Tuesday, February 17, 2004

I don't often write twice in a day, which may simply mean that I need to reduce the aimless wandering and focus more. Maybe. Anyway today on PBS radio there were these two economic people giving advice, opinions and clarifications. Like why millions of people losing their jobs is "restructuring" or "outsourcing". I thought it was "people losing their jobs". Here's a rant I wanted to throw at them just for sport.
In this modern western world we have this thing and it's seeming to me to be like this great big stupid uncle who wanders around in his shorts, drinking all the beer in the fridge and grabbing various butts when the urge hits. Nobody really understands why this lug is there, but he's family, so there he is. His name is Capitalism. Oh no, another commie freak! Hey the war is over and the big stupid lug won.

No he didn't! We didn't beat the commies, the mafia took over the place. The system died of a sudden lingering stroke. It puked up it's nuclear guts and died. We were waiting in the hallway holding our own rumbling gut, but we didn't take him out. We just were watching. Nothing to do with the big stupid lug in the living room diddling our daughters.

See, there's this site I found in my search for alternative views. It's a Muslim site filled with news you don't get on any American paper. It also has info on Islam, which is why I was there. I have a couple of Islamic friends and I wanted not to make another mistake like giving out my home made soap with lard in it. That's a no-no. Apparently the Creator doesn't like us eating or using pigs. That's really odd, for various reasons, mostly because in the Nature World View animals we shouldn't eat either stink badly or are brightly colored, like leopards and butterflies. Pigs stink a bit, but only when we've held them in small pens for awhile. So, this site says that the truly enlightened and educated person must reject the "theory of evolution" because it violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Wow. Using outdated physics to reputiate a concept that living things change and sometimes those changes are passed on to their offspring. Amazing concept. But here's the deal: I think we can use the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics or something like it to repudiate the big stupid lug in the living room.

Nothing can be destroyed, it can only be changed. Energy can be slowed down to almost zero miles an hour, but never actually stopped. In any reaction nothing is lost or gained, just rearranged. What the hell does this have to do with Uncle Sam? Well, capitalism is based on the profit motive, yes? Mostly? The profit motive says that you put your capital into a reaction, an operation involving goods, services and people. Out the other side comes rearranged goods and services and you get more money than you put into it. Like Bill Gates is a billionaire, but does anybody really feel that he has done billions of more work than the poor Chinese political slave soldering up computer boards? Hell, no! But he's still worth billions of dollars and each dollar represents labor: people doing something. So, like any pyramid scheme, the guy at the top of the pyramid, the one eyed jack, sits and rakes in the billions by skimming a part of each dollar the laborers create. Now they create it out of dirt and sweat and blood. Bill created words. In other words, Bill did nothing.

The essence of capitalism is that you can continuously take more out of a system than you put in. This requires that many others also put in, usually labor, but that merely props up the fallicy of the concept: that you can take out of a system more than you put in. Here's another concept, or principle of money and Uncle Jack. Dollars are pieces of paper or metal that represent labor. It's easier for the accountants....the guys the Summerians invented.... to count money rather than man-hours. It's easier for a BIG country to move paper than laborers. Iraq wants help, right? We blew up a lot of roads and bridges. So we move lots of pieces of paper, and people in Iraq watch people from other countries making money planning on how to rebuild that which we destroyed. Well, if they are out of work because we blew up their business, why not have them build the bridges now, just where they were before, and feed them and house them while they work? No paper, no metal chips with pictures on them, just people helping things get better? Because Uncle Jack in the living room, planning and diddling how to get to the top of that pyramid wants to make more than he put in.

Ever notice that people often say things like "That could never happen." or "Nobody would do that!" when they are talking about things that happened and people did? The basis of our civilization, this neo-iron age is the labor of people trying to do things better. They didn't need to make a lot of "money" because there was no money. There was just people doing things. They grew crops or gathered food and everybody ate. People got sick and the community found a shaman to do a dance or a ritual and they either got better or didn't, but no scraps of paper passed hands. Nowadays I have a kid in a brain injury facility who needs a few people to stand him up or lay him down, to massage him, talk to him, show him pictures of things he might recognize and he can't get that kind of help because there is no money to be made on it. There is no profit in fixing broken people like my son. He will never work for a living, never greet people at Walmart, never purchase large things made in Communist China (which, by the way, did WIN the Cold War) Jon will never even dance. One day his lungs will fill with liquid and his heart will stop and they will not revive him because there is no point. He's just a man with no profit involved. He never made a profit in his life. He bought old cars and fixed them and sold them when he was done with them. He cooked for nice places and not so nice places. He loved various women. He loved his dog and parts of his family. But he never made much profit for anyone. So, when the time comes he will be shoved over the edge and the rowers will commence with a slightly altered rhythm.

I think his story shows that you cannot actually take more out of an economic system than you put into it. You take out billions and down at the bottom of the pyramid people get shoved back into the dirt. You have to put something back and the more you take, the more you have to put back. So it's mostly people like my son. Fathers in Iraq watching their wife burn and scream are putting something back so that Halliburtin can outsource and restructure Iraq. Children with new plastic arms have made someone on the Board very happy.

Here's a funny concept, just for those of you who may have taken acid in the 60's. Suppose we all agreed (Oh nobody would do that!) that paper was not full of meaning. Let's say for instance that a person's word was good enough for us, that Presidents did NOT have unlimited power unless their WORD was unlimited in power. So those green pictures of past presidents and friends are just that. Very expensive and neat pieces of paper, which by the way are excellent for cleaning glasses. You want food, you work for a man with food or you grow it. You want to get well, you find a healer and strike up a bargain. Nobody gets rich, nobody starts wars, nobody blindly drives into battle in a slightly radioactive tank firing slightly radioactive shells at slightly different children. Bush is GOD because we agree he is. If we agree that killing is bad, that exploitation is bad, then those Bushes who with burning words tell us we have to kill and make money in the process will not be heeded, and the moment will pass.

I don't want to drive a car if I am fueling it with my son's blood. But I have to drive a car to get to where they are holding him so I can say goodbye to him. Every time I drive down to Kingston and walk into that place with the faint smell of urine I am saying goodbye to my son and it will never stop until he finally dies. And all over the world there are fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers and even, Goddess help us all, even Uncles walking into a place they do not want to be and they are saying goodbye to someone they love because somewhere there is a person who thinks you can take more out of a system than you put into it. It's a violation of some basic Law and I want it to stop!

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