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Sorry, can I geeze for a moment? Looking through my Post this weekend, I was struck by how many merchants were offering very generous terms to finance the acquisition of HDTVs. Circuit City, for instance, offers 36 months interest free to anyone who spends more than $999 on a TV—-the only catch is you have to sign up for Circuit City’s credit card. Best Buy is offering a similar deal as long as you let something called the Geek Squad into your home to install your purchase (buy online and install the TV yourself, and you can get a free massage chair instead).

Clearly, our economy is doomed. Anyone who takes out a three-year loan to buy a freaking TELEVISION needs to reexamine his or her priorities, stat, and any country whose economic well-being hinges on people having their priorities so screwed up is Rome just before the Vandals hit. Let’s say you buy the Sharp 52-inch AQUOS™ 1080p 120 Hz LCD HDTV for $3499.99 before instant savings of $350 at Best Buy. That’s only $87 a month for the next three years, plus you get a “free” Sharp Blu-Ray Disc™ player. Of course, in three years, that 1080p 120 Hz LCD HDTV will be worth a tenth of what you paid for it, technology will have marched grimly on, and you’ll be out the $600 you could have earned in a no-load mutual fund that tracks the market, even in a recession. Good thing you’ve got a massage chair.