Category Archives: Finance

Dirtbags, Miscreants, Undesirables and Low-Lifes pt1

Dirtbags, Miscreants, Undesirables and Low-Lifes pt1

 

I’ve heard a lot of talk about the invasion of “dirtbags”, “miscreants”, and “undesirables” in our community. I agree with a lot of this talk. I agree that this invasion has gotten out of hand. Every town can handle a few “dirtbags”, but they have overrun our small town.

This invasion has gone on far too long, and its high time we took decisive action to take back our community. These “people”, I use the term loosely here, wreck our environment, suck up our resources and tear at the very fabric of our society.

I also agree that we should do everything we can to drive these undesirables from our midst. We should make them feel unwelcome. We should insist that the Sheriff enforce every law that applies to them, punish them to the fullest extent of the law, and, if that’s not enough, we should pass draconian new laws that persecute them more directly.

I am in complete agreement with the sentiment I see expressed in our local papers, and hear around town. We should take back our community. We should drive “them” out of town. My only disagreement with the prevailing sentiment, is who exactly “them” are.

This week, part one of a two part series about “them”, the real “undesirables” and “miscreants” who suck the life out of our community. For part one, I offer this letter to the editor of The Independent, inspired by one of the letters I read there on this issue. A highly abridged version of this letter will appear in The Independent, but I thought you deserved to see it in its entirety.

Dear Editor,

I cheered and said “good riddance” the day I saw that Country Real Estate had closed their Garberville office. I had hoped that would be the last we would see or hear from George Rolff, so reading his repulsive letter in The Independent disgusted me doubly.

I am not writing to weigh in on the issue of people hanging around in Garberville and Redway. I know that the abundance of poor people around town creates a real challenge for the retail merchants in town. It really is a lot for them to deal with, and the marijuana growers in the hills should step up to the plate on this issue.

After all, kids all over America smoke Humboldt weed, listen to reggae music, and pretty soon, they start to believe in it. They say “goodbye” to Babylon, grow dreadlocks, and come here. They know that all of their money has been coming here for years, and they think that folks here have been using it to “make Babylon fall”, instead of blowing it on status symbols like oversized diesel trucks. They don’t realize that the marijuana industry is a bottomless pit of greed and indifference that wants to suck them dry.

One of arguments I hear the most, from the people who make their living from marijuana, yet oppose legalization, is that, in a legal environment, big corporations like JR Reynolds would take over the industry. RJ Reynolds spends billions of dollars funding cancer research, and medical facilities, and millions more on public art. They’ve learned that they can buy some respect, if they take some responsibility for the social problems they create. Folks around here might take a lesson from the tobacco giant when considering what facilities to include in that new community park they are all so proud of. We don’t really need another expensive “middle-class” status symbol for drug dealers around here.

But that’s not what pissed me off about George Rolff’s letter. What pissed me off about Geoge Rolff’s letter is that someone in the real estate industry had the nerve to complain about all of the poor people around town. If the marijuana industry is a bottomless pit, the real estate industry is the Grand Canyon of greed and indifference, as perfectly exemplified by Mr. Rolff’s attitude in his offensive letter.

While bankers orchestrated the housing bubble and the collapse of our economy, the real estate industry acted as their highly paid mercenary army. During those bubble years, people like George Rolff, Blake Lehman, and the rest of the real estate industry collected obscene commissions on inflated land prices. They made those deals that went bad. They appraised land at those ridiculously inflated prices. They turned housing into a luxury that only the rich could afford. They made millions of people homeless, and they got filthy rich doing it.

I saw George’s Harley, and his wife Melinda’s Mustang. They wanted everyone to know that they were doing well. Thanks to them, a lot of people in town aren’t doing very well. Personally, I find conspicuous consumption much more offensive than conspicuous poverty, and I find complaints about poor people, from people in the real estate industry particularly odious.

It is not a crime to be poor, but what the real estate industry did to our nation, our community, and our economy was a crime against the American people. It’s shameful for George Rolff to blame his victims, and to attempt to sweep them under the rug.


On The Money; What’s Wrong With Economists

On The Money;

Economics for the 99%

What’s Wrong With Economists

Most economists write for policy wonks, not regular people. While they study consumer behavior and worker productivity, they have little, if anything, to say to consumers or workers. They might have something to say to voters, but only because they endorse a policy favored by a particular candidate. Economists write their books for the candidates, the political think-tanks, the rich and powerful and their advisers, but not for us, the 99%.

 

While economists may have some respect for you as a voter, as a worker, producer and consumer, you are simply a pawn to them. Something to be pushed around by fiscal policy, corporate coercion, and government taxation. Your life, energy, time, creativity and spirit mean no more to them than so many barrels of oil, tons of molybdenum or bushels of corn, and they don’t write economics books for bushels of corn.

 

To economists you are just a commodity to be bought and sold, consumed and discarded, just another anonymous drone, toiling away at meaningless work, in an empty life that you fill with pointless consumption. They don’t want you to read their books. They want you to go shopping, and let them, along with Americas smartest and greediest, worry about what’s best for the economy.

 

As a result, we now have an economy engineered entirely to help the richest and greediest acquire more. This economy demands that the rest of us sacrifice more and more of our lives, and our planet, every year, for their benefit. No, economists don’t want us to read their books, they want us to spend more time at work, more money for housing, and more money for health care. They want us to accept lower wages, give up job security, and to get used to being disposable.

That’s how they save “the economy”. As soon as we get used to working longer and harder for less, accept the destruction of the environment as a necessary evil, and learn to step around the human garbage left in their wake, the economy will be fine. Isn’t that great! As long as we’re willing to sacrifice our lives for it, the economy will be just fine.

Yet, too many of us still worry about “the economy”. Is it growing? How fast is it growing? Are prices rising? How’s the stock market? Who worries about us?

Why does it cost so much, just to have a place to live? How do the long hours I spend at work affect my family? How much of my current lifestyle would I choose, were I not economically coerced into working full time? How will global climate change affect my quality of life, or my children’s? Mightn’t I appreciate a clean environment more, if I had more time to enjoy it? Should I participate in a system in which I have no value, except as an exploitable resource? Why should economic growth trump all of these real human concerns? Whose job is it to think about these things? Not economists, that’s for sure.

How can you leverage maximum productivity from employees? How will environmental regulation effect energy prices? How does depression and suicide effect corporate earnings? That’s how economists look at these problems, and that’s why economists suck.

In On The Money, Economics For the 99%, I take the radical position that economics is about people, and how they interact with each other and the environment. Instead of simply looking for ways to help the rich and powerful increase, and accelerate the flow of money into their own bank accounts, On The Money; Economics for the 99% exposes the fundamental flaws in the capitalist system that have led to the gross inequality, and catastrophic environmental destruction that define our time. On the Money; Economics for the 99% shows you how to reclaim your life and liberate the world from the greedy clutches of the 1%, one step at a time.


Whippit Good

Whippit Good!

 

This morning I saw another pile of spent nitrous oxide cartridges alongside the roadway. Personally, I love whippits as much as anyone. Some of my most memorable drug experiences involve NO2. I saw God once when I inhaled a deep breath of NO2 while peaking on a strong acid trip.

 

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I make no secret of my enthusiasm for recreational drugs. I feel that drug use has been in the closet for far too long. It is time that this society learned to accept, tolerate, and celebrate, its drug abusers, and to make that happen, we need to come out of the closet.

 

Americans need to know that the people who prepare their food, fix their automobiles, and drive their kids to and from school, all take recreational drugs. The doctor who did your bypass surgery, the air traffic controllers who guided your flight, and the President of the United States… all stoned out of their minds. It’s time you knew, and its time we all stopped trying to hide it from you.

 

If major cities can subsidize massive sports arenas to encourage drunken hooliganism among sports fans, just imagine what they could do for drug users if we had social acceptance, big bucks and a few good lobbyists. Every American city could have a black light district where throbbing techno music and screaming electric guitars wail 24-7-365, beneath UV street lights. Someplace where even the poorest, dirtiest, hippie can pick up a sack of free, government subsidized, ganja buds, grown in prisons by former bankers, politicians, and real estate bloodsuckers trying to rehabilitate themselves.

 

Cities could take as much pride in their chemists, dealers and growers as they do in their sports teams, local delicacies or festivals. Yes, drug users deserve at least as much respect as sports fans, fat people, or festival fools, and we deserve to have businesspeople bribing government agencies to make our wildest chemical fantasies, real.

 

After all, drug users have money. Otherwise, they couldn’t afford to buy drugs. We all know that in this country, if you have money, people have to kiss your ass, no matter how evil you are. If I have to live in a country where we systematically reward greed and subsidize evil, I want drugs, lots of them, and plenty of time to enjoy them, and make it snappy!

 

I firmly believe in this dream, and have worked my whole life to make this dream a reality, mainly by getting high, and being stoned in public whenever possible. Whether I’m at work, in church, or behind the wheel, you can bet that I’m good and stoned, and when I’m stoned, I recognize that I am an ambassador for stoned people everywhere.

 

I realize that some of the people around me might not take drugs. They might not have spent much time around stoned people, or at least don’t realize how stoned the people around them really are. I want to make a good impression on these people. I try to set a good example for stoned people. I want them to see stoned people as responsible, caring, self-motivated people. I can only keep up the charade for a while, but I do my best.

 

As stoned people, we have a lot of propaganda to overcome. For generations, the media has portrayed drug users as either lazy, stupid, irresponsible slackers, or crazed psychopathic killers. Drug users suffer tremendously from the prejudice these stereotypes create and reinforce. Worse even than the stereotypes themselves, is the pervasive attitude that drug use, and drug users should not be tolerated in society.

 

Look at how the media portrays sports fans. The media generally portray sports fans as affable morons. We expect them to drink at least a six-pack a day. We expect them to be stupid, and easily enraged. We expect them to beat their wives when their team loses the Superbowl, and we expect them to riot in the streets when their team wins the Superbowl, but by and large, they are nice, likable people. That’s how the media portrays sports fans.

 

As a result, we tolerate sports fans, we celebrate them, and we make substantial allowances for their eccentricities. If this country can embrace, celebrate, and subsidize people who admire adults who play with balls, this country can embrace, celebrate and subsidize its recreational drug users, but first we have to overcome this learned prejudice.

 

Because of all of the media conditioning, when people see a pile of empty beer bottles alongside the roadway, they think: “Oh, those affable sports fans, they’re just too stupid to know any better. That’s why we have volunteers who remove roadside litter.”

 

…but when they see big pile of spent NO2 cartridges laying on the road, they think: “Those goddamn drug abusers. They have no respect, no sense of decency, and all they care about is their next fix. That’s why we have prisons.”

 

So look, you kids who leave your spent whippit cartridges all over the roadside, I know whippets aren’t illegal, and you are still a kid, even if not an actual juvenile. I also know that whippets are hella fun, if you are careful.

I want you to have fun, and I want you to be careful, because I want all of your drug experiences to be injury, fatality, and arrest free, but mainly, I WANT YOU TO STOP DITCHING YOUR FUCKING NO2 CARTRIDGES ALL OVER THE FUCKING ROADS.

 

Those piles of cartridges make all drug abusers look bad. They set stoned/straight relations back at least a decade. I know its just good clean fun, but they look as bad as used needles.

Recycle them. Put them in the receptacle for “cans”, or barring that, the trash. If you are really into NO2, get one of those big 84 cu ft refillable tanks, put down the $150 or so deposit, and just buy the gas.

 

Those tanks hold a lot of NO2, enough to give you and all of your friends a few splitting headaches, with plenty to spare. So, share! That way, fewer people will have to buy those wasteful one shot cartridges, and you get your money back when you return the tank.

 

Please work with me on this. Let’s stop trashing the countryside with our spent whippit cartridges. Join the campaign to:

 

Just Say NO 2 NO2 Litter.

 

…And once in your life, preferably while you are still young, and your arteries are still flexible, sit down, take a great big deep breath of NO2, and hold it, while you are peaking on a strong LSD trip. It’s kinda like bungie jumping in reverse. Don’t forget to sit down first. Have fun kids.


On The Money, Cheap Calories

On The Money;

Economic Advice for the 99%

Cheap Calories

 

Its official. July 2012 was the hottest month in history. The last 12 months have been the hottest year in history. With the Olympics going on right now, it seems like a great time to break records, don’t you think? Maybe it’s time we gave Global Climate Crisis a gold medal for its performance this year, now that half the counties in the US have been declared disaster areas because of the heat, violent weather events, wildfires and drought.

 

I think Global Climate Crisis has really proven that it has what it takes to beat war, disease, poverty or political oppression, hands down. We’ll call the event “biggest threat to life on Earth”. This relative newcomer to the pestilence field has had to overcome a lot of obstacles to even be considered a contender, but this summer’s performance has really done a lot to remove those doubts.

 

NOAA’s chief climate scientist, James Hanson, says that this summer provides statistical proof that global climate change is real, and that it is man-made. However, if you don’t believe the evidence of your own eyes, and have gotten used to dismissing climate scientists as alarmist, Chicken Little types, statistical proof probably won’t change your opinion either. Such is the nature of denial. Reality doesn’t affect it much.

 

So, if you like triple digit temperatures, bizarre new weather events, dust-bowl-like droughts and giant wildfires, you are in luck, because we’re going to see a lot more of them. Yes, global climate change is likely to be more fun than you ever imagined. So get ready for some climate excitement, and be sure to thank the 1% for turning up the global thermostat.

 

Last year they gave us the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The year before that, it was the BP oil gusher in in the Gulf of Mexico. I can hardly wait to see what happens next year, because it only gets worse from here, but what do they get out of it?

 

Why do the 1% keep investing in fossil fuels, nuclear power, and GMO crops for that matter, even though it will almost certainly have disastrous long-term consequences? After all, if the richest 1% of us can’t take the long view, and base their decisions and devote their resources towards what’s best for the survival of life on Earth in the long run, who can?

 

Remember, that we, the 99% are just now figuring out that the 1% are ripping us off, destroying our planet, and ruining our lives, but the 1% have known that all along. The 1% knows that their empire would crumble, and that we would kill them if we ever get out from under their thumb. They really do have their hands full keeping all of us in line. Enslaving 7 billion people takes a lot of energy, and so, energy, not life on Earth, remains their highest priority.

 

If you want to watch the 1% in action in your life, look for the cheap energy. Gasoline, diesel fuel, grid electricity, natural gas, propane, aviation fuel. We wouldn’t have any of these without the 1%. Drilling platforms, nuclear power plants, oil refineries, etc. all take big capital, and the kind of government support that only really big money can afford. Whether you eat them, burn them in your car, use them to dry your clothes, watch TV, surf the internet, or fly to Miami, those cheap calories work to undermine the value of everything we do a human beings.

 

How so? Simple, you can’t possibly do as much work, in one day, as a gallon of gasoline. At today’s prices, that means your labor is worth less than $4 a day. That’s one way that cheap calories undermine your value as a human being. Cheap calories means it doesn’t cost much to ship jobs overseas to the cheapest labor markets, or to ship products and resources to the highest bidders, and cheap calories means our population continues to expand.

 

Cheap edible calories means most of us don’t ever struggle to find enough to eat. Instead, we struggle not to eat too much. By keeping food artificially plentiful, with capital intensive agribusiness techniques like high-tech factory farms, GMO food crops, and monoculture on a massive scale, the 1% has removed any sense of of our connection to the carrying capacity of of the land. As a result, global human population continues to explode exponentially, further lowering the value of any one individual.

 

So, if you want to see the 1% at work in your life, look at the places you find cheap calories; the gas station, grocery store, your electric bill, the corner convenience store or fast food restaurant. You’ll find cheap calories everywhere, and everywhere you find cheap calories, you’ll find the 1% using them to control your life and wreck your planet. Cheap calories cheapen life, and the 1% feeds them to you to keep you under control. There’s a view of the energy crisis that’s On The Money


On The Money, The View From the Top

On The Money;

Economic Advice for the 99%

The View From the Top

 

So who are the 1%, and why do they want all of your money? Don’t they have enough already? Why do they always want more, and why don’t they do something about global climate change or the rest of the environmental crisis? The fact is, the world looks very different from the top of the economy, than it does from the bottom, or even the middle, so let’s try to see it from their perspective.

 

The 1% take opulence for granted. Their consumption is limited only by their own imagination, not lack of resources. These people all have way more money than they can spend, and most of what they own, makes money, so they keep getting richer, no matter how much they spend. Still, they need a robust economy way more than you do. They need the economy, because the economy protects them from us. They use it to keep the riffraff in line. At the top of the economy, profit has less to do with making money, than it does with maintaining order, stability, and growth.

 

Order matters at the top. As solid, and resilient as our economic system seems, the 1% knows that without strict discipline, the capitalist system would collapse like a house of cards. Those 1%ers, who have become accustomed to opulence, know that the rest of us would lynch them if we knew how bad they were fucking us. So we must have cops, and standing armies, who will shoot to kill anyone who steps out of line. That’s what “order” means.

 

That’s why the military industrial complex, and the prison industrial complex form such a large part of our economy. Even though these endless stupid wars we get into, and the money we spend keeping millions of people in prison for drugs, seems like a tremendous waste of resources to the rest of us, to the 1% who control this economy, it is more important to punish disobedience, no matter how pointless and arbitrary the rule, than it is to reward obedience. The 1% never skimp on the guns, bombs, soldiers or cops.

 

All of those cops and soldiers need to get paid. That gets expensive, even for the 1%, so they make sure that we pay them. When the government has enough money from taxing working people to pay for enough cops, guns and soldiers to keep everyone in line, they call that “stability”. When we pay for our own oppression, and their protection, “order” becomes profitable, and self-sustaining, resulting in “stability”.

 

Even though we, the 99%, pay for those cops, soldiers and armaments, they invariably serve the interests of the 1%, and the 1% always find something for them to do. It’s not pretty, but it keeps them busy. The 1% likes to keep the rest of us busy too, and that isn’t pretty either. Whether its drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, contaminating groundwater in rural PA with fracking chemicals, or removing mountaintops in WV, its all ugly work, and doing it doesn’t make us any more attractive.

 

The 1% need to keep this economy growing, because that’s how they keep us busy. They give us jobs and incomes to keep us from killing them, and turn us into obedient servants. As the population grows, as unrest grows, as dissatisfaction grows, as anger grows, so too must the economy. Every year the pressure to earn money must increase, because that pressure, more so than the cops and soldiers, serves to maintain order and stability, by keeping us busy. As more people compete for fewer resources, the amount of resources necessary to maintain order and stability increases as well, so growth insures stability.

 

You see, to the 1%, the rest of us just look like so many goats and sheep. We are just livestock to them. For them, the economy acts as a domestication program. As long as they can keep the economy rolling along, we will do whatever they want. We’ll go to school to learn the material, at our own cost, then take an unpaid internship to acquire the skills, and then beg them to hire us, and accept whatever they offer. It took no small amount of effort to reduce us to this level of submissiveness and obedience, and they’ve been at it for some time.

 

Flexibility” they call it. We have a very “flexible” workforce here in the US. We’ll do pretty much anything for a job. Relocate? No problem, Pay cut? Sure, I’m a team player. No benefits? OK, I’m healthy enough. Unpaid overtime? Yeah, I always give 110%, just because I love my job, no matter how bad it sucks. How did it come to this? When did Americans turn into such pathetic little boot-licks, and why?

 

The economy did this to us. The 1% uses the global economy to make us more obedient, docile, and trusting, all of the traits you might look for in a dog. The 1% has exploited the resources of the world, laid waste to the global ecosystem, and expropriated the content of our lives, for the primary purpose of domesticating the human race, to make us into obedient servants. The 1% uses the economy to turn us, the wolf at their door, into the dog tied up in their yard..

 

It takes a lot of energy to keep us all busy, and we destroy a lot of the environment in the process, but to the 1%, that is a small price to pay for the order, stability and security that a robust economy provides them. That’s why the 1% completely fails to address global climate change. We don’t burn so much energy because we need it to live decent lives, we burn so much energy because they need it, to control our lives. To the 1%, the 99% represents a much more immediate threat than global climate change. So, for the 1%, order, stability, and growth will always take precedence over the environment.

 

Despite the fact that all money flows toward the 1%, we must understand that the vast majority of economic activity in the world is not about making the 1% richer, the purpose of most economic activity is to keep us all too busy, and too dependent, to challenge or even question their power. As long as we stay focused on money, and will settle for a paycheck, we remain loyal servants of the 1%.

 

That’s why the 1% get so concerned about the unemployment rate. None of them work at jobs, but for them, full employment means order, stability, and growth. Order, stability and growth may sound like good things, but you should always remember what they mean. “Order” means everyone does what they are told, and almost nobody dares to step out of line. “Stability” means that tomorrow, everyone will get up in the morning and do it again, just like today, yesterday, last week, last month or last year, even though we all hate doing it and its destroying the planet. “Growth” means that every year you will pay more, and work harder for less.

 

This human domestication program they call “the economy” produces order, stability and growth, for the 1%, at the expense of the environment, our quality of life, and our humanity. Neither our lives nor our environment will improve as long as we continue to serve their interests. That’s a view of the economy, from the perspective of the 1%, that’s On The Money.


ON The Money; Getting Emotional

On The Money;

Economic Advice for the 99%

Getting Emotional

In our culture, reason reigns supreme. In school they teach us to value reason, logic, and rational thinking, but they teach us to control our emotions, to keep them to ourselves, and not to let them interfere with our work. While the rational mind constantly gets rewarded through good grades, high-paying jobs, etc, our emotional responses, especially negative emotional responses, invoke scorn and discipline. We learn to override our emotional responses early in life, but we have emotions for a reason, and often they carry a lot of wisdom.

 

We learned to override our emotional aversion to school, which made it easier to override our emotional aversion to work. Pretty soon we start to recognize the thump of our heart, as it hits the bottom of a pit of despair, as the call of duty, and we do what we’re supposed to. We learn to expect life to suck. We rationalize it. We invent ethical codes and religions around it. We say it builds character, but have you looked around lately? I see more shallow, greedy, status conscious, small-minded idiots every day, and we here in the US work harder than anyone in the developed world. Is that the kind of character we need more of?

 

We learn how to pretend we like it, saying we love our job, doing extra work and kissing ass to prove it. We learn how to cope with life as a wage slave, while our desires, hopes and dreams turn to bitter resentment. After a while, when your emotions finally realize that you’ll never to listen to them, it all turns to depression. Depression sells pharmaceutical drugs like no other condition on Earth. If you have it, its why you can’t afford to be without health insurance. If you don’t have it, its why you can’t afford health insurance.

 

Depression, refers to the complete loss of enthusiasm for life. You may think emotions are inconvenient, silly, or irrelevant, but when your emotions give up on you, nothing else matters. Your emotions are smarter than they look, but they deserve close scrutiny. If your emotions are telling you to buy something, chances are they are being manipulated.

 

After almost 100 years of subliminal manipulation of our emotions through advertizing and mass media, we often find our emotions working at cross-purposes with our best interests. The 1% uses your emotions against you through a campaign of very sophisticated psychological warfare, carried out through advertizing and media. As a result, the more media you consume, the more inadequate you feel, the more needy you feel, and the more stuff you want.

 

Watching TV instantly turns you into the ugliest, poorest and dullest person in the room, by filling the room with sexy, witty, well-dressed people who completely ignore you. Don’t invite them into your home! Even though they seem to ignore you, everything they say and do is designed to take advantage of you, and use your emotions against you.

 

Not only has the field of psychology completely failed to help the millions of people who suffer from serious mental illness, they have induced mental illness in millions more by collaborating with business to manipulate buying, voting, driving, smoking, or any other kind of behavior they choose. Psychology is not about understanding the mind, psychology is the study of behavior, and how to manipulate it. Right now, thousands of college educated psychologists, with mortgages and student loans to pay off, are telling their bosses how much they love their job, and really knocking themselves out to find new ways to manipulate your behavior, by using your emotions against you.

 

While real rich, snooty obnoxious people might make snide comments about you while they drink all your booze and grind their cigarette butts into your carpet, they wouldn’t have an army of mad scientists orchestrating every word and movement purely for the purpose of taking advantage of you. It really pays dividends in your sanity to strictly limit your exposure to mass media, because that’s how the 1% turns your emotions against you, and you need your emotions on your side.

 

Its worth examining your emotions, because sometimes they well up from the very fiber of your being, and that emotion always has your best interest at heart. Your heart instinctively knows what’s best for you, and it will tell you so. On the other hand, if your heart’s not in it, get your body, mind, time and money out of it as well, and quit telling yourself how much you love it. Remember “the pursuit of happiness”? You will not find happiness by plunging yourself headlong into misery, day in and day out, no matter how much it pays, how proud it makes your parents, or how secure it makes you feel.

 

While you read On The Money; Economic advice for the 99%, pay attention to how your heart reacts to the ideas in this column. If you hear that little voice inside you say “Yes!”, “Right On!”, or even “That’d be nice.” when you read the ideas I present here, it’s because these ideas resonate with who we are as human beings, and our hearts remember what it was like to have meaningful, satisfying lives, instead of working ourselves to death for meaningless stuff.

 

In On The Money; Economic Advice for the 99%, I show you how to break out of those destructive habits that define our sick culture, and help you reclaim your life, your time, your dignity and your humanity, the things that really matter in life. On The Money;Economic Advice for the 99% represents a completely original and revolutionary approach to personal economics that challenges conventional thinking in a way that reveals the deceit, cruelty, and violence of our current economic system, and shows you how to turn the tables on the 1%.

 

So, read this column with an open heart, and realize that economics is bigger than money, its bigger than goods and services, its bigger than “the economy”, in fact. Economics is about how we live, how we exchange goods and services, and our impact on the environment, but economics is also about how we think and feel about our lives, and those things matter a hell of a lot more in life than the GDP, the unemployment rate, or the movements of any stock index. There’s a view of emotions in economics that’s On The Money.


On The Money; Standard of Living

On The Money;

Economic Advice for the 99%

Standard of Living

 

People make a big deal about our “high standard of living”. Just last week local blogger Eric Kirk invoked the “high standard of living” in western Europe as evidence of the unrivaled superiority of the democratic system, as though democracy were an economic system rather than a political one, and completely ignoring the environmental impacts of the European lifestyle. Apparently, to Kirk, a high standard of living, regardless of how fleeting, or how high the price paid by the rest of the world, is the sole measure of success, but what do we mean by “standard of living”?

When was living standardized? Can’t we customize our lives individually? Do we have standardized tests to measure our standard of living? If so, how much do we “live to the test”, so to speak, just to artificially elevate the results? …and what do we mean by high? I know how high I have to be to reach my standard, but that’s a very personal thing. My partner Amy hardly smokes any pot at all. Does she have a lower standard of living than I do? If so, I think we’d all be better off with more people like Amy and fewer people like me, rather than the reverse.

Amy is a smart attractive woman who takes care of herself, me, two cats, two snails, our home and a few non-psychoactive potted plants that I would never bother with. She takes no drugs, has no interest in mass media, the internet, or fashion. She cherishes her interactions with wild plants and animals, enjoys living close to the earth, and has learned to do so responsibly.

I, on the other hand, am a fat, bald, multi-drug addicted middle aged white guy who spends his time thinking unclean thoughts about Bratz dolls, playing with electronic children’s toys and filling web servers with pointless blog posts about it. I can’t wait to try those new “bath salts” I’ve been hearing so much about, and even though about 80% of my waking thoughts revolve around sex, I still find it easy to blather endlessly on subjects I know nothing about, and I expect everyone to listen. Clearly I exemplify a higher standard of living than does my partner Amy, but who would you rather spend your time around?

While raising our “standard of living” has opened a Pandora’s Box of previously unimaginable new opportunities for fat, bald, sex-obsessed, drug-addled white guys with huge egos, like myself and Eric Kirk to amuse ourselves, those gains have come at tremendous cost to bright, good-looking people who know how to live on this planet without fucking it up, like Amy.  In fact a rising standard of living is always marked by the extirpation of healthy good-looking people who had quietly lived, in the same place where their ancestors lived for tens of thousands of years, without depleting their resource base, and by the rise of fat, bald, white egomaniacs who shamelessly exploit everything, and for whom, sustainability is, at best, an abstract concept.

Fat, bald, white egomaniacs, around the world, all live pretty much the same way. We all want anything we see any other fat, bald, white guy with. We think its great to live in a world where every fat, bald, white guy gets to have anything that any other fat, bald white guy has, so long as he has enough money. That’s what we mean by “high standard of living”.

On the other hand, the people who inhabited this world before this new “high standard of living” all lived differently. They all developed cultures adapted to the peculiarities of the places they lived. Nothing about human culture was standardized, but all of it was sustainable.

In the “high standard of living” world of fat, bald, white sex-obsessed egomaniacs, we have building codes, a general plan, and college educated, taxpayer funded eggheads who are full of advice, but none of it is sustainable.

This is why we should value our “high standard of living” over the rich diversity of our human cultural heritage. For unless we exterminate what remains of human cultural diversity, exploit the Earth’s natural bounty, and sacrifice generations of our own progeny in the name of our “high standard of living” fat, bald, white egomaniacs with money will not be able to use economic extortion to compensate for being so sexually repulsive.

There’s a view of our “high standard of living” that’s On The Money.


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