Post for Oct 14-20 2012

TaN: A way of looking at major differences (which happen also to be major similarities, simultaneously) between First World and Third World countries is the economy with respect to capital- versus labor-intensiveness.  Capital-intensive economies enjoy a much preferred and better quality of life as compared to labor-intensive economies.  Given this, it is but natural and expected that people would like to have capital-intensive economies.  However, this is not only impossible – because somebody has to do the menial work…the labor-intensive economies – but will cause even greater environmental and global dis-equilibrium and dis-harmony.

The problem with a capital-intensive economy is that it causes much destruction.  Because physical materials are cheap in a capital-intensive economy, natural resources are “harvested” in great quantitites – due to its cheapness – and environmental destruction and degradation is massive.  With the exception of societies that show concern over their local environment, capital-intensive societies tend to have heavily-damaged local environments and/or ravaged the local environment of labor-intensive economies/societies.  Since physical products are cheap, consumerism is devastating on natural resources, especially on areas where poverty (due to a labor-intensive economy and show little or no concern for the environment) is significant and regardless of whether it is the local environment or the environment somewhere else.

As to a labor-intensive economy, it is no better and does not necessarily mean the contrary.  In fact, if anything at all, the situation is exacerbated due to poverty – quality of life of the general population of a labor-intensive economy/society is widespread poverty with little or no wealthy eilte.  In order to (somehow) improve their status in life or even just to make ends meet, poverty drives the desperate and the impoverish to do whatever it takes – to the point of devastating and causing irreparable harm to the environment.  Because physical or material products in a labor-intensive economy/society is (relatively) expensive, natural resources are looked upon a means for survival.

Ordinarily, unless there is a more than significant segment of the population that is at just above the subsistence level, natural resources are able to “withstand” periodic and regular extractions because most impoverished extractors just take what is needed and leave the rest for tomorrow.  However, if and when there exists a wealthy elite/capitalis cabal – fueled by greed and unbridled greed – no matter how small or few the cabal is, natural resources will be stripped bare.  Natural resources will be taken from private ownership or from state or public domain (usually by force and at the expense of “informal settlers”) sold to capital-intensive economies/societies for pittance – relative to the captial-intensive economy/society because of the greater value of money) due to their insatiable appetite for consumer products.  This is because capital-intensive economies/societies either want to protect their own environment or their environment has been so devastated that there is little or no more natural resources to extract.

The bottom line is greed, through consumerism, bulldozes all life to the brink of extinction and oblivion.

TaN: Wise spending requires thinking.  Findings from psychological studies reveal that the average consumer cannot make sound (and wise) decisions when exposed to or bombarded with loud erratic sounds – a common and notable characteristic of most “songs” today, hence they are referred to as “sounds”.

Constantly immersed in loud incoherent songs from the moment a consumer enters the premises of a commercial establishment – frequently eateries, retail outlets, and low-end street markets like Divisoria – the average consumer is prevented from assessing an item properly and goes into impulse buying mode where another finding from psychological studies goes into effect – “goes in for the kill” – via shiny packaging with strategically-located bright-colored enticing words that grab attention and forces a purchase.

Coupling these with the penchant of many Filipino consumers to drag along small children who complicates matters by distracting and by pestering adults into making unnecessary and unwanted purchases – mostly junk foods.  A small percentage of consumers are able to shut out loud obnoxious music being blared out in commercial retail establishments and make smart choices.  This only shows that many consumers should not be “victims” and be drawn deeper into poverty by spending on worthless and undesired purchased through consumerism-minded capitalists utilization of predatory marketing schemes and campaigns obtained from psychological studies.

These strategies are a principal part of the reason why wealth keeps flowing from the poor to the rich in ever-increasing rates and quantities.  It is not so much that poor people have little money but what little they have, they do not know how to make use of it properly and wisely.

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