Pop Rocks: U.S. Economy Looks Blah But Your Ass Looks Great

Categories: Pop Rocks

Taxes under the knife? No. It's our faces.
This week's Gallup Economic Confidence Index was released yesterday with complete stagnation from the week prior. While no news is also good news, this doesn't mean we are all excited over the country's current economic situation. According to the poll's trend, Americans "remain in negative territory, where they have been since the start of Gallup Daily tracking in 2008." Additional reporting states that only 39 percent of people think that the economy is getting better with more than half of the country saying that it's getting worse.

In related news, The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) just released its annual report, which found that among other things, "more than 11 million cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed by board-certified plastic surgeons, dermatologists and otolaryngologists in the United States, totaling more than 12 billion dollars."

You read that correctly.

I just came across an open letter to President Obama by a single-mother unable to make ends meet for her family; the letter has gotten close to 100,000 likes on Facebook. Her biggest complaint is that the country's economic instability is due to the president's insistence that we all get health care. As you can imagine, the majority of the comment section remarks echo her cry - "Yeah! You tell 'em, sister! Why do we need stupid health care? Keep your government out of my Medicaid!" Given the recent trend in cosmetic surgery hikes, I'm thinking she might be on to something. Oh wait, no, I am thinking the exact opposite.

This country just plopped down 12 billion smackers on tummy tucks and new noses directly out of their pockets, as cosmetic surgery is rarely covered by insurance. We can't afford to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, but we can afford to get the fat sucked out of our asses? According to the report, Americans had 363,912 liposuction procedures performed this year. That number is up by more than 16 percent from last year! I don't understand; I thought we were all starving? Do hungry people really care that much about their cellulite?

And unlike our negative feelings on the state of the economy, which has remained flat, there has been a 12 percent increase in cosmetic surgeries performed across the board. No. 2 on the list of procedures is breast augmentation. Seriously? We are OK with cutting benefits to our veterans who fought for freedom because they also won us the right to have big, perky boobs? Guess what teen military brides -- your soldier husbands won't be able to grab your new sweet racks when their hands get blown off and the government refuses to pay their hospital bills. That may be the worst sentence I've ever written.

Am I eating crazy pills? Why are we complaining so much about how our government is killing us with tax hikes. Is it because prior to the 161,389 eyelid surgeries performed this year we all just couldn't see the numbers that well?

Over 140,000 people got nose jobs last year. Do you know what else 140,000 people did? Died in Syria since the civil war began. Does one thing have anything to do with another? No. But it's still crazy.

Maybe I am taking this all too seriously. Who cares that this country is crying over our sad state of affairs? As long as we can afford to freeze our frown lines with Botox, let's go right on complaining.

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Is this a joke? I can't tell if you're trying to be funny. I'm hoping you are, because this is the worst argument I've read in a long time. You're using the number of elective, cosmetic procedures performed in the US as justification for government mandated healthcare. I'd wager that a few of those 11mm procedures belong to the same person, but who cares about accuracy, we'll just continue analyzing your argument assuming that 11mm people each shelled out an average of a little more than $1k for an elective procedure. Who cares? Am I supposed to be outraged? I feel like that was your goal. Those 11mm people represent just 3.5% of the population. Uninsured persons in the US represent around 16% percent of the population. 

What is your rant about? Is it that people should just pay for their healthcare because it'll help the economy and put food on their table? That seems like a stretch.

Also your use of "we" is misplaced. Who is "we"? Is it just the poor? Or are your speaking on behalf of all Americans? Because Americans CAN'T all "afford to freeze our frown lines with Botox". But clearly some can, and wealth disparity is a part of capitalism.  Your use of we must be to invoke a sense of camaraderie amongst the downtrodden and leftists.

I feel like you're advocating some sort of Robin Hood Socialism-- steal the plastic surgery money and pay for the poor people's food... oh yeah, and their healthcare.

Sorry for the counter-rant, but I just couldn't let this go unchecked. I mean there are nitwits that are going to read this and think you're making sense. Ohhhh, now I get it.



Your counter-rant is not completely misplaced, but I think you miss the meta-message which is: we are becoming more and more a nation that's all about "me" instead of "we". Cosmetic surgery is the epitome, the poster-child  of that ME impulse: Look at ME, I'm attractive! dammit, I can spend my way to win the lottery of love and marriage. 

And the connection...

The same "it's all about Me!" impulse lies behind the wealthiest among us whining about excessive taxation, while enjoying historically low tax rates. It lies behind the demand that we should all be able to buy and pack guns to defend ourselves against violence that is at historic lows. And recently to corporations who would tell employees, despite the law: "we're willing to cover Viagra in our health plan, but not birth control pills". 

MEness instead of WEness is destroying a society that 40 or 50 years ago was growing together for everyone. Now, it's "cut my taxes, dammit! and I'll take that money and get my ass enhanced!"....and I don't care if my neighbor who's had a rough patch has his unemployment stopped, or my neighbor who served in Iraq is going stark mad, or the less fortunate kids at my child's school has no lunch.

It really is a very ugly society we're becoming, despite perfect flesh, white teeth and big boobs.


@fidelio @LWYRUP

Agreed 100%. My point is that universal healthcare and elective cosmetic surgery can co-exist without any problems.

Sure, you can argue that all these cosmetic surgeries represent misplaced personal priorities driven by our selfishly shallow culture, and you can argue the obvious, that our citizens should be provided healthcare that won't bankrupt them. 

Interesting aside: if you really believe that cosmetic surgery ought to be a procedure that fits into our capitalist market economy, why restrict licensed foreign doctors from coming here and providing the procedures for much less? As it stands now, the doctors' lobby has restricted immigration of foreign doctors into the US...this is akin to placing a tariff on medical care here. How about some free markets when it comes to medical care?

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