Post for Aug 14-Aug 20 2011 (Tidbits and Nuggets)

TaN: Friends are welcome to my funeral; relatives need not come.  In my book, I define relatives as people who are compelled and friends are those who are willing.  I do not want to inconvenience people who feel obligated rather than who honestly and sincerely desire.  A friend is by choice while a relative is by circumstances.  If we are related by blood and by law but if do me favors because you want to, you are friend; if we are unrelated but you feel you have to do me favors, you are a relative.  I choose my friends, not my relatives.

TaN: It is not too late for ES (Environmentally Sustainable) Economics.  As mentioned in an earlier TaN, the field of economics has changed – and is getting farther and farther from its original design, i.e., a social science intended to maximize the use of natural and of human resources for the upliftment of man’s quality of life.  It used to be that economics was about using everything available for or towards man’s betterment, to maximize the utility of man’s creations and inventions using the least effort and producing the least waste (precisely what Buddhist Economics is all about).

Today, “modern” economics has been “reduced” to maximizing profits for the privileged few, making the once elite group into an ever-shrinking exclusive club of the mega-rich – and to the detriment of the ever-increasing down-trodden.  At the rate we have been going, it will not be long before we turn this once-pristine and beautiful life-friendly orb suspended in the vast ocean of eternity into a stinking, reeking, stench-infested hell-hole and toxic cesspool, unfit even for bacteria and viruses.

The concept of “free market” and the much-touted “market forces” are inherently unsustainable because they not only encourage or entail “scouring” natural resources as raw materials for mass production even from the depths of the ground – mass production that produce vast quantities of wastes and over produces to anticipate unsold (read: less profits) and damaged (read: even less profits) items – but even encourages wasteful consumption (through consumerism, planned obselescence, and unrecyclable under-used goods).  Rivalry and cut-throat competition among businesses in the same industry astronomically increases the mindless destruction of the environment – where the raw materials come from – and accelerates the depletion of resources – because each is trying to out-produce the other and, in that course, causes irreparable damage.

TaN: Like everything else, labor outsourcing is neither good nor bad – but is dependent on the use and the intentions behind it.  To outsource labor where there are no available qualified or competent skills is amoral but ethical as a business practice.  But, if there is available competent or qualified labor and the “usual” reason behind outsourcing is cost, it is more than just unethical – depriving people of the right to work and to equal opportunity – but downright cruel and unjust.  It is unethical to deprive a group of people of work just to shift it to another “more desirable” group.

Moreover, the “beneficiary” of the outsourcing usually receive lower wages – which is among the main reasons for outsourcing – which exacerbates the situation by violating the “preferred” labor group’s right to just compensation.  The violation is because, even if the “preferred” group is willing to accept lower wages, they are, nevertheless, entitled to the wages received by the “deprived” group.  [In the event that the same compensation is provided to the “preferred” group, this will result in a wage structure distortion in the latter’s region.]

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