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Fun on Friday: Don’t Read the Comments

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I know a lot of you come to Fun on Friday for the advice.

Well, here are your words of wisdom for today – never read the comments.

It will really help your sanity.

Unfortunately for my own sanity, I often forget my own advice and pursue comments. And it almost always hurts my brain.

We’ve been running some paid ads on the SchiffGold Facebook page and I have to moderate the comments there. One of the most common is “I’ll never buy gold from them just because of the last name.”

They are referring to Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Obviously everybody with the last name Schiff must be related to the congressman, right?

Now I’ll grant you, Rep. Schiff is an unsavory character – as are most congresscritters. His politics skew way to the left  – you know, pretty much the opposite of Peter’s. So, I get why people don’t like the dude. Heck, I don’t like the dude. But it boggles my mind that people would automatically assume that just because SchiffGold has “Schiff” in it,  it is automatically associated with the congressman. I mean, I don’t automatically assume everybody with the last name McConnell is related to Mitch. That would be dumb. But some people are dumb. Which is why you shouldn’t read the comments.

Another comment is “gold never goes up.” This is just factually incorrect. The yellow metal was up over 18% last year. It’s up on the year this year. There’s an old adage — never say never. Unless of course, you’re saying never say never.

It’s not just the comments on the SchiffGold page. I made the mistake of reading the comments on a news story just tonight. That’s the biggest comment-related mistake you can make because news sites attract the general public. Let’s be honest, the general public isn’t always so bright. On more than one occasion, I’ve gotten sucked into a comment thread on a news site and have literally wondered how some of those people make it through a day alive.

This particular story was about some restaurants that are tacking a “COVID-19 surcharge” on their bills. This comes as no surprise. Governments forced these businesses to close completely for weeks and now they’re only allowed to operate at 50% capacity. They’re desperate for revenue. But the general public doesn’t understand running a business. In fact, some in the general public don’t understand tying their shoes or changing out of their pajamas before they go shopping. So, it’s not really fair to expect them to understand just how precariously close most restaurants are to going completely under at this point. But I do think it’s fair to expect people to not spout off when they don’t know what they’re talking about. You know, stay in your lane, bro.

Anyway, the first comment was “They can’t do that!”

Well, yes, they can. And they are. In fact, they can charge whatever they want. I’m sorry if you don’t want to pay extra, but that doesn’t mean you get to demand that they charge a price that’s more to your liking. I mean, I wouldn’t go into Ruth’s Cris and tell them they can’t sell a steak for $129.

Another commenter insisted, “We’re getting screwed.” They made it sound like the restaurant manager was going to come to their house, put a gun to head and take the COVID-19 surcharge by force. You know; you don’t have to get screwed. You don’t have to go to the restaurant and pay the surcharge. You can stay home and eat Beanie Weenies.

Somebody else called it “price goging. (sic)” I’m pretty sure this individual person was an expert on pricing restaurant food. But by golly, they know “goging” when they see it.

The whole price gouging thing drives me crazy to begin with – even during disasters. There are perfectly reasonable reasons why prices go up during a crisis. The problem is no matter how compellingly you explain the economics behind rising prices during a disaster, you’re never going to win the argument. People just react negatively to rising prices during a crisis. Emotion trumps logic.

Of course, these people will pay $12 for a beer at a baseball game, but when you ask them to pay an extra $3 COVID-19 surcharge, it’s a crime of epic proportions.

See, this is why I say you shouldn’t read the comments. And why I should take my own advice. It gets me all wound up. I should just move along and enjoy my Friday. And you should too!

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.

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About The Author

Michael Maharrey is the managing editor of the SchiffGold blog, and the host of the Friday Gold Wrap Podcast and It's Your Dime interview series.
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