Saturday 20 December 2008

On Economic Growth

According to the almighty Wikipedia, economic growth is “the increase in the amount of goods and services produced by an economy over time.” This is the reason why governments around the world feel the compelling, yet horribly misguided, need to bailout failing industries. After all, as long as we sell more stuff, even if it is worthless crap, our economy is growing, or is it?
Let’s say I have my own country, and for some stupid unknown reason I made it similar to most of the countries around the world today except that I am supreme overlord and everyone must obey me. One day I wake up in the morning and decide that I want to “grow my economy.” Immediately, I send out an order to all the factories and plants in my evil corporatocracy to double or even triple production. After a week the market is saturated and will not accept any more shipments of my crappy products and my economy starts to stagnate. As a diligent follower of flawed economic theories, I realise that I must not be producing enough garbage, and give the order to use my country’s petroleum deposits to create thousands of crappy plastic toys. For close to a year I attempt to turn my economy around, but the market is just too saturated, and other countries have begun to make a higher quality product than ours. My countries economy collapses, all the capital flows out of the country, I exhausted all my natural resources, and everyone starves to death and dies.
Growth is not making more junk. The corporations use advertising to convince us all to buy crap we don’t want or need, and call it economic growth. They have even gone so far as to adapt their brand names to become verbs in our languages. In order to produce this worthless garbage, we spend hours working in the economy, probably for minimum wage, so that we can produce junk that the corpocapitalistic swine will sell back to us at costs way above the actual resource cost.
Just because we are not making more and more junk, and exporting more and more worthless crap, does not mean we don’t have a good economy. A good economy is an economy that creates products people need: products that don’t have to be advertised as subliminal messaging for 0.1 seconds every ten frames in a movie. Refrigerators are a brilliant invention; advertising is hardly needed in order to sell every family a refrigerator, because the product arises from a felt need, not a rancid lust for economic “growth.” By artificially growing our economy, and depleting all our resources, we are making our quality of life worse, not better. The less crap our economy produces, the less time we need to spend at work slaving away for our corporate masters. I don’t care about Tickle Me Elmo,” “Digimon cards,” and all the other low priced, low quality, junk out there. That’s why we have imaginations. No one needs 5 different game systems all to themselves. Isn’t it good enough to share them between 20 people? Everyone wants their own of everything, despite the fact that these items often sit idle more than they are used! If we tune out the advertising and reign in this rampant corporatism that pervades our society we can actually improve our quality of life. The things we truly need will abound, no one will go hungry, and we will spend half as much time working to put bread on the table, and twice as much time inventing, reading, exercising, socialising, and doing things for our own pleasure or the unselfish benefit of others. I believe that it is possible for us to enjoy a quality of life twice what we have today despite working only 20 hours a week. [Stop reading now if you are easily offended by vulgar language] In conclusion fμ©К corperate capitalism, and fμ©К the selfish greedy bastards who know that the only economy they are growing is the wallet in their own pocket while everyone else suffers in order to make it possible.

An additional note: someone is bound to make some sort of comment about how people will never produce anything or work hard without selfish interest. Not so! Look at the Creative Commons community online, look at this blog, look at the people who edit Wikipedia. Are any of them receiving something for their work? At most they are receiving a little bit of ad revenue. How about people volunteering at soup kitchens, homeless shelters. You only entertain the notion that the current state of things is good because one day you hope to be the evil master lording over his economic slaves mercilessly. I hate to spoil it for you, but your chances are pretty low. More than likely you are going to end up working an average job getting paid way less than your labour is worth so the CEO can purchase his fifth Bently.
IMAGE CREDIT: BJHokanson under an Attribution NonCommercial Share Alike 2.0 Generic Licence


  1. lol, not the case with my job :P
    People always need to eat, that's better than the refrigerator in terms of sellability:
    Hey you, yeah you want to stay alive?
    Well come on in and buy food!

  2. Very true, but not 100% true. I don't think people would feel the need to buy price inflated merchandise like fruit roll ups or coca cola if it were not for advertising. What we need is some delicious localy produced staples, like bread, cheese, locally raised meat, and of course locally brewed malted grain beverages.

  3. The problem with the U.S. economy is not that we produce junk. It's that we basically produce nothing. We just consume the products the rest of the world makes. And in trade we give them dollars, worthless IOU's. And it cannot last forever.

    All the industry in this nation is drying up, outsourced overseas. Everything we use is made in China, or another country. We went from being the biggest creditor nation to the biggest debtor nation in the world. We went from a production based economy to a consumption based economy. And it's not viable. The policy of endless borrowing to consume cannot last.

    America is not a capitalist nation. I repeat, America is not a capitalist nation. America is a fascist nation. It's corporatism, not capitalism that is the root of our problems.

    The banksters run the country. And they're running into the ground, by design. We wouldn't be in a depression right now if it weren't for the Federal Reserve Bank. This depression is a consequence of bad monetary policy. Of reckless credit expansion from a fiat fractional reserve hoax.

    Capitalism is the best viable system man can live under. Other utopian systems, which preach a classless and "fair" society always prove to be worse than the capitalist system they say they are saving you from.

    Captialism coincides with free markets, with freedom of choice. It is the free market that brought to the masses the refrigerator, the airplane, the automobile. Anti-capitalist policies brought us bread lines and genocide.

    Reminds me of a quote from Mises, "All the marvelous achievements of Western civilization are fruits grown on the tree of liberty."

    As long as the unconstitutional group of private banks control our monetary system we are not in a capitalist society. We are slaves to the banksters.