Sunday, February 7, 2021

Rent A Center Commercial from 1994 shows how little progress we've made


It's almost horrifying to imagine that people were once drawn to Rent A Center by "awesome deals" like a 19-inch tv with Included VCR for "only" $14.99 a week for 91 weeks (total price: $1364.  For a 19-inch tv with a VCR.  And when you're done paying- you give it back.  You don't even OWN it.  And if THAT'S not scary enough, this commercial is from 1994, when $1364 was worth $2,382.)  

And when you aren't enjoying your ridiculous I Want It Right Now Impulse Rent television with VCR, you can do a load of laundry in the clothes washer you are renting for $8.99 a week for 78 weeks (total price:  $701, or $1224 in today's money.)  At least you can sort of justify the washer (though seriously, I think you would have been better off with a weekly trip to the laundromat.)  Most of the crap shown in this ad are not necessities.  We see game systems, stereos, recliners....I mean, what the hell, people?  Faced with three choices- Save Up, Do Without, or Empty Your Wallet into a Bottomless Pit, that Bottomless Pit sure was popular back in the 90s, wasn't it?

Well, here we are in 2021, and there are two Rent A Centers within easy walking distance of my apartment- and also several pawn shops and dollar stores.  The poor we always have with us- and there are more of them than ever.  And it's at least as expensive to be poor nowadays as it was back in 1994.  It's not getting any better out there...

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