There’s an old saying among investors that goes something along the lines of, “Invest in the companies you buy products from.” You don’t need to have a PHD in economics to understand that if you’re buying a company’s products then other people are too, and their stock is likely to go up and stay up.
There’s actually quite a bit you can understand about the economy without having a Ph.D. just by looking around you and using common sense. The economy is laid out at your feet. Every time you go to work you set foot in the economy. Every time you pay your bills, go to the bank, go to the grocery store, go on vacation, etc. you’re getting a first hand look at the fundamental gears of the economy.
Now I’m not trying to imply that it’s a waste of time to study economics in an academic setting. I just want to talk about the concrete things we can see in front of us and compare it to what the talking heads on television are telling us. What I see in front of me is that every year everything is getting more expensive. Part of this is because of inflation, which the government could eliminate by printing less money, but they’ve decided a little inflation is good because it encourages investment. Whether or not that’s good or bad or right or wrong is another argument all together. What’s important is that the main reason products and services are getting more expensive is because business can get away with charging more. And of course they’re going to bump up the price every chance they can. It’s in their best interest because it makes them money.
I also see business finding more and more sneaky was to rob the consumer by exploiting legal loopholes. Contracts, terms of service, warranties, service agreements, service plans, unnecessary upgrades, fines, recurring charges, etc. If you have a bank account, cell phone, cable TV, credit card, loan, mortgage, insurance, retirement fund, or have had to sign your name on any piece of paper for a business then you know what I’m talking about. And all these nickels and dimes not only hurt the poorest of the poor the hardest, but they actively target the poorest of the poor.
Speaking of targeting the poorest of the poor, fines for breaking one of the millions of useless laws we have in this country hurt the poor disproportionately more than the rich as well. I read an article on the Internet today that said Congress was actually hoping to pass a law to fine people who are too poor to afford health insurance just like they fine people who are too poor to afford car insurance. I don’t see that happening, but it horrifies me that it was ever even brought up. That tells me a lot about the kind of country I live in.
And while all of this is going on minimum wage lags far behind inflation. It’s becoming more common to hire people as contractors and fire them before they can earn benefits. Most of the people I know in real life have horror stories about themselves or their friends/family getting laid off because the company they worked for wanted to hire a young person out of college who could do the job cheaper. If you want a new job, your professional references are quickly becoming useless as employers refuse to give meaningful recommendations out of fear of being sued for slander.
And probably most importantly, let’s talk about the education bubble. The cost of an education is sky rocketing. It can double in a single year. Why? Profit. Period. And nobody gives a shit if you can’t afford it or if you have to spend the rest of your life paying off loans with interest for an overpriced piece of paper that doesn’t even reflect your professional potential. A degree is by and large a lie, but without that lie you can’t get ahead in business. And that speaks volumes of America’s business model. It’s based on a stack of lies….lies that everyone knows are lies but do nothing about because we don’t have the courage to stand up to bullshit no matter how many Disney movies we watch and spend the rest of the night feeling like Hercules or Mulan in our crippled little heads.
But do you ever hear the talking heads on television discussing the fact that our economy is built on the blood and sweat of the poor, and that more than anything else the driving force of our market is exploiting and manipulating the consumer and the worker, particularly the poorest of the them? No. They talk about stimulus, recessions, market forces, foreign debt, wall street reform, bonuses for CEO’s, etc. And while all of these topics have their place in the economy they’re ignoring the fundamentals, the salt of the earth shit. They’re ignoring the fact that the poor who are holding up the economy are being bled dry, and the signs around town say it’s only going to get worse. You can reform as many bullshit stacks of paper on Capital Hill that nobody except a few Congressional assistants and a few eccentric professors are going to read. It’s not going to change the fact that business in America is run like shit.
The only stimulus that is going to change America around is love. Give the poor the wages they deserve, charge them what’s fair, and quit trying to fuck them out of every extra cent they have through predatory legal loopholes. That is the only reform package that’s going to fix our economy. I know the rich, sadistic mother fuckers who designed our system don’t want to hear much less do that, because it means they’re only going to get filthy rich instead of stupid, ridiculously, filthy rich, but if they continue business as usual they’re going to suck the poor dry until the poor have nothing left to give and nothing left to lose. When we run out of purchasing power the economy stops. Then the rich won’t be able to make any more money anyway, but that’ll be the least of their problems because the poor will have nothing left to lose. Have you ever met someone who has nothing to lose? They’re scary. It’s like they have a super power. They don’t give a fuck. They will eat your face off.
That’s the choice every CEO needs to make: treat people with equal respect and love or lose all of your customers and your family’s fucking faces eaten off by a horde of starving peasants you drove to desperation because you failed to reign in your ignorant, shortsighted, wasteful, merciless greed but instead prolonged the exploitation of your fellow man by hiring well dressed bobble heads to get on television and confuse the population with bullshit talk about macro economics you knew they wouldn’t understand or question and thus would just defer authority to you like good little dogs and go on eating your shit while you feasted on more stake than you could even finish.
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