Saturday, July 12, 2014

10 things wrong with the marketplace

and why I am such a rebel

Okay top ten lists are fetching stupid.  I have no idea if I will actually name 10 things or not in this article.  I just wanted the cliche title. ;)

1.  Streamlined only in one direction.

This might as well be the only reason why the marketplace sucks.  Pretty much every sin in the structure and design of the marketplace can be described as streamlining things in 1 direction.

What do I mean by streamlined in 1 direction?  Well, if you take a close look at things, you'll see that in America, running a business is all about creating an ideal consumer experience.  Customers are coddled.  Shopping is all about creating the perfect consumer fantasy.  Store design is all about atmosphere, access, imagination and also efficiency.  That retail outlet wants you imaging a perfect lifestyle with their product.  Consumers are serviced and seduced.  Stores even accept returns just so you are never stuck with a bad experience.

So in other words, we're doing great on the consumer end of things.  Perhaps a little too well in some cases.

So consumption is streamlined.  It is easy for anyone, provided they have money to spend, to participate in the consumer side of the economy.  Specifically, spending money is streamlined.  However, in the other direction, trying to acquire money, everything is carefully counted and controlled.  There are roadblocks and tests every step of the way.

You may be inclined to think that this is the way that things should naturally be, it should be easy to spend money, and hard to earn it.  However, that is only half the picture.  When money changes hands, it is usually as part of a transaction.  Both parties are giving something up and both parties are getting something in return.  This happens the same whether you are spending money or acquiring money.

We have become so accustomed to this, that it is hard for us to imagine or accept as possible what things would be like if the marketplace obstacles related to spending and earning money were balanced.  In such a world, it would be just as easy to walk into a place with some spare time and earn a few bucks, as it currently is to walk into a place with a few bucks and come out with a new watch.

You may argue that a company needs to evaluate a person before they can trust them to do work for them.  The truth is, everytime you walk into a place of business, that business is placing a good deal of trust in you regardless of whether you are a customer or an employee.  They trust you to not damage property or steal things.  They trust you to behave a certain way and there to participate in the business, either by buying goods or services or providing them.  The way things work today, employees are given more trust than customers, but that is only because we are accustomed to doing things that way.  There is no intrinsic reason it couldn't be reversed.

While I'm not saying we need to perfectly balance the ease of spending money vs earning money, I will say that the way things are now, the balance is grossly skewed in one direction.  This creates serious problems and compromises our economic and social freedom.

2.  Single source of income expectation

You can fill this section in using your own brain.

3. Minimum wage is a silent thief

If you have a brain, fill in this section.  I'll give you some help I guess.  Minimum wage steals from the poor and gives to the rich, by making it so only rich people can afford to employ you, and poor people can't afford to employ you, they can only afford to go to some big department store.  And then you are stuck waiting for congress to try to pass a law so you can get a raise cause you can't get work anywhere else, which is obvious because most people wouldn't take those department store jobs unless it was their last resort.  So the department store is happy, cause they get a steady supply of desperate people at a price lower than people would normally agree to work at that kind of place, because normal people would rather help out their neighbors for a fraction of the pay, than travel 10 miles, burning fossil fuels and killing the planet, only to work at the temple of consumerism where they are treated like a machine, by the customers if not by the company itself.  the end.