Radio Flyer wagons go all luxury on us - Curt Yeomans

Wow. Just, Wow.

That's my reaction to the news that the new line of Radio Flyer wagons are apparently taking a cue from Lexus automobiles.

The company, which made the iconic, little, red wagons that you could carry your junk in, recently unveiled a new wagon for the 21st Century kid - the Cloud 9.

According to reports from CNN and Computer World, the Cloud 9 is a technological monster. I mean that seriously.

It has a place for your child's MP3 player and speakers, and it comes with two cup holders, so the little ones will have a place to put their sippy cups.

It has seating to further accommodate the little, luxury hounds.

This is how the new generation of children roll, I guess.

About the only thing I can applaud Radio Flyer for doing with the Cloud 9 is making sure it had seat belts. That way, children can, at least, be somewhat safe.

But, mark my words. This is a disaster for the automobile industry. Imagine what these children will be like when they grow up.

They are already growing up in a technologically savvy world. Now, you want to put them in a luxury vehicle at an early age?

The big three big automotive companies are already struggling to get themselves in the black, while competing against the Japanese auto makers. Now, they will have to compete against the tricked-out version of the little, red wagon, too.

Has it ever occurred to anyone that we may be overdoing this childhood luxury thing?

A professor of mine in college once mentioned that college graduates try to maintain the lifestyle they had before college, once they are in the post-graduate world. They don't want to go from the Lexus of little red wagons, to the modern day Pinto of the automotive industry.

By feeding luxury to our children at an early age, we will encourage them to maintain that lifestyle for the rest of their lives. But, at what cost?

You could be encouraging your child to live beyond what he or she can really afford. In an era where trying to live outside one's means has led to economic hardships for many, is it really wise to continue feeding this cycle?

Sure, it's just a little red wagon, you may say, but the fact remains that it could encourage future doom.

Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247, or via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.