Fixing the Economy
Examples of Problems with Free Market Economy
· When we go to get our car fixed for a simple inexpensive problem – the bill may not end up to be e.g. $100, but $500 instead, because the mechanic and the service advisor work on commissions and will make more money if they replace parts that need not be replaced.
· The stereo speakers you buy for $1,000 have a worse sound than other speakers costing $200, but you’d never know. The salesmen work on commission and so the speakers are manipulated with, placed in a certain area of the showroom, and connected in a way to make the better speakers sound worse. The commissioned salesman makes more money on the worse speakers, plus a bonus. This is the unfortunate reality.
· Once you are getting your TV fixed; the repairman, as a rule, too makes commission on parts. So your bill may end up being not $50 but $200.
· You read an article in a magazine on how great certain car is. You check the car at the dealer; you like it and buy it, only to later find out how troublesome it is. Why did the magazine like it so much? Because that particular carmaker bought a lot of advertising from the magazine, took the reporters to an expensive junket in Europe, paid their first-class air tickets and five star hotel accommodations and gave them expensive gifts. Both the magazine and the reporters know that the nicer the report is, the more money is likely to come to them from the carmaker in the future.
· Your doctor prescribes certain medicine a lot. There are better medicines, but this particular drug company gives him nice gifts and pays for his vacations, some overseas, which are masked as educational trips, where he is given a relatively short seminar to push this medicine; the rest of the time is his vacation. He is taken care of luxury-style.
· The radio stations start playing a lot certain good new song. There are better new songs, but because this one is being played more, the records sell better and it becomes No. 1 hit. What you don’t know is that the particular DJ’s who played the song a lot got from the record label free gifts, free concert tickets, an apartment with a paid prostitute, and supply of drugs. This is no exaggeration.
· Advertising is a lie, is phony, and creates demand for unneeded and often second-class products; TV shopping in particular is excellent at this practice. Advertising is there to sell a product, not to describe it accurately. Many inferior and unneeded products are made. As a result some products of a little value are sold at a price that is hundred times higher than the production cost – not including wasted expensive packaging. This is especially true for cosmetics, multi-level marketed products, etc. Then, when service is required, products are often serviced inefficiently, especially after the warranty period.
· Does it make sense to allow ads that promote cigarettes and then have additional ads warning against cigarette smoking? Of course not! This is just one of many examples that come to mind how far has this circus show came to.
· Diamonds is another example. Millions of people in Africa have died not only in the diamond mines, but mainly as a result of wars sponsored by rich white men to control these mines. Billions of dollars have been wasted by purchasing diamonds; demand for them is artificially created. Gold jewelry is sold at several-times its production value and often the actual carat rating is ½ of what the seal indicates. Spending money for gold and jewelry is waste of money and it supports killing of innocent people. But consumers buy these things, because they are pushed to it via advertising. Some are naive enough to buy them as an investment. When they are trying to sell this “investment” jewelry, they are shocked how little value it has.
· Diamonds and gold needs to be taxed extremely heavily worldwide. If someone wants to waste money on it, the taxes will be used for good causes.
Communism was about to fall. It was an event that was planned well in advance. As a result, the West no longer needed to show a better face to the East, so many social benefits were planned be cut or abandoned. America and capitalism did not have to put out the phony image of a nice guy any longer and could show their real face instead. Market economy was the camouflage for these changes. The public was fed fairy tales like “the market was to take care of everything”. Corporations were to police themselves – an analogy is a thief that would police himself. Government regulations were to get minimized. In the market economy one can supposedly buy cheaper bread, milk, meat, hamburgers, can get less expensive car and watch repair, but no one anymore protects the customer. The market economy promoters claimed that market forces take care of that. So as a result the bread is made of genetically altered grains and is causing many new allergies, possibly also other damages that we don’t know about yet. The milk has artificial BGH hormone, genetically engineered by people from a renowned pesticide company. This hormone causes cancer and is allowed to be used in the US despite the fact that it is e.g. illegal to use in Europe. Hamburgers are such a junk food that they make people sick and fat; car in a free market economy, without government regulation, is repaired by installing a rebuilt engine, while the customer needed a tune-up, and a watch is fixed by replacing a battery – while charging for a lot more extensive repair. Welcome to market economy!
There is the court system that is supposed to take care of these problems. In California you can sue in Small Claims Court for up to $7,500, but you are not an expert, while the car dealer you are suing is, so his word has a higher weight than yours, plus he knows all the tricks that you don’t. The judge is not a real judge, but some lawyer who is devoting his time to the court because he would like to become a judge. He does not even have to know the laws that apply to make a ruling. It is up to you to bring up the laws and rulings that apply. You’re totally disadvantaged against this dealer.
The system obviously does not work. It should instead work in such a manner that it would prevent the problems from happening in the first place. Unfortunately the market economy removes control mechanisms to prevent this type of abuses and penalties are too low for the businessmen to become honest. By cheating you, they make more money. Their salesmen make more money by lying to you. The ones who lie the most make the most and get promoted fastest. Welcome to Reaganomics! Welcome to market economy!
The consumption society is wrong! The market economy is wrong! Competition is good; it is what was generally lacking in the communist states. As a result their planned economy did not work very well. The market economy, which started to be promoted in the US by the Reagan administration, in Britain by Margaret Thatcher, and in the Czech Republic by Vaclav Klaus, is an aberration too; it is a capitalist extreme that must stop!
Our shortsighted "democratic" governments have repeatedly failed us by not stopping Communism, Nazism, and terrorism in their tracks, while these movements were still in their infancies. Our governments have lost the war on drugs, the war on spread of infectious diseases, the war on cancer, and the war on crime – have failed to make our neighborhoods safe. The US educational system is a total failure; the families are failing apart; the environment is dying at an ever more alarming rate. The US government supported Sadam Hussein, the men that later became the Taliban leaders, and many other radical and dangerous movements and dictators. This worked OK in the short term, but the long-term effects became disastrous. So now we have 100x bigger problems than were the ones we fixed on short term basis.
In our materialistic world, everything centers on money and short term planning. The large multinational corporations own media, and indirectly, via their paid lobbyists and their direct and indirect campaign contributions, own the governments. These multinationals have one main goal and that is short-term profit, mainly to satisfy their shareholders. The governments too have short-term goals that normally span some four years. Their #1 goal is to win the next election.
As the world is moving rapidly in the direction of new technological developments, money becomes the only real motive for the corporation’s existence. Very few corporate leaders consider their main concern to be the long-term perspective. Very few of the elected government officials do so either. This status quo is responsible for pushing us from crisis to crisis, from one conflict to the next one, from one war to another.
We need to stop and reevaluate the direction in which we are moving. We need long-term approaches to planning. Fixes that we do to local conflicts, while ignoring the overall situation, lead to future major conflicts. This extremely faulty system needs a major change – and it needs it now!
Many beneficial inventions that were made are not applied since in short term they bring no benefits to the ones who run our governments, and those, for whom the governments work, which are the corporate interests, not the voters. Long-term benefits don't get the politicians reelected. Short term ones do! Long term planning, with short-term sacrifices, does not look good on the corporate balance sheets. It doesn't make the CEO look like a winner and does not keep the dividends up; it makes value of the stock go down in the short-term and with that goes down the CEO's income and his future career prospects.
The world around us is moving so fast that it cannot reap the benefits of its discoveries. New discoveries often leave more long-tern damages than short-term benefits because they are not applied correctly, are applied only for their short-term effects – to be soon abandoned and replaced with something new, something that will again bring big short-term profits – to a few people.
We need to slow down and think where we are going. We need to take care of our current problems, considering long-term effects, before we move into a new chapter in history! Mankind made a lot of progress during the last 50 years, but has it moved in the right direction? Have the people become happier, healthier, more enlightened? Have we moved closer to world’s peace? Will our children have more freedom than we’ve had, or what have our parents enjoyed? Are we better human beings? Do we care more about others? Are our children less likely to overdose on drugs? Are we less obese? Are we more fertile? Do we breathe cleaner air? Have we won the fight against cancer? Or are we losing all these and many other fights? We all know the answer to all these questions! The answer is “no”.
Think about our prospects; think about the prospects of our children! Think about our prospects as the human race! It’s truly scary and it needs a change, a change that must start taking place now, not later, because later may be too late!
What we need are long terms goals and overall solutions, not short term fixes to a problem here and a problem there! We have the technology and science to make major changes that will make the world a happy, satisfying place for all of us, for our children, and for all future generations to come. For it to happen, all we need to do is apply what we know already and do it with far ahead planning. The benefits may be negative at first but positive and extensive in long term.
Long-term approach is also needed when solving regional conflicts and problems. We don’t live in isolated states so eradicating tuberculosis in our country and letting it develop into an epidemic of an incurable form in another part of the world will eventually become a disaster for us all; we can’t isolate ourselves enough from it.
The world on terrorism is a result of another micro-policy that did not work. We have created the roots of terrorism and now are reaping the fruits of the seeds we had planted.
Fighting crime and drugs with stronger police force does not work! We need to root out the causes of these problems, and we need to do it on global, not regional level.
To solve not only the world problems, but our regional ones too, we still need to look at the whole global situation; we need to take everything into consideration from a long term perspective. We need to see the whole picture. The solutions must be effective long term and must all work in synergy. We need macro policies first; micro policies should always be parts of the global outlook; they can’t be isolated.
In our planning we must always start by looking at the most distant future first; we must look at all the possibilities, at all the dangers that we, as a human race could be exposed to. The future is always least clear, the foggiest, but we must start there and as a result eventually end up with a lot clearer planning when it comes to short term goals.
Our very long-term perspective should be to move to another planet when this one would one day no longer be able to sustain human life form properly, or should it be endangered by a collision with a large space object. We must be prepared for such catastrophic scenarios. This is where our weapons should be aimed at – at destroying such space object that could destroy us, not aimed at another place on Earth. We must all work to protect our planet! We should not have any enemies inside our home – which is the Earth itself.
Employment must be full. Everyone who is able to and does not have other income must work. If he does not want to work, he will be jailed and in jail will be made to work very hard; his other choice would be to leave the country. An exception would be a housewife, or a husband taking care of the family, while the spouse works.
Minimum wage law is responsible for the fact that many people who want to work can’t find a job. This law has to be abolished. People making substandard pay will have their income subsidized by the government, providing the line of work or business is beneficial to the society.
Since jobs will be readily available, both full and part time, there will be no need for unemployment benefits. These will still be paid, on a very limited time basis, but the unemployed will be required to accept, within 7 days of losing his job at least a 20-hour a week position. It will give him plenty of time to look for work of his choice.
Salaries must be determined by market forces. The profession of a doctor, a lawyer, a politician, etc. would be popular even if the salaries would be considerably lower than now. That means that the current salaries for these jobs are artificially too high. Students should enter studies for prestigious occupations because they would like to be lawyer or a doctor, not because of a potentially extravagant income.
When it comes to taxes, they are way too high. The government just wastes the taxpayers’ money. What is important is to create a fair tax system, which will give subsidies to products, services, individuals, and companies that do something beneficial and good to help the mankind – something that has a positive impact on our society. It would be e.g. organic foods and movies that are not only entertaining but also teach good moral values. At the same time we need to demand high taxes on corporations, products, media, etc., which cause health, social, and moral damage. The more damage they create, the higher the taxes need to be. Nothing would work better to start the mankind moving in the right direction, and to progress in its values and development more than this type of tax system.
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