but more about who owns what, who is now in charge, who is in jail and whose ego is being pacified by their agent and sponsors.
I preface with this commentary because watching the manufactured drama in Washington, D.C., over the “fiscal cliff” reminded me of this formula. As I sat on New Years day watching the Rose Bowl, I saw on the Internet that the Senate had saved the country at the last minute, leaving the House to decide if they would be the good guy or the bad guy.
Regardless we will have to “stay tuned” for the ultimate solution sometime in February when they will put together a plan that will carry the decisions into the next “season.”
Even thought the House approved the bill, it will not be good for the economy or the country. As I understand the bill out of the Senate currently, there is $1 in spending cuts for every $41 in tax increases.
This will make politicians happy but will do nothing for our long-term economic problems and does not begin to address all of the laws that went into effect Jan. 1.
Whatever happens, the “drama” is not over, not by a long shot. The drama will continue regarding the debt ceiling, which will be a couple of weeks long and end with Republicans rolling over again. We will also have the discussion on further taxing the millionaires and billionaires since this Band-Aid will not generate any revenue for the federal government.
Our country is on the exact path that these people want even though they yell and scream that we are going in the wrong direction. They are playing their roles according to the script and I am sure they congratulate themselves at the end of the day for their performance. All of this “wrangling” keeps us right where they want us and keeps them right where they want to be, in power and renewed for another season.
In thinking about this, even though I don’t watch these shows, I have a sudden urge to see if listening to some duck calls, buying a failing bar or driving a truck on ice would erase the memory of this sausage making machine that is etched in my brain. I swear that if the politicians didn’t wear such nice suits and generally have all of their teeth, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
Gary L. Rathbun is the president and CEO of Private Wealth Consultants, LTD. He can be heard every day on 1370 WSPD at 4:06 p.m. on “After the Bell” on the Afternoon Drive, and every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening at 6 p.m. throughout Northern Ohio on “Eye on Your Money.” He can be reached at (419) 842-0334 or email him at email@example.com.