Once upon a time.....
There was one phone company, and one choice of phone.
There was one electric company.
There was one way to watch TV. (and, I even remember my parents getting their first TV).
There was one kind of chocolate. (Milk)
Your employer gave you a pension.
We long for the good old days. If you are old enough (and I am old enough) I can remember a world without the many decisions we have to make each day. Perhaps that is what we are longing for - the freedom from the constant press of having to make choices.
Which electricity option? Fixed, variable, pay extra to have part of your electricity generated by wind energy? (Yes, my electricity carrier offers that option - of course, not for your particular house.)
Which food? Organic, natural, gluten-free, low fat, no salt, non-GMO, no corn syrup, no artificial sweetener?
If you garden, which seed? Hybrid, heirloom, non-GMO (I will have something to say about that in the near future), treated, non treated, organic, suitable for containers?
Music? On air radio, CD, MP3, satellite radio, streaming, live? And if streaming, which service? I don't even want to list the choices.
Chocolate: single origin, bittersweet, semi sweet, dark, milk, chili, bacon, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, white, organic?
Pension -now it is in our control (in the United States) but we also have to make the investment choices. How many of us have the expertise? Small cap, medium cap, large cap, bond, index funds, and more.
Too many choices.
No choice is bad. Not enough choice is bad. But too much choice is bad, too. Part of it is the pressure of making the wrong decision.
I realized this one day when visiting New York City. I was in a Manhattan neighborhood, and hungry for some lunch. But it couldn't be just any lunch. I visit New York City, at most, once or twice a year.. I was in a city where (it seems) there are four or five restaurants on every block. I couldn't make up my mind. What if the food was terrible? What if I made the wrong decision?
I was paralyzed.
Finally, my spouse had to make up my mind for me.
I think it is simplicity we crave. We want to spend more time enjoying life, and less time having to make decisions.
Some choice is good. Control is good. Too much of anything is a bad thing, I think.
Would you want to go back to the "good old days"?