Life by Subscription

It started with TV. It used to be free. Before we knew what hit us, we were paying a monthly subscription for cable. We got all those channels and, as the old joke went, nothing was on worth watching. Then along came streaming. Now we’re paying for TV… one channel at a time… one month at a time. Netflix, Prime, Disney+, Paramount+, Hulu, YouTube, … The list goes on and on. And on and on, etc.

There’s subscription radio (Sirius), subscription software (Quicken, Adobe, and about a million others), even subscription cars. Yup, subscription cars.

And all this is in addition to your monthly (or weekly or annual) fees for luxuries like water, sewer, heat, electricity, internet, phones, AAA, rent, mortgage, insurance (all sorts of insurance), taxes (all sorts of taxes), loans, newspapers and magazines (online or old school hard copy), gyms, clubs… They just keep adding up, don’t they? And we forget we even signed up for half of them in the first place. The folks we’re paying count on it. It’s their business model.

Now add one more subscription to the list:

Your life.

Look at the pharmaceutical ads on TV. Nearly every single one of them is for a maintenance drug, one you’ll have to take every day and pay for every month for the rest of your life for the privilege of healthy living.* Don’t hold your breath waiting for any of those conditions to be cured. There’s no money in that.** Not when they have you on their subscription plan.

Don’t forget to renew those subscriptions.

* That is, if you survive the 750 side effects listed in the ads, most of which are more serious than the condition they’re treating.

** No, sir. As one Wall Street analyst warned, curing patients is not a sustainable business model. Read it for yourself here.

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