Thanks Alkemi for an interesting discussion. Thanks shoeless for your info on Norway. I am pleased that we didn't regress into pointless namecalling etc and got past the uselessness of debate to find some common ground. Discussion is so much more real than debate.
I was pleased to hear that you are a fair employer. The key is to keeping staff honest and happy. It is common knowledge that Wal Mart has problems with their employees stealing and so need increased security monitors and devices not merely for shoplifters, but for their own employees, who don't have any care for their employer. It is also true that many employees of these mega stores are very unhappy and insecure about their jobs. It would be interesting to find out a study of substance abuse such as alcoholism to cope in these situations.
Wal Mart spends so much extra on security because they force an attitude of saving on an already oppressed and poorer segment of society which only wishes to stretch their dollar as far as it will bend. It's no wonder they don't exude an aura of respect. They would spend countless dollars on the BIG BROTHER concept, instead of being the LOVING MOTHER. More money for the staff gets dedication more than what insecurity breeds. Comes from exploiting people all over the world, so what do they expect. Karma of sorts.
I went shopping with the old lady the other day, and every shop we went to, the clothes were made in the far east. One sales clerk told me that it was the material that was made in China, but it was designed here at home. Yeah, right- that's why it says made in China and not Material from China -assembled HERE!. What kind of crap do they pass on to appease braindead consumers. Try and buy a pair of running shoes made here. I found a pair of New Balance once, made in USA but most of them are made in the far east. The argument is "It's the only way we can compete" by the employers. Such is the demise of home industries and the fair wage also.
I guess the biggest argument against free market capitalism is the idea that the environment is a secondary to last incidental consideration in our post consumerist world. What with our control of resources and the rise of the third world in the industrial playing field, power and energy becomes the means of production. If we were to force the wages to rise elsewhere in the world, it would have a genuine reflexive affect here at home. Instead of lowering wages here we force them to raise wages there. Of course, now that fossil fuels are outrageously priced, their net costs of production is rising, but at what cost to their employers. Does it get passed on to their overworked employees? Then there's the problem of resource depletion on the earth as we provide all people with those DVD and fridges etc. The earth is a limited provider. We can't expect to be the only ones to benefit from the means of production and the only ones with access to unlimited power sources. There has to be a day of reckoning with the issues that will build to a climax, if we think we can control the ends and means of production and consumption. Americans already consume more resources than any others in the world. Ratio's like 10-1 with Mexicans and 30-1 with the Chinese show the scales are already weighed in our direction. What can be done to alleviate these kinds of assumed privileges, is going to be a key issue for our futures to continue. So the question of free enterprise capitalism as we have had it may be a Moot ideal of the past if we wish to confront the realities of continued existence on earth. If we think that by controlling the resources on earth we can dictate who gets to play, history tells us that it has always been a struggle over resources, ever since the first ape/human took up a bone or stick to use against his fellow man. This is our next step in evolution- to change the very nature of what made us what we are today. Look around the world and see how we resolve our issues. Not much has changed as we still quarrel over resources. Just try and tell China they can't participate in the games.
We're in for interesting times. We need a new way of doing business and the first order of business seems to be eliminating the present order of things. As Jesse said in his blog today-
What has been made very clear by the invasion of Iraq, the Patriot act and the ineffective response by the US government to hurricane Katrina is that neoconservative ideology dictates that government is for 2 things: war & eliminating civil and human rights.
The notion of “smaller government” serves one purpose: to snatch the wealth associated with government and place it in the hands of the ruling elite. Contrary to popular opinion the economic state of America is moving along as planned. The costly Iraq invasion and hurricane Katrina, combined with ever increasing energy and health costs combined with “privatization” of many government entities, are causing the wealth of this nation to shift out of the hands of most Americans into the hands of a few (less than 10,000).
America is no longer America. It has been dismantled to such a point that it is hard to imagine any kind of real recovery without an all out world wide overthrow of our ruling elite. Think about it!
It seems Jesse and I have arrived at the same page. I've been aware and spoke of this with many souls on earth, but their defeatest attitude keeps them from a course of action. It is even a challenge to ones psyche to speak of this with others as they brand you LOONY, ANARCHIST, Disestablishmentarianist, etc. But it requires more people to wish to save the planet and return to a fair world to ascend past our petty needs. Really, if the inevitable vision of success is a mass suicide, lemming race for survival by consumption, then who is the crazy here? The crass consumer who seeks his/her security in owning and possessions , or the one to shape a brave new world where our children and their children have new more important goals in the end. Am I the only one who believes we must leave our children a world they can continue in?
I envision a purpose for man is to escape earth and spread out, as it is a trap anyway. It will continue to change and will eventually be hostile to us anyway, so while we can, we should work together to get an alternate plan besides OWNING the world. The Natives and most pre contact cultures never understood the concept of owning something that keeps you alive. We have to learn to respect the earth and all, its people as brothers. If greed was eliminated from the equation, as well as our present leadership, then real progress could be made with the business of creating a world that represents our true feelings. "For the people, By the people" means anarchy. Anarchy means without rulers, not without rules.
As I said, it may be the evolutionary hump that we can't get over. But it may be the only way we get past this stage of De-evolution. We are the crazy ape still trying to find a secure place to sleep, and suffering from sleep deprivation. That fear is what keeps us from sleeping well, is the fear of our past. We need to feel secure to sleep well enough to wake up from the fear of change itself. We have nothing to fear but the thought of fear of change itself. It can be done.
We could start by challenging our leaders to change themselves, or change them into the ones who promise real change. The next problem is to prevent them from changing the rules, which is what they always do when people challenge and defeat authority. Of course, they've stacked the deck in their favor, so good luck.
It is always good to vent, and capitalist ideals are so short sighted that they naturally make me challenge their eventuallity. There's no future in it, in any guise.