Saturday, August 13, 2011

Theft is the new thrift

Americans have been shown to be reducing their debt, but some wise guys had pointed out that most of that debt reduction was due to defaults on their homes and other loans.
Well not so fast.  Apparently there is a third-way to debt reductions.
Newspaper carriers are reporting big losses on newspapers stolen from boxes, and the increase coincided with the introduction of a new show on the TLC Network in April:  Extreme Couponing.
2.1 million viewers tuned in for the premiere EXTREME COUPONING, which aired as a one-hour special on December 29, 2010. Now, each of the series’ 12 half-hour episodes introduces viewers to America’s most extreme “super couponers,” sharing why they are so driven by the deals.
Presumably the linkage was made because of the heavier loss in Wednesday and Sunday papers which are have the heaviest coupon content.
Brook Cain, Raleigh News & Observer, 10 August 2001 via McClatchy (Hat tip: NC)
One of the more serious cases involved the arrest of an Arkansas woman who stole 185 unsold copies of The Springdale Morning News outside a grocery store. She was charged with misdemeanor theft. A Boise woman also was charged with theft after she was caught stealing copies of The Idaho Statesman from a newspaper rack.
A quick survey through the video link titles did not indicate which episode taught people to steal the coupons:  apparently they learned this on their own.  I suppose a familiarity with Dickens’s Ebenezer Scrooge or real life Hetty Green, should have forewarned me that thrifty-behavior is not equivalent to meritorious behavior.
Hetty Green

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