Grey Notes: Your phone or your life

Lion is over-reading/overthinking this story. Representative Jason Chaffetz is right that people should prioritize essentials, such as health insurance, over discretionary expenses, instead of having taxpayers front the bill–it’s commonsense, and it’s sound financial and budgeting advice–so why so much outrage? Singling out the iPhone may have detracted from his message–possibly a poorly chosen example on his part. The iPhone is ubiquitous; many on the ‘left’ believe that both healthcare and phone service should be a ‘pubic good’; and, possibly, his mentioning of the iPhone invokes a negative stereotype of minorities gabbing away on the phone, downloading ringtones, and playing games, instead of working and paying bills. Some people associate inner-city Blacks and Latinos with excessive phone usage. Had he singled out cable TV, which is more expensive than an iPhone, I guarantee there would have been far less outrage. There is no stereotype associated with TV, and both liberals and conservatives understand that cable TV is more discretionary than phone service.

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