The new religion of stuff

Everywhere temples to a new deity are being constructed. Mormon? Muslim? Pentecostal? Not on your life. It is Dymon, the new God of Surplus Things. His worshippers are everyone and everywhere. Yu can become one too. Maybe you are already paying hundreds of dollars a year to store useless things that you cannot bear to part with. Sets of china from Aunt Ethel. Sofas. Cabinets. Lights. Knick-knacks.


The economics of this new religion are absurd. First, from Dymon’s point of view, Dymon earns around $10 square foot per month for a facility where no one lives, that has neither toilets and sinks that clog, inhabitants that break and wear out the premises, and therefore no complaints, scarcely any maintenance, and high annual returns.¬† Second, from the users’ point of view, they get absolution from the sin of throwing anything away. They very quickly learn that things have not merely no value: they have a negative value, costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year to be stored in Dymon’s temples if superfluity.

From an economic point of view, one can marvel at the idea of China producing¬† things that are then shipped across the Pacific ocean to North America, transported to your local stores, bought, found superfluous, and then stored (not sold, not recycled, not given away, in Dymon’s brightly lit temples of superfluity. Each stage is profitable. This is globalization at work.

I have been a member of the temple of Dymon for a few months in stages of renovation and moving to new quarters. In that time I became convinced that one of the most profitable legal businesses ever was storage. For failure to make the decision to get rid of stuff, I paid hundreds of dollars for stuff that had eventually to be thrown out.

I learned at one stage years ago that the North American warehousing and storage industry was larger than the steel industry. It was $71.9 billion in 2018. Various figures for the steel industry  that I found were not comparable for the year 2018, and were fixated on tonnage rather than revenues, but indicated that the two industries had roughly similar revenues. That is why, all over Canada, temples of Dymon and its equivalent gods are being erected as fast as the market will bear. There is money in useless, superfluous stuff.

As usual, George Carlin got it right.