Do Subscription Boxes Hurt Socialization?

Nickolas Roberson | United States

We all enjoy and love the subscription box services and products that we pay for and receive every month. Shaving products, popular culture merchandise, or even food and water; these services deliver easy-to-access, quality goods straight to our homes. However, how do these amenity providers affect our socialization?

Subscription Boxes: An Introduction

Companies provide boxes that are filled with niche products for the consumers they are targeting. These boxes are known as subscription boxes. Routinely fulfilled payments pay for the shipped goods. 

In the United States, there are an estimated 400 to 600 companies offering these subscription boxes. BlueApron (a meal kit service), Stitch fix (a personal styling service), Dollar Shave Club (a personal grooming product service), and Loot Crate (a pop culture product service) are some of the more popular services offered. This constantly innovating industry has grown from 4.7 visitors to their websites in 2014 to 41.7 million in 2018. This demonstrates increasing demand for these easy to access quality products. Additionally, a majority of the consumers of subscription boxes are 18 to 24 years old, and “prefer the convenience of online shopping.”  However, while online shopping and subscription boxes are extremely easy to purchase and are high in quality, this massive increase in popularity of them may have some negatives.

Marketplace Socialization

The physical marketplace has been the locality for much of humanity’s socialization. It’s where we learned the social skills that were vital for trading and general communication. However, the adoption of mass consumerism and the development of subscription services and boxes could harm socialization.

The vast majority of the aforementioned subscription box services are provided through online shopping. Now, this makes goods incredibly easy to access and purchase. This is tremendous, but there is no social interaction taking place. This, practiced en masse, would have a negative impact on the socialization of individuals.

New Technologies

This occurs through the immense increase in technological advancement taking place today. Cell phones read your face, voice commands control TVs, and personal computers contain alternate realities. With these new, innovative technologies and subscription boxes is a matter of time before individuals have total access to goods and services without leaving their homes. As a result, the death of socialization. 

Subscription services are an amazing product of capitalism. They provide cheaper and more convenient high-quality products. But everything in life has a tradeoff, and the loss of socialization is the tradeoff for subscription boxes.


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How the Republican Party is Ruining America

Trump, Pence, Ryan and McConnell Republicans
By Manuel Martin | United States

The Republican party is ruining America. It’s time for the GOP to go the way of the dinosaur or endorse Joe Biden. In my past, I have actually been a Republican myself. At the age of 21, I started a local tea party chapter and volunteered with my local GOP central committee. I gave speeches to hundreds of Republicans, pumping them up to fight for smaller government and more freedom. In fact, I even ran for state assembly in California as a Republican.

I was an above average GOP solder. I would get mad when someone “disrespected the flag”, pledging my proud allegiance to it. My long-winded conversations with Republican senior citizens often included trading sentences like, “kids in school don’t even do the pledge of allegiance, can you believe what’s happening to the country?” I was that guy who thought that my flag worshiping was superior to another team’s.

Unfortunately for the Republican Party, I paid attention to what they did, not what they said.

The Republican Party and Big Government

Almost all modern Republican officials simply conserve the expanded power of government. The Democrats before put the policies in, and the Republicans do nothing to repeal them. In many cases, they even implement their own additional expansions. Be honest and ask yourself something: What major agencies or legislation have you seen the GOP shut down or repeal? The GOP had the House, Senate, and Presidency with the clear mandate of repealing Oabamcare, but they still haven’t. Why would the GOP not do what they promise? The answer is simple: because they lie. The GOP is not the party of small government; they are the party of rhetoric.

Republican apologists are allowed to have their opinions, but not their own facts. Simply put, Republican administrations in recent history have actually outspent their Democrat rivals. While Carter, Clinton, and Obama increased the national debt by 43%, 32%, and 74%, respectively, the recent Republicans did far worse. In fact, Reagan, H.W. Bush, and W. Bush raised the national debt by 186%, 54%, and 101%. This all adds up to a grand total of 149% and 341%. Of course, neither number is in any way tolerable. However, it is especially despicable that the party of small government raised the debt more than twice as much as Democrats.

The Democrat-Republican Cycle

America! The game Washington is playing with you is simple. Democrats advance a more intrusive and regulatory government while not getting too carried away with spending. Then Republicans, once in power, tend to maintain the size of government (sometimes slowing regulatory growth). But, they do nothing to remove newly established agencies or laws while exploding government spending. When Democrats find themselves back in power, they now have (thanks to Republicans) more money. Thus, they can build new government programs and agencies, furthering control over your life.

Two key factors make this Democrat-Republican cycle possible. First of all, that voters listen to what politicians say, not what they do. The second factor is that voters believe politicians govern according to the rhetoric they espouse. Unfortunately, voters do not pay attention to how politicians govern. Instead, many simply listen to what politicians say and prescribe their economic results to the politicians’ narratives. Because many voters don’t pay attention to details, Republicans can get away with governing like socialists but campaigning like capitalists.

Obama and Republicans

While Obama’s administration was running havoc over the economy, remember, Republicans in Congress passed budgets authorizing all of the abuse and waste. Yes, Obama spent hundreds of billions bailing out Wall Street. But who abandoned free market principles to save the free market system again?

A False Sense of Freedom

Republicans verbally campaign to shrink government and legislate like ardent supporters of big government. As a result, voters never get a chance to experience free market principles in action. Because Republicans are the fake opposition, party voters always experience big government, with or without the brand. Of course, big government will always win when it’s competing against itself.

Republicans are ruining America by tricking voters into attributing controlled-market economic results to free-market capitalism. Constituencies never actually vote for or experience free-market capitalism. Thus, they can never learn the vast differences between it and the two parties’ government-based solutions.

Voter Misinformation

Because of the Republican Party’s fake opposition, voters simply toggle between two parties of controlled markets. The only difference is that Republicans claim to be supporters of capitalism. Is it any wonder that the government continually grows when voters do not have another viable option? Schooling, media, and politicians all teach that the Republicans believe in a free market. How can we expect voters to believe any different? How can we not expect them to misunderstand what a free market really is?

The electoral cycle is eroding a once free and prosperous nation. It unfolds like this: the people vote for Democrats. When their policies fail, the people look for something else. Then, the people vote in Republicans who promise free market solutions. But, the Republicans legislate like Democrats, causing the people to wrongly prescribe the resulting economic failure to free market capitalism. Lastly, the electorate returns to the Democrats to fix the alleged free market inadequacies. Rinse and repeat until the government demands 40% of your income and permanent rent on your home, until they demand that your kids learn their curriculum, until they instill the false belief that without them, society would collapse.

The Republican party is ruining America by promising capitalism and delivering more government. Without a doubt, the great, unspoken truth in politics is that Republicans lie.


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The Democratic Party Doesn’t Care about America’s Youth

America's youth
By John Keller | United States

In the current day, a critical midterm election is rapidly approaching. With this, a segment of the Democratic Party is claiming that only they care about the nation’s youth. This segment of the party is campaigning with their alleged care for the youth. But their promises of free college, free healthcare, and more only prove how little they really care.

Promises of billions, even trillions, in new spending for the youth beg a simple question. Just where will all of this money come from? Currently, the United States Treasury is bankrupt, with a debt of over $21 trillion. “Free” education and healthcare is only remotely possible in a stable economy, and holding a debt greater than our GDP is a guarantee at an economy that is too weak and too unstable for such programs.

Furthermore, the money for “free” programs must come from somewhere, meaning it comes from government revenue. Ultimately, this is a fancy term for the taxpayer’s back pocket. Currently, the United States has some of the highest tax rates in the world when factoring in city, county, state, and federal taxes.

In order for the Democratic Party’s “free” programs to work, the current entitlements, such as Medicare and Medicaid, require major revisions. As they hurtle towards bankruptcy, there is not much more room to tax people to fund them. In order to avoid this, it is necessary for the government to look at its wasted spending. Several members of Congress, such as Senator Rand Paul, have spoken out against it. In order to improve the United States Treasury and make any of the Democratic Party’s policies attainable, ending waste is a must.

However, the Democratic Party has no plan to lower the debt or rework spending in order to make their promises possible. Thus, any tangible Blue Wave will only put America’s treasury deeper in the red. A bigger debt with consistent votes for more spending simply pushes the issues down the road. This, of course, deepens the severity of issues that America’s youth must tackle. As taxes increase and services decay, America’s youth will take on the responsibility of this nation’s debt. But the cycle can end, in fact quite simply, by stopping this fall’s Blue Wave.


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The Case for Liberty – Phil Anderson for WI

By John Keller | United States

Dodge County, a rural bastion in Wisconsin, is in a desperate position following increasing control from Madison. Whereas the inner cities have been struggling under the Walker Administration, rural Wisconsin has begun to suffer in ways they haven’t since the market crash of 2008.

In the last fiscal year, Dodge County had a proposed budget of $111,693,552, an 11.39% increase from 2013. A property tax rate of 5.6% is the average in Dodge County. But the main source of income for the Dodge County government, the property tax, brings in only $33,281,315. So, other taxes and revenue sources had to cover $78,412,237 of appropriations in the county. The reason for such an imbalance is unfunded mandates.

As of mid-July, there are 99 unfunded mandates and restrictions on how local counties can govern from the Walker Administration. Essentially, this means there are 99 instances in which Scott Walker is telling the county how to run itself and how to spend your money, without paying for it with the state’s taxpayer funds. This leads to budget imbalance and growing debt at the local level.

Phil Anderson: A Solution

Phil Anderson offers a different option. Running for governor in 2018, he is campaigning to increase local control. He stated in his platform, “Local municipalities, counties, and school boards ought to be as free as possible to pursue the priorities of their communities without interference from the State. State regulation ought to be limited to those things that only the State should do. All unfunded mandates should be eliminated.”

There is only one candidate that wants change the way Wisconsin runs so that local governments can run their own affairs. He is running to find local, common sense solutions for local problems, not statewide, bureaucratic decisions. In order to keep your money in your pocket and allow Dodge County, and all of Wisconsin. to spend less, vote Phil Anderson for Governor.


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Joe Hannoush – Libertarian for Florida House District Twenty-Five

By John Keller | Florida

Joe Hannoush is the Libertarian candidate for District Twenty-Five of the Florida House of Representatives. He has been involved with libertarian politics since 2011 and seeks to bring that change to the state of Florida.

Keller: With a plethora of career options, what inspired you to seek a career in politics?

Hannoush: I am not pursuing a career in politics per se. I want to do what I can to inform others of a better solution to issues we face today. Running as a candidate for elected office is a great way to spread that message. I want to be the change I want to see. I am tired of complaining without offering a solution. I didn’t like the choices I had on my ballot, so I gave myself another option to vote for!

Keller: Many people when they think of government they think of Congress or the presidency. Why is politics at the state level, and in the state House of Representatives, so important and motivated you to get involved?

Hannoush: There is a saying “all politics is local”. To a certain degree, I agree. When it comes to the everyday things, it is usually the local government decisions that have the largest impact on an individuals life.

Keller: For over 150 years the United States has been locked in the two-party duopoly. What turned you on to the Libertarian Party?

Hannoush: In 2011, I took an online political quiz www.isidewith.com. The results told me my views most closely agreed with was the Libertarian Party. So I did more research on their platform and looked into the presidential candidate on the Libertarian Party ticket, Gary Johnson. I liked him a lot and found I agree on almost everything. So I voted for Gary in 2012 and the rest is history!

Keller: Being a swing state, Florida has both strong Democratic and Republican support, as well as significant moderate support. Why is a new voice, such as a libertarian, necessary in the two-party system in Florida?

Hannoush: The two-party system is not a good one even if the two parties are Libertarian and Anarchist. I believe in more choices and I know others do as well. I don’t care if I agree with other political parties or not, they deserve to get the same media exposure and debate and ballot access as the Republicans and Democrats currently do.

Keller: Florida is often brought to the political forefront, and were put into the national spotlight during the sanctuary city debate, a debate that still exists today. Where do you stand on your critical issue?

Hannoush: I believe an individual, whether they are a citizen of the United States or not, deserve the same freedoms I have. My parents left an oppressive government and came to the United States shortly before I was born. Because of that freedom to act for the betterment of life, liberty, and happiness, I have a freer life. I want that opportunity to exist for others as well.

Keller: Our Founding Fathers even disagreed on how to interpret the Constitution, shown in the Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist debates. What is your interpretation of the Constitution, and how does that influence your view on government?

Hannoush: My view of the Constitution is what I believe the Founding Fathers generally intended. That is that individuals have inherent rights and the Constitution instructs the Government on how to preserve those rights for the individual. 

Keller: Libertarians tend to believe less government is better government. What is one area of government, however, you would like to see operating?

Hannoush: I do believe that national defense is the responsibility of the government.

Keller: Branching off of the last question, what is one area you think there should be cutbacks or even elimination in the state of Florida?

Hannoush: Florida, being a “swing” or “purple” state has led to the two major political parties here to be very divisive. There is too much power in the “leadership” of the political parties. No one is defending the rights of the people. The letter next to a person’s name holds more power than what that individual believes. I want to end partisan politics in Florida. A candidate that is giving the libertarian message will win every time.

Keller: What can the people of District 25 expect should you be elected?

Hannoush: That I will be a voice for the individual. I won’t vote based on what party leadership or lobbyist agenda is being pushed.

Keller: If someone was interested in getting involved or donating, how can they reach out to your campaign?

Hannoush: paypal.me/joehannoush

Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?

Hannoush: I am currently pricing campaign materials and need as much funding as possible to help spread the message. Please donate to my campaign at paypal.me/joehannoush and follow my campaign at facebook.com/joehannoush and email [email protected] Thank you!

I would like to thank Joe Hannoush for his time. Be sure to visit his website and get involved!