What is wrong with America?

September 27, 2010 at 11:41 AM Leave a comment

(Everything?).  Now, I am really thinking about way too much stuff these days.  Like, that the main way that people get money (businesses and therefore people) is through Sales.  Sales is a result of selling products or services.  And, the only way a company can survive is to have a net income, therefore — after their costs (overhead, cost of products, cost to manufacture it, etc.) there is not a LOSS.  The only way that they can “sell products” or “get sales” (unless you are a service only industry but even in that case you have vendors and must buy supplies to run your service company; even then you probably sell products or include them in your costs, such as parts to repair something or other costs to provide the service).  At any rate, the ONLY way to make money is to sell SOMETHING.  So that requires raw materials.  Now, if anyone WONDERS why they need to drill for oil, dig crap out of the ground like coal, copper, iron — and leave huge ugly fields of ripped up ground, or cut down millions of acres of forests is that we REQUIRE these raw materials to make any product at all.  These items are considered, in the business world, to be “finite resources.”  In other words — not “infinite.”  They are going to end… someday.  There are a few businesses that may be able to function on selling something sustainable, such as wind or water energy — things that exist in the same amount even after they are used.  But besides energy — everything ELSE that we use requires a raw material.  The table you are sitting at, the computer you are typing on, your car, your clothing, papers at your work — everything everywhere that you see is primarily a raw material that they dig out of the ground or cut down.

Now, business “measures” everything in humanity based on the gross product that we export, in other words, the amount of finite resources that we export.  Based on this number we figure out how rich a country is.  And, the same goes with a business, the more you “export” and sell over the cost to acquire the item, the more money you make.  Capitalism itself is not “based” on this premise, but without it capitalism could not exist.  Beyond all that, capitalism causes another problem — to continue to “make money” we must ALWAYS be exporting or selling.

So for example, you have a town of 5000 people who eat, buy clothes, etc.  But say — they just don’t need “new” cars, or “new” clothing this year.  The reason business spends so much money on advertising is that UNLESS you buy new clothes or a new car (whether you need them or not) the business will fail.  And, when that happens, the employees will be laid off and have no income as well.  Our economy is based on CONSTANT EXPANSION AND DEPLETION OF RESOURCES at a fundamental level.  This basis for the economy is so entrenched in our economic system that any talk of “sustainability” will get nowhere, really.  Of course, a company could use “wind” as a raw material, and the material never ends, but it cannot really “own” wind.  We try to own these sorts of infinite resources (such as radio waves and the extent of FCC law over who can use what radio wave when).  Yes, we have a “stake” in “soundwaves” as human beings.

So, I’m sure they will find a way to lay claim to “wind” and “running water” as well, but the difference is — you can use the wind, and it will still continue to blow as hard and as often.  So, no matter what you do you cannot “waste it.”  So, it is definitely in our best interest to find alternative to ENERGY USE such as wind and water, over oil and gas.

But what is that to say with housing, transportation, food, and “products.”  Products such as snakeskin purses, hair ties, curling irons, iPods, cell phones, EVERYTHING you see in a day — unless you live as a mountain man in the woods and live off the land — (you are still living off the land and consuming something anyway) — you are consuming crap everyday.

In my day, I get my coffee cup made out of metal and plastic (oil) and drive in my car made out of metal, plastic (oil) and run on gasoline (oil), take a crap and use toilet paper, eat food containing animals or vegetables or both, sit on a plastic/oil table (or wood) walk on a floor built out of rocks, in a building where all the trees were mowed down to make it…. etc. etc.  And this does not even INCLUDE whether or not I go shopping for clothing, purses, or anything else.  This is just what I use — to get up in the morning, to go to school.

And, its a building that was recently reconstructed because we need to constantly refurbish everything or it falls into decay, and with increased sales we need a bigger building.

The economy is based on not just “consumption” but “expansion.”  Constant expansion and consumption.  Because in fact, sustainability would BANKRUPT this economic system entirely.  Businesses NEED to sell more in order to have sales.  Insurance companies don’t need to sell anything, they just need a government mandate that you have to buy it … or to convince you or employers to buy it… and a few other types of business may be able to function without selling anything “real” at all.. but only selling “fear” to you (fear of bad health).  Your fear of bad health, if you are healthy — funds all the unhealthy consuming people.  If you don’t believe that, check this out:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13958810/ns/health-forbescom/

What I learned in my business organization class is that in fact, obesity and poor health costs US companies A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY.  Because, most of the health insurance costs go to these individuals, those in poor health (obese or smoke).  In fact, this is to the extent many employers (including my current college) WON’T HIRE A SMOKER AT ALL.  If you smoke, you are never even considered for employment.  Why?  Their health insurance costs for smokers is OUTRAGEOUS.  And, many companies now institute health programs for employees to save money.

So my point is — if you are healthy and pay a lot into insurance, you are basically paying for all the unhealthy people because their portion of the insurance is far more than they are paying into it.  This is like a welfare system for the unfit.

I could go on…. there are so many items of discussion here, its too many to even count.  The point being, “Capitalism” at the core of it and our whole economic system is deeply flawed.  The main reason it that it inspires overpopulation — a “boom” in population because the more people the more products they will have to buy.  And, it inspires overconsumption — a constant advertising force to buy new products, new houses, etc. etc.  Because of these entrenched flaws, I have NO hope that getting electric cars or wind energy will make even a slight budge in the “problem” (the constant extraction of finite resources in order to make products to sell to more and more people).  How will that stop?  It won’t because businesses are simply based on this premise.  Yours, mine, everyone’s.  How can that ever change?  Its been going on since human civilization began…. it might just be ingrained in our very DNA to do this…. our very social structure is built on this.  And, while they say Native Americans loved the land and blah blah and didn’t destroy the environment, the fact is the Inca, Mayans, etc., did exactly this:  built stuff, expanded in population, and sold stuff to make a profit.  Corn, sea shells, whatever.  They sold it to make a profit.  And, the things came out of the environment.  Yes, there were far less people to destroy it, and had next to no technology to destroy it very fast — but use it up and sell it is STILL what they did.

So now… I am a complete nihilist and think this whole conglomeration of humanity is nothing but a virus, spreading over the planet with the ultimate result (since we are the top of the food chain and there really is no “host” to use insecticide to get rid of us, besides the planet earth which will have to do it when the environmental balance makes it impossible for us to live here, and we die then)… besides that — I doubt we as a species will do shit to stop this thing.  How can we do it?  When it is simply WHAT we are?  We can try to use less, make things more sustainable, and use less — or produce what we use…. we could try that, but it would mean the complete destruction of our economic system as well as our social structure as we know it.   We simply have to consume and expand until the world kills us all.

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Entry filed under: human plague, social justice.

Menstruation is just nasty — nothing more. Problem with our justice system

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