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Cash Goggles And ROI Rage ...
A Rant About Our iWant World

By Joe Thomas

Voice Actor

Gordon Gekko said "Greed is good” in the movie Wall Street, and too many of us still believe it.

Whether it is an overt thirsting for cash, or an underlying subconscious belief that somehow money is equal to success, the endless pursuit for material wealth has a detrimental effect on us, our society, and our world.

When the world is viewed through Cash Goggles, everything relates to money. Now, don’t get me wrong. I think that the concept of money is a fantastic idea – otherwise we’d still be using the barter system, trying to figure out how many bushels of wheat an iPod is worth.

However, the obsession we’ve developed by having a single focus on Return On Investment (ROI) has put virtual shackles on our minds and creativity. There are many, many more worthy goals and measures of success than the almighty dollar.

In short: We need more tools in our tool box.


"After all, they are in business to make money…”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this worn-out "gem” pop up in conversations online. Frankly, it’s just an excuse for why companies and individuals do greedy things.

If you have ever uttered this phrase, then your Cash Goggles are firmly bolted onto your head. Success in business should not rely solely on ROI.

Yes, money is a concern. But by making it a primary reason for your business to exist, you are fostering a mindset that will allow bad choices and greed to take over.


What happened to focusing on the craft of a business? Where has true quality gone?

Money should be a side effect of having a quality-driven mindset in business.

The old quote of "Build a Better Mousetrap and They’ll Beat a Path to Your Door” has sadly become "Build a Mediocre Mousetrap, Brand It, Market the Hell out of It, and Wait for the Cash to Roll In!” 

We buy cheap fast food, and are astounded when it is quite literally killing us. We demand cheap products, but want high-paying jobs … then are shocked at how many jobs are taken by foreigners or sent overseas.


We have become an iWant society. Buying for the sake of buying … or to be hip, cool, or cutting edge.

"Do I need it?” isn’t asked. "I want it!” is stated instead. It’s a selfish, short-sighted, wasteful mentality, and it is far more dangerous to our continued existence than a host of other media-hyped causes because it undermines our vision and morals as a society.


Are you suffering from "ROI Rage”? We frequent services and businesses because they give us a good ROI, but rarely look to see if it’s a company worthy of our support.

This is where capitalism breaks down. It’s up to us, each and every one, to be more selective of the companies we support, and the products and services we buy.

Obscenely wealthy Wall Street brokers, corrupt lobby-bribed politicians, and CEOs with bloated salaries and super-sized severance packages – they thrive because of our actions and our inaction. We create them through our purchases, our voting, and by allowing ourselves to be led like lambs to the slaughter.

Take the time. Make the effort. Look at the world and see it with your own eyes.

Do you know why you believe something? Or is it just because it’s what you were told, or how you were raised? Think with your own mind. Decide what is the right thing to do. Then take action to make it a reality. 
Joe J Thomas is a voice actor in Los Angeles known for his characters in animation, video games, and commercials. He is also a stand-up philosopher and weekly contributor to his blog Joe's Dump: Fallout from My Nuclear Brain.


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Comments (3)
3/17/2013 at 10:45 PM
Thank you for exposing my life and my income dilemma. Not many people appreciate my abilities. These abilities are "a gift from God," and therefore, I am expected to give them away. It is totally the "story of my life." Once, a professor suggested that I reply, " Yes, and if you practice 6 hours a day, for 20 years, then God will give you the gift also." I love that quote. However, it rarely results in payment. Thanks for sharing my frustration.
Joe J Thomas
3/13/2013 at 9:10 AM
Agreed, Mike.
We're on the same page, and you point out another facet of the issue.
Some who complain about foreigners may have a political agenda, personal bias, or are just upset with their own situation.
Rather than take a positive action, they focus on blaming others... when in truth many wouldn't take the jobs they say foreigners are "stealing".
The people who are best at their job, whatever job that may be, find a drive to succeed. It may be a focus, a joy, or a sense of accomplishment in a job well done. And others can see this and appreciate it - I know I do...
Mike Harrison
3/12/2013 at 2:29 PM
Amen, Joe.

Crap exists because we allow it to exist. When we know something is dreadfully wrong, doing and/or saying nothing about it allows it to persist. Apathy, waiting for someone else to speak up or take action accomplishes nothing.

However, foreigners do not "take" our (domestic) jobs. They are awarded jobs because they are better qualified and present themselves in a better light than those whose only motivation to get off the couch is because they absolutely have to... not because they genuinely want to.

"Think for yourself" needs to become a mantra.
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