Experiential is so powerful. Materialism isn't. Value matters tremendously. Profligacy not at all.
You would pay up for Netflix (NFLX), for Costco (COST) membership and for Amazon (AMZN) Prime. You would not pay retail prices. You don't mind being seen in a dollar store because you think it is smart because of the upscale nature of the brands. You would rather be caught dead than just pay the posted prices at most supermarkets, or even Target (TGT). You swallow your pride and go to Walmart (WMT), but only if they deliver it to your car. You go to Olive Garden 'cause you can beat them at your own game if you stick to the salad. You go to Six Flags (SIX) over the movies because it lasts all day.
You would rather Uber than own a car, which requires many more hidden costs. You would drive a few miles extra for even cheaper gas at a Costco and you bring your phone everywhere you go to price compare. You think going to Nieman's (NMG) is outrageous and you would rather go to a flash sale online because you know there are so many of them that you can get something cheaper than you can everywhere, except maybe TJX (TJX) because they buy the close-outs from everyone else. You spend on makeup, mostly Estee Lauder (EL), which you get at Ulta (ULTA) because you can't be seen without makeup because of the iPhone.
You like to Instagram because your parents like Facebook (FB) and you liked to Tweet, but it is too mean and you just want them to clean it up. You will not spend $500 for a platinum American Express (AXP) card when you can own an affinity Visa (V) card and get cash back or you are with PayPal.
You would rather rent than buy because buying requires too much money vs. your student debt and you can always live at home. You would rather have shifts and call the shots over your life than slave away in your office. You care about your time, so you multitask and play Activision (ATVI) and Take-Two (TTWO) and Electronic Arts (ERTS) games, so as to not waste a minute. You pay for the skinny bundle -- if you pay at all -- because you can watch Hulu and Netflix for all but sports because you get your news from Facebook and Reddit. You watch TV otherwise if someone sends you a link that makes it sound interesting and you don't like paying for anything online because online is supposed to be for free. You order from your smartphone because you don't like to talk, except to Skype to your parents because it seems free and they pay the bill anyway. You don't open a traditional checking account because you bank online and you use Venmo anyway. If it's not an app, if it's not on your cellphone, chances are it's not part of your life.
In that environment, do you know how many jobs are lost?
Oh and Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime.
In that world, in that limited world, you are crushing many businesses while creating others. The businesses you crush wreck the traditional jobs where you don't need a comp-sci degree from Stanford. The businesses that are started require you to be a genius.
And in that world the Fed is trying to figure out its role to start businesses and the Congress is trying to deal with guns and the two presidential candidates are too old to understand.
Welcome to 2016, where no one is ready for it and everyone's stuck in it.
I just described to you the great challenge for so many companies and employers and employees.
I want you to think about it when Janet Yellen testifies today because she surely isn't. The old fogies in Congress, all gerrymandered in, don't have to think about it. Anyone else in Washington who might be able to allocate money to create jobs that don't require the comp-sci degree don't think about it. And we wonder why we have low inflation and no growth? It's all zero sum, including the stocks of the companies that live or die in the description I just gave you of the 2016 economy in these here United States of America.