A MIND FOREVER VOYAGING THROUGH STRANGE SEAS OF THOUGHT, ALONE


This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.



The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL

“If greed were not the master of modern man--ably assisted by envy--how could it be that the frenzy of economism does not abate as higher "standards of living" are attained, and that it is precisely the richest societies which pursue their economic advantage with the greatest ruthlessness?"
E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

I've been pondering Schumacher's work of late, for some reason, this is one of the few textbooks I've retained from college over 30 years ago.  I was pretty liberal then, became conservative, and now am pretty sure both sides of this argument are pretty nuts and wrong.

Article today in Washington Examiner, for your consideration.  Merck has announced another round of layoffs, bringing the total this year alone to 16,000.  Why is this interesting?  Merck is also one of the corporations urging, read paying off, congress to loosen immigration laws to allow more foreign workers into this country.  The article also mentions HP, Cisco, United Tech, Am Ex, P&G, Cigna, or the list goes on.  More than 100 of the largest corporations in America are laying off people like pigeons poop and asking, read paying off, congress to allow more foreign workers into this country because they are needed.

“An attitude to life which seeks fulfilment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth - in short, materialism - does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.”
E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

From Wall Street to the corporate offices of almost every major US corporation, the MBA trained leaders are selling the future of America for the future of their corporation. Where business once strengthened this nation, business is now tearing down our nation, eliminating the middle class, and importing labor from foreign countries.  Why is no other country importing American labor and knowledge?  Why has the education system for 30 years been designed to create mindless drone employees and then business not want to hire american drones, they want to import them from foreign countries.

In the end, the goal is to eliminate the countries entirely, I think.  I connect the dots on this stuff, haven't started stringing yarn around the apartment making giant dioramas yet, but as I try to follow the eventualities of these decisions, the only conclusion I can come to is a world with no borders, no nationalities.  But what I can't figure out is what they intend to do with 100 million Americans who can't find jobs?  Prices keep rising, income keeps dropping.  Nothing works, nobody knows anything anymore other than what their computer screen tells them is going on and this is leading where?

“Economic development is something much wider and deeper than economics, let alone econometrics. Its roots lie outside the economic sphere, in education, organisation, discipline and, beyond that, in political independence and a national consciousness of self-reliance.” 
E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered


And what we have developed into is a country with no discipline, political dependence, and no national consciousness or self reliance.

I wonder if all these brainy MBA types working towards this future world have given any consideration to what is going to happen to all the 'war' industries?  If they are trying to create this beautiful utopia of no countries, no boundaries, no governments, just a great big board of directors, what happens to all the multi billion dollar businesses that make tanks, planes, bombs, and all those other cool toys?  Are they just going to shut down the submarine and naval yards and make, yarn for dioramas?  Sounds like a snag in the old global corporate plan if you ask me.

The problem with so many ideas is that what sounds so great in theory always crashes and burns in reality.  Now if you are in the fortunate 1% to 5%, any system will be fine.  Communist Russia was probably great for those in the top 5% of things.  Capitalism seems to be the best system to get the maximum benefit for the most, but if you don't control capitalists, they will, well, see America in the new millennium.  We are no longer capitalistic, we are fascist; government controlled privately owned business with the bottom line more important than the country or the people working for them.

"The modern economy is propelled by a frenzy of greed and indulges in an orgy of envy, and these are not accidental features but the very causes of its expansionist success. The question is whether such causes can be effective for long or whether they carry within themselves the seeds of destruction."
 E.F. SchumacherSmall Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

We are not far from the day when the homeless population of this country is going to boom to a point unimaginable.  Cars parked with people living inside.  Tent cities.  And with these conditions, hygienic issues will develop that are only heard of in the third world because the US is very quickly going to be a third world country.  Very soon, issues of gay marriage, abortion, global warming and thousands of other things will be mute.  Who wins what show on TV is meaningless when 100 million citizens don't have TVs any longer.  An elderly baby boom generation, broke because they had to spend their retirement savings in their 50's'; broke because the endless printing of dollars eventually catches up with us and become worthless pieces of paper.  The million dollar IRA will feed you for a month.

Economists themselves, like most specialists, normally suffer from a kind of metaphysical blindness, assuming that theirs is a science of absolute and invariable truths, without any presuppositions.
 E.F. SchumacherSmall Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

And so we travel merrily along, people dropping off, dropping out, being kicked out while the corporation soars to new heights.  Mass production using slave labor to produce goods for the few.  Didn't we drop this system in the 1800's?


The conventional wisdom of what is now taught as economics bypasses the poor, the very people for whom development is really needed. The economics of giantism and automation is a leftover of nineteenth-century conditions and nineteenth-century thinking and it is totally incapable of solving any of the real problems of today. An entirely new system of thought is needed, a system based on attention to people, and not primarily attention to goods—(the goods will look after themselves!). It could be summed up in the phrase, "production by the masses, rather than mass production." 
 E.F. SchumacherSmall Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

Can we stop this tide?  Yes, but most won't make the effort until they are hit over the head, removed from the game, and then wonder what the hell happened.  Stay out of the big stores; stay out of the WalMart, Walgreens, and other giant conglomerates.  Shop at local smaller stores, look at every damn label and refuse to buy chinese - if you have to buy something only made in china, buy it secondhand, not new.  When in stores, look at those labels and ask the clerk, then the manager, if they have something like this made in america.  When they say no, say you are sorry, you really are looking for one made in America.  Ask at the pharmacy counter where the drug is made, ask everywhere.  Shrink it down now, buy local produce, buy local cheese, meat, etc.  Make some noise people!


The…crisis of which I have spoken will not go away if we simply carry on as before. It will become worse and end in disaster, until or unless we develop a new life-style which is compatible with the real needs of human nature, with the health of living nature around us, and with the resource endowment of the world.

…the present consumer society is like a drug addict who, no matter how miserable he may fell, finds it extremely difficult to get off the hook. The problem children of the world – from this point of view and in spite of many other considerations that could be adduced – are the rich societies and not the poor.

 E.F. SchumacherSmall Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

Organize.  Get the churches to start thinking about these topics rather than church growth.  The time is coming those mega churches are going to be closing their doors because 90% of their congregation won't be able to contribute anymore, not working and all.  What value will the church have when there is no money for jumbotron screens and pizza parties?

The first priority of the church is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.  But do churches realize the significance of the Book of James?


If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,  16 qand one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good* is that?  17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 
James 2:18

So churches better start gearing up with supplies and volunteers to provide stews and soups for the poor, even if it will just be for their own congregation.

I hate being a downer, but life just is smashing me down right now.  Healthy male, 55, masters degree, BB in Six Sigma, and I can't even so much as get a phone interview before being rejected outright.  And I'm sure I am just one of tens of millions going through this these days.  Then you read articles about corporations laying off thousands each month while paying off congress to pass immigration legislation to bring in more foreign workers?


I'm sorry, I honestly am at the point where if I woke up tomorrow and found out we'd been EMP'd during the night, wiping out all the electricity, electronics, and everything else on the planet I wouldn't be the least bit disappointed.  Then we could start over, groaning our own foods, working the farms for our meals; it would be a hard life, but it would be a clean life.  And the executives of all those organizations?  They will all be eaten by the savage groups that form, the reavers, thus getting in the end what they created and deserved.



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