No crisis unused: Eurocare argues for a ban on alcohol sponsorship in sports

While the world is battling the Coronavirus crisis, the European Alcohol Policy Alliance (EUROCARE) is facing a different goliath: alcohol sponsorship… in sports? A head-scratcher of sorts, especially given that the sports industry will fall on hard times this year if COVID-19 drags on. With cancelled events and games, cutting the sports industry off from vital sponsorship income is cruel at best.

In the press release from EUROCARE, the group says:

“Millions of people – including children and young people – are exposed to alcohol sponsorship. The evidence is clear that alcohol marketing exposure is a cause of binge drinking and drinking onset among young people. It also influences their attitudes and increases their likelihood of developing problems with alcohol later in life.”

Naturally, these activists are not referring to specific evidence that points to this phenomenon. With children at a young age picking up smoking, including cannabis – both not advertised in any way – points to the conclusion that sponsorship is hardly the origin of substance abuse.

In fact, when we look at this problem we quickly figure out that it is not sponsorship in sports, or sponsorship altogether that is the problem for these groups, but alcohol in itself. They are the new prohibitionists, unable to halt until they have banned every last drop of fun. 

Ultimately, what sponsorship cannot be seen by children? Be it public advertisement in public transport or bus stops, or any TV channel or radio show: children can technically hear and see all advertising that adults have access to. The channels that are children-only already don’t feature these ads, and online portals such as YouTube allow for parental control that blocks all age-inappropriate pop-ups.

We should also stress that it should first and foremost be the obligations of parents to protect their children from harm, by educating them about appropriate and safe alcohol use. Delegating this responsibility to government agencies will culminate in an avalanche of bureaucracy that is not in the interest of consumer choice.

Banning ads in the name of protecting children is a backdoor to blatant bans on advertising for products altogether. Other vices are also at risk, as the press release also reveals:

“This research comes at a time when the place of gambling in sport has been called into question and we need to consider the propriety of linking any addictive and health-harming product with sport.”

The reality is this: consumers want products, and they want to enjoy vices such as alcohol. We should aim for responsible and educated consumers, as opposed to blatant patronising bans. Substance abuse is a real problem, yet we need to recognise that there are underlying problems that explain it, going beyond mere sponsorship. 

Whether or not alcohol is advertised has no impact on unemployment or any other personal hardship that leads to excesses in alcohol use. These problems need solving through different educational and social institutions, and most importantly through improved personal relationships. We as a society have responsibility to our friends and family, more than any governmental institution may proclaim to own.

Advertising plays an important role for consumers: it informs them about new and better products and allows for competition. Advertising is the extended arm of consumer choice, and ought to be protected.

No need for bailouts, just lower flight taxes

In an attempt to contain coronavirus, governments all across the world have imposed various travel restrictions. As it usually happens, the road to hell is paved with noble goals and good intentions. The airline industry that has made travelling between continents and cities more pleasant, time-efficient and affordable will, unfortunately, be hugely affected by these travel bans. 

In fact, the potential damage may end up being so extensive that some legacy and low-cost airlines will cease to exist and cheap tickets will only be a sweet memory from the past. This would be disastrous for consumer choice.

Not all is lost though. There are a number of ways in which governments can help the industry during these trying times. Bailouts usually come first to mind.  Airlines for America, the industry association for various U.S. airlines, has already asked for 50bn USD in support. Many more are likely going to follow. 

As the government is partly responsible for the upcoming downfall of airlines, it is understandable why airlines would seek its assistance in mitigating the damage. However, every bailout is a redistribution of taxpayers’ money without their consent. Do all taxpayers want their money to be used for saving bankrupt airlines? Have all of them travelled by plane at all? Or maybe they are more concerned with the threats posed by the pandemic and would prefer the government to channel their money into healthcare services? Probably the latter would make more sense given the current situation.

Once travel restrictions are lifted, consumers and passengers are going to be very happy to travel again. And in order to catapult the demand, governments should reduce taxes imposed on the tickets we buy. Not only will this help boost an industry without the need for bailouts, but it will also allow passengers of every income group to visit their families, attend meetings, and travel without any additional barriers. 

Every tax imposed on airlines makes the price of flying higher for consumers. Never believe it when governments say they are taxing airlines: it’s actually us consumers who foot the bill. And once the pandemic is over, our subjective value of travelling without limits will increase thus making us appreciate the miracles of air travel way more. We will want to fly more not less. Incentives in the form of lower prices – thanks to lower taxes- will be good news for every consumer.

We’ve started taking flying and travelling as such for granted, and the globalisation that was fostered by it has come under fire in light of the coronavirus outbreak. 

But these temporary bad times shouldn’t make us forget about the possibilities of air travel. Many of us are quarantining these days and feel trapped inside the four walls of our apartments. Skimming through our pictures from past travels and daydreaming about being able to visit more places makes it more bearable. 

When all this ends, we will want governments to ensure we can fly just like before, and as cheaply as possible. No need for bailouts, just lower flight taxes. This will make our post-coronavirus reality so much more enjoyable and guarantee a strong position for airlines for years to come.

The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Pregnancy health warning labels are biased and flawed

When I was in the 7th form, our biology teacher showed us a smoker’s lung model followed by a brief explanation of the negative effects of smoking. But the model of the damaged lungs itself was enough to educate me, a 13-year-old, about the health consequences I would have to deal with if I ever choose to smoke. This is the essence of freedom that penetrates our adult lives: free choices made in full awareness of the responsibility that follows. Be it alcohol, cigarettes, or sugar. Complex maths formulas we are taught in school are important, but learning about the importance of preserving our consumer choice in the face of nannyism even more so. 

By introducing various obligatory warning labels such as  “smoking can cause a slow and painful death”, governments all around the world have been trying to compensate for failures of their education systems to effectively convey these messages. Because if everyone knows that smoking isn’t the healthiest habit, they won’t do it, right? 

No, they would and should be free to do so. If a consumer is determined to buy a pack of cigarettes, no warning label, and no tax will affect his behaviour. With a plethora of lifestyle regulations, nannying is now seen as inherent to governments. But this is wrong. It is the role of educational establishments to educate us about the effects of smoking or alcohol, but governments are there to guarantee we are able to exercise our freedom to choose as long as we do not cause harm to other people.

In February, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand announced its intention to make labelling on alcoholic drinks mandatory.  The new label will include the words “health warning” in bold red text, and “alcohol can cause lifelong harm to your baby”. How obvious, one would say. According to a poll conducted by YouGov, 70 per cent of Australians were aware that drinking while pregnant contributed to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder. And yet some 70 per cent of respondents supported changing labels on alcohol bottles.

Nothing is wrong with Australians wanting to see warning labels on their alcoholic beverages. The question is whether it’s achieved through government compulsion or voluntarily. In Australia, the existing rules adopted in 2011 make using a symbol with a line through a silhouette of a pregnant woman drinking a glass of wine voluntary. It is of course in the interest of the industry to live up to the expectations of its consumers, but changes to the new labels would cost $400 million in producing new labels. The higher the price of production, the higher the price for consumers.

What about adult male and female (non-pregnant) consumers of alcohol? Is it fair that they would need to pay a higher price for alcoholic products to educate pregnant women about the negative effect of consuming alcohol during pregnancy? Pregnancy health warning labels are biased and ignore the interests of a far wider group of consumers who are hurt by such regulations. It really is cheaper, more sustainable and generally more socially beneficial to invest in proper school education. 

At a time when governments are increasingly targeting our consumer choice, we should be prepared to fight back. One drop of nannyism doesn’t make a storm cloud, but a huge accumulation of them does. I don’t like living in a world where I’m treated like a child who doesn’t know that an excess of alcohol, smoking, sugar and [insert other product deemed dangerous] else may cause harm and so needs to be directed away from them.  You?

The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Infographic: Check if you can buy medicines in your country online.

In times of the Coronavirus, online pharmacies are crucial. But most European countries still don’t allow them.

All across Europe, healthcare professionals and the entire health systems are being tested as more and more patients need care. Governments and epidemiologists are asking large parts of the population to stay at home, social distance, or self-isolate. 

Modern ways of supporting mildly sick and average sick patients are absolutely necessary in order to keep important health infrastructure available for those most in need.

But only seven out of 28 European countries (EU28 including UK) allow patients to order prescription-only medicine online. Only Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherland, the United Kingdom, Estonia, and Germany have legalized the so-called RX online pharmacies. Northern European countries seem to be much better when it comes to allowing patients to order RX medicine online.

Thanks to a European Court of Justice ruling from 2003, all EU countries are obliged to allow the sale of over-the-counter drugs (e.g. Aspirin) online. Switzerland allows online pharmacies to sell prescription drugs but not over-the-counter drugs. So a Swiss will be able to reorder her asthma spray but not get any Paracetamol online.

Policymakers should liberalize these restrictions immediately in order to allow hundreds of millions of Europeans to order medicines without leaving their house. Quick deployment of electronic prescriptions would leverage this liberalization. The United Kingdom allows electronic prescriptions for many ailments. Copying this system among the entire continent would allow patients to purchase antibiotics, asthma sprays, and other drugs they might need to fight off the coronavirus.

The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

In times of Coronavirus: policy-makers won’t stop legislating your consumer choice away

Disclaimer: Independently of my arguments in this blog post, it remains very important that sanitise your hands regularly, avoid physical contact with other people, and reduce your social interactions to the necessary levels. Particularly avoid contact with elderly people, and those with underlying health conditions. Consult your local government health websites for more information, particularly on detecting symptoms. 

As the world is paralysed by the Coronavirus crisis, many people have altered schedules. Working from home, different commute, restrictions on crossing borders and severely impacted air travel: for a while, our lives will look very different. While healthcare workers and medical researchers are working around the clock to provide life-saving help and discover possible cures, our media attention is shifting away from our day-to-day worries to the well-being of our friends and family.

Meanwhile, policy-makers are not on a break. In the United States Senate, the re-authorisation of the Patriot Act was passed, giving warrantless collection of personal data an extension of 77 days. The French National Assembly is currently suspended, yet set to resume next week with a debate on nuclear deterrence, as President Macron has been criticised for not keeping his word on the reduction of nuclear weapons capabilities. In Russia, President Vladimir Putin changed the constitution on March 14, allowing him to run for yet another two terms. Just last week, the UK Parliament narrowly voted down an amendment that would have banned the Chinese telecommunications operator Huawei, under considerable flack for not guaranteeing consumer privacy, from engaging in the UK market. 

What we’re also experiencing is a number of media stories on harm-reduction tools such as e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products being dangerous in times of the virus, leading the way to further restrictions from governments. As consumers are paying attention to their own health and that of their families, authorities have an easier time passing otherwise unpopular decisions. Thus, consumers remain forced to consider their own attention as a valuable resource: the fight for consumer choice doesn’t rest.

Note that as a follower of the work of the Consumer Choice Center, you can send in tips through this website, making us and our volunteers aware of current events in the realm of consumer choice. Your local municipal council or government might be in the midst of trying to pass certain measures unnoticed, as news outlets are focused on this pandemic. Consumers will know that it is always a bigger struggle to repeal active legislation, than it is to stop those rules that are in the process of being made.

Some bans limiting consumer choice hurt especially in times of self-isolation: Home deliveries of alcohol, bans on online pharmacies, and limited opening hours of supermarkets are things you really don’t need right now.

Ultimately, legislators and regulators should give consumers a break, not only because people have more important things to do, but also because from a democratic standpoint, new restrictions ought to be carefully weighed and debated, before they pass the houses of parliament on the same day as people see their loved ones transported into emergency rooms. There are smart rules and relief for consumers that are being passed as we speak, and they should be applauded, but reductions in consumer choice need their fair share of input before they go to a vote.

For the sake of the standards we expect governments to abide by, let’s give consumers a break on new taxes, new bans, new infringements on their personal privacy, and new paternalistic policies. 

The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

It’s actually great to be a consumer in the time of coronavirus

One idea I’ve seen thrown around a little too much on Twitter and across the Internet lately has been that consumers are somehow living in a doomsday scenario during the coronavirus pandemic.

Los Angeles Times business columnist David Lazarus points to “shortages, price gouging, and scams” that are popping up in response to the virus.

No doubt, there is a lot of economic uncertainty when it comes to restaurants, bars, and establishments that serve the public. There’s even legitimate panic-buying of toilet paper that is sparking enough memes to keep you busy until the end of March. And no one can seem to get enough hand sanitizer.

But is it really so bad for consumers?

Barring a future moratorium on commerce, online or otherwise, people are still able to get the products they need.

We have access to food delivery on-demand, Amazon is still arriving at our doorsteps, and stores are stocking up faster than we’ve ever seen. We’ve never been more equipped and technologically ready to stare down a crisis.

When products run out in some stores, neighborhood corner stores offer their own, sometimes at market-adjusted prices during a time of very high demand. Those are our markets at work, and we should celebrate that.

There are false claims in advertising, but most large retailers are actively shutting these product descriptions down. That’s a good thing. The same can be said for scammers who are trying to cash in on the misinformation.

But, if you live on Twitter and you’ve seen photos of empty shelves at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, you’d think it was the end of the world. Until the next day, when those shelves were easily restocked.

“I think the fact that they’re going to shut school down caused people to consider ramping up their grocery-buying habits because their daily lives are going to change,” said Brandon Scholz, president & CEO of the Wisconsin Grocers Association.

As Scholz witnessed across the state of Wisconsin, there have been shortages of some products in various stores. But that has more to do with immediate and spiking demand rather than low supply on behalf of producers.

Grocery stores are staying stocked and replenishing their supplies at a rapid pace. But they need time to adjust to the demand that is inflated at peak times. The domestic supply chains in the United States remain vibrant and are delivering, and they’re bouncing back when we need them most. Could the same be said for countries with extreme price controls and rationing?

But what about the $220 bottles of Lysol on Amazon or eBay? And the hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes now worth 50% or 100% more than their normal price?

States like California and New York are stepping in to stop the “price gouging” as they believe it’s unfair and immoral in a time of crisis. California won’t allow any business to raise prices on items more than 10% than pre-crisis – even if demand is outstripping supply thousands of times over.

But fluctuating prices in a time of panic buying are actually what you want because they help limit hoarding and best allocate resources where they’re both scarce and necessary. It’s well known that price gouging laws have the effect of distorting real prices and actually causing more shortages. Just remember runs for gasoline during Hurricane Katrina and similar natural disasters.

Many consumer advocates stand in favor of anti-price gauging laws because they assume they protect the consumer, but they actually end up doing the opposite. They distort prices and lead to shortages. That’s why economists are pretty solid on this issue and oppose all attempts at anti-price gouging laws.

Here is Duke University professor Michael Munger on anti-price gouging laws:

So while there may be temporary panic taking place online, in the real world, our small businesses and entrepreneurs are delivering for consumers. Food is available and plentiful, all kinds of products are stocked and ready for purchase.

There have been mistakes and it hasn’t been perfect. But markets have delivered. And consumers know it, even if they won’t’ admit it.

Instead of succumbing to the panic and thinking the worst, we should actually be stepping back and looking at the extraordinary situation we find ourselves in and marvel at how well our institutions and businesses are doing in giving us what we need. There is plenty of uncertainty, but the creative people out there who provide solutions are doing just that.

We, as consumers, can be confident in their efforts.

Stuck at home? We should be able to have our alcohol delivered

This week, millions of Americans will be following the advice of their public health agencies and staying home to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus.

Where possible, many will have food and drinks delivered to help support the thousands of restaurants, cafes, and grocery stores that have been ordered to temporarily close or limit hours.

Americans in multiple states will be prohibited, however, from having any alcohol hit their doorstep. 

That’s due to arcane laws on the books in several states that don’t allow certain alcohol – beer, wine, and spirits – to be shipped directly to consumers.

Alabama, Oklahoma, and Utah ban all alcohol shipments to consumers, whereas most others only allow wine shipments, shipments of alcohol after it has been purchased physically in a store, or from wineries located in-state.

Only Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Nebraska, and New Hampshire allow consumers to purchase alcohol online and have it shipped to their residences.

Now is as good a time as any to consider changing these laws and empowering consumers to receive alcohol at home just like any other product.

Social distancing is here and millions of people are staying home to avoid spreading coronavirus. But if you’re unlucky enough to live in a state with strict alcohol laws, you won’t be able to ship a bottle of wine, a six-pack, or your favorite bourbon to your address. And that’s beyond ridiculous.

Improvements in technology and mobile apps have connected millions to stores and marketplaces that ship products to our doors relatively quickly.

Bans on shipping alcohol are leftover policies from Prohibition that deprive us of choice. These bans will only exacerbate the economic damage caused by coronavirus.

In the 21st century, we should no longer have antiquated alcohol laws that restrict our choices, reduce commerce, and treat adults more like children. Let’s legalize alcohol shipments.

Fight Viruses by releasing the Gene Scissors: What is Gene Editing and why should we get excited about it?

Understanding gene editing with comic book figures

Humanity is currently facing a huge challenge imposed by the Coronavirus. Borders are being shut down, planes grounded, and factories closed. At the same time, scientists and public health professionals are working on tests, treatments, and vaccines to soon provide a medical response. Coping with corona might be one of the largest tests humans have faced in the past decades but it won’t be the last virus we need to defeat. It is time to embrace bioscience and allow more research and applications of genetic alteration methods.

For the layman, all this technobabble about mutagenesis and genetic engineering is difficult to comprehend and it took me personally a good amount of reading to start grasping what different methods exist and how these can massively improve our quality of life.

Let’s first look at the four most common ways to alter the genes of a plant or animal: 

  • Dr. Xaver – Mutations per se just happen regularly in nature – This is how some amino acids ended up being humans a billion years later. Biological evolution can only happen thanks to mutations. Mutations in nature happen randomly or are caused by exogenous factors such as radiation (e.g. sun). For the comic book readers among us, X-men have mutations that (in most cases) occurred randomly.
  • The Hulk – Mutation through exposure (mutagens): One of the most common ways to manipulate seeds is exposing them to radiation and hoping for positive mutations (e.g. higher pest resistance). This method is very common since the 1950s and a very inaccurate shotgun approach aiming to make crops more resistant or palatable. It requires thousands of attempts to get a positive result. This method is widely used and legal in nearly every country. In our comic book universe, the Hulk is a good example of mutations caused by radiation.
  • Spiderman – Genetically Modified Organisms (transgenic GMO): This often-feared procedure of creating GMOs is based on inserting the genes of one species into the genes of another. In most cases, GMO crops have been injected with a protein of another plant or bacteria that makes the crop grow faster or be more resistant towards certain diseases. Other examples can be seen in crossing salmon with tilapia fish which makes the salmon grow twice as fast. Spiderman being bitten by a spider and suddenly being able to climb skyscrapers due to his enhanced spider-human (transgenic) DNA is an example from the comicverse. 
  • GATTACA/Wrath of Khan – Gene Editing (the scissors): The latest and most precise way of altering an organism’s genes is so-called Gene Editing. In contrast to traditional GMOs, genes are not being implanted from another organism but changed within the organism due to a precise method of either deactivating certain genes or adding them. 

This can be even done in grown humans that are alive, which is a blessing for everyone who suffers from genetic disorders. We are able to “repair” genes in live organisms. Gene editing is also thousands of times more accurate than just bombarding seeds with radiation. Some applied examples are deactivating the gene responsible for generating gluten in wheat: The result is gluten-free wheat. There are several methods that achieve this. One of the most popular ones these days is the so-called CRISPR Cas-9. These ‘scissors’ are usually reprogrammed bacteria that transmit the new gene information or deactivate defunct or unwanted genes. Many science fiction novels and movies show a future in which we can deactivate genetic defects and cure humans from terrible diseases. Some examples of stories in which CRISPR-like techniques have been used are movies such as GATTACA, Star Trek’s Wrath of Khan, or the Expanse series in which gene editing plays a crucial role in growing crops in space.

What does this have to do with the Coronavirus?

Synthetic biologists have started using CRISPR to synthetically create parts of the coronavirus in an attempt to launch a vaccine against this lung disease and be able to mass-produce it very quickly. In combination with computer simulations and artificial intelligence, the best design for such a vaccine is calculated on a computer and then synthetically created. This speeds up vaccine development and cuts it from years to merely months. Regulators and approval bodies have shown that in times of crisis they can also rapidly approve new testing and vaccination procedures which usually require years of back and forth with agencies such as the FDA?

CRISPR also allows the ‘search’ for specific genes, also genes of a virus. This helped researchers to build fast and simple testing procedures to test patients for corona.

In the long term, gene editing might allow us to increase the immunity of humans by altering our genes and making us more resistant to viruses and bacteria. 

This won’t be the last crisis

While the coronavirus seems to really test our modern society, we also need to be aware that this won’t be the last pathogen that has the potential to kill millions. If we are unlucky, corona might mutate quickly and become harder to fight. The next dangerous virus, fungus, or bacteria is probably around the corner. Hence we need to embrace the latest inventions of biotechnology and not block genetic research and the deployment of its findings.

Right now a lot of red tape and even outright bans are standing between lifesaving innovations such as CRISPR and patients around the world. We need to rethink our hostility towards genetic engineering and embrace it. To be frank: We are in a constant struggle to fight newly occurring diseases and need to be able to deploy state of the art human answers to this.

Millennials and Your Retirement Accounts: Keep Calm and Carry On

It’s here.

Whether it was Tom Hanks contracting the novel coronavirus, or the shutting down of most major sports league events in an effort to avoid further infections, the pandemic has arrived.

We’ve been speaking about this for weeks on Consumer Choice Radio – at first, the story was about the lies and deceptions of the Chinese Communist Party in the city of Wuhan, where coronavirus first broke out.

Now, it’s about the economic and social toll it will take on billions throughout the globe, and the measures taken by governments to reduce the possibility of further community spread.

Many of you may be working from home now, or quarantined without an opportunity to work.

Most of us will use that time to tune into the news: TV, radio, Internet, and anything else you can get your hands on. And while some of that will be useful, there is nothing positive to be gained from watching the financial news.

Of course, we’re dealing with a Black Swan of a situation: no one saw this coming, and now the markets are reacting.

But if you’re a millennial worker and you’re watching the value of your retirement accounts like your 401(K) flutter like a clipped butterfly, you shouldn’t.

Now is exactly the wrong time to think about trading your positions and investments for cash. And that’s not financial advice, it’s commonsense.

We should keep in mind that the S&P 500 Index (a stock market index of 500 large U.S. companies) has a 7.9% average annual yield – and that’s with all the dips, crashes, recessions, and everything else we’ve seen over the past few decades. The long trend is growth, no matter the news of the day.

The average annual return over any 20-year period is 7.19% (including dividends).

On this chart, you can see the return of each 20-year period (starting from Jan 1950-Jan 1970 until Mar 1995 – Mar 2015).

Our generation is actually quite good at saving for retirement, diversifying more than the baby boomers, so that should position us quite well.

Whatever the impact will be on the S&P or the NASDAQ the next few weeks, it’s bad news bears – for now. But the world will soon get back to normal. Extreme measures are being taken now so they don’t have to be taken later. That’s why we have to Keep Calm and Carry On.

It’s tempting for many young workers to see red arrows pointing downwards and sell, sell, sell on their retirement accounts, but that’s wrong.

We’re living in a temporary moment of extraordinary means and measures. But it’ll soon pass.

Businesses will open back up and serve thirsty, hungry, and demanding customers. Travel will kick back up as people need to get on with their lives. The wedding planners and bakers and baseball stars and bank tellers will be back in their work outfits before we know it.

And once that happens, once the virus has been contained and people feel safe and confident enough to engage in normal commerce, the market will creep back up. The losses of today will be the gains of tomorrow.

That’s why it’s vital to wait it out – don’t become the sucker of the season who sold everything because the news said so.

We’re still living in the great times humanity has ever produced. We’re richer, healthier, live longer, have more information at our fingertips, more material wealth, and can communicate with dozens of people instantaneously with a moment’s notice.

We mustn’t succumb to the fear, and we can’t throw away everything we’ve built up when one small wrench gets thrown our way. Keep Calm, Carry On, and continue saving.

And while you’re self-quarantining, why don’t you listen to the backlog of Consumer Choice Radio episodes? They’re just waiting for you, right now, right here. Or maybe on Spotify. Or Youtube.

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