Monday, September 17, 2012

It isn't that the machines are in control, as much as that the humans, are not.

You probably don't think about it much, and neither do I, until now, but you don't exist without a computer. In the business world today, nothing happens without a computer, and that is also the reason that we are in trouble in our economy today. The computer doesn't have the common sense to stop, and no human has the common sense to stop it. 
Prices of goods used to depend on the local economy, but we don't have local grocery stores anymore. The retail and franchise chains have taken over because  local stores couldn't compete with the buying and marketing power available to larger wholesale buyers. Instead of the local economy working with local stores and businesses to provide the needs of the community, the retail chains stay connected to their broader market despite changes in the community's ability to support them. Often that ability decreases over time because there is a steady trickling of job loss that occurs over time after a new, supposedly job creating, business moves in. 
As the community becomes less and less employed, it costs them more and more. The problem is that the computers can't see that. The computers in the store set the prices. They are not negotiable, and even sales are based on an algorithm of trigger numbers. You can't even change a price or sell a non-inventoried product in these stores. So if people are buying less and coming back less often, then the result in manufacturing is to make smaller product in smaller packaging, sell them at the old price for the bigger package, and people start coming back to buy more often. 
That triggers another number. Productivity. Now that the computer sees that consumer targets are back on track and they are using less material, they can spend less. Now they are meeting their goals, and making a ridiculous profit in the mean time. How could this forward progress be bad? Because shipping is down. 
We aren't moving enough things, so the computer sees that oil use is going down, and raises the price. It has very little to do with production, though many claim it does, they obviously haven't paid attention to how long it actually take a gallon of gas to get to the market, cuz it's not immediately. People who are employed don't usually lose jobs over oil prices but it does happen. People who are not employed have a tougher time looking for work. They don't go out as much and tend to look for work online. 
Anybody notice how high internet rates are these days? If you aren't a new or promotional period customer, internet service runs to the ridiculous, and doesn't offer the quick unlimited speed and downloads either, you are metered buddy, you're welcome.
So while people can't get out and spend as much as they were, and production is up, with less people working, but shipping is down, so oil is up, the markets start to really roll into play.
Credit is based on your computer score. That score represents your ability to secure currency and capital and remain fluid in the economy. If you get stuck anywhere, then you are a risk. There's a hedge fund to cover that though. Investments are always covered by someone for loss and gain. YOUR loss and gain. 
The "market" is a large betting pool and consumers are the horses. Right now, there are a lot of lame horses among us. So the burden falls to the people who are able to move around in the economy a little more freely. To urge them on and convince them to keep going and keep working, the people who watch the computers, point to all the lame horses and tell the rest of them, that those horses are keeping them from winning the race. Currently, over half of the people in our country are not working. Less than half the people in this country are the support for over half. 
The computers don't care about that. There are profits being made and triggers that will adjust prices everywhere until the very last cent is spent. As long as productivity and profits are higher the computers will keep forging ahead, and I am willing to bet you, the humans watching them, won't stop them, until it is simply too late. 
When is too late? Well in my view, it's now, but too late will be when everybody realizes it is happening and nobody can stop it, so instead they attempt to destroy it. Instead of reprogramming and allowing for the proper variables, the computer is going to keep asking for more quantitative easing, not cognizant of the fact that it takes food out of people's mouths when more currency is pumped into the machine. It doesn't know that it is starving us, it is just running the program. Instead of making sure that enough food and land are planted so that we can all eat, the computer will just stop moving money to the areas that can't participate in the economy and no food will grow, because the seeds weren't shipped, because no-one could buy them, because our money is too diluted, because productivity and profits are up, because prices in the stores are non-negotiable, and the community has no resources to support itself. 
Of course this is all just my opinion based on the hundreds of different stories I read on a weekly basis, including op-eds, market reports and analysis, as well as human interest stories. If you go read all that for yourself, I would put money on you seeing the pattern emerge as well. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

We kiss

This month, my partner and I are coming up on 6 years. We have both been through a few relationships and I think sometimes, we are surprised that things are going so good. 
When we met, we didn't have any preconceptions of the future, we were just two people that enjoyed hanging out together. Part of me knows that helped. The other thing that I know helped was our complete enjoyment in kissing one another. :) We kiss alot. It has to be my favorite thing. I love being around someone who wants to kiss me, and does. More importantly, I want to be kissed by him. I think by keeping that close, intimate enjoyment of our relationship, we made a huge difference in our ability to weather the storms we've been through. I am so thankful to him, and I sure hope I get many more kisses from him in the years to come. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Throwing the b.s. flag

I get a little annoyed lately at this bitch about taxes and corporations. Mostly because I don't understand how any person that lives on this planet thinks that it is okay to use other people's resources and not compensate them for it in some manner. I mean, it seems like proponents of giving tax breaks to big corporations all use the excuse that they are the job creators, so we can't tax them and make it so that they have less money to create jobs with. Lets just throw in the bullshit flag right there. First off, where are the jobs? If they are job creators, where are the jobs? Most companies are posting profits, so where are the jobs? If they are profiting then why can't they pay for the resources that they use? The people, they deserve to be healthy. The community, deserves to have clean air and water. Promises they obviously made to get there. Deals with tax abatements and contracts for jobs and support in the community. Then they get a break, they don't have to pay. Now they have killed the community they swore to embellish and promote. Tax them, let the communities create the jobs. The neighborhoods and districts, they are the job creators. It used to be that a neighborhood grew to fulfill it's needs. Now a neighborhood grows around housing developments that follow Wallmarts and mini-malls filled with the food chain trifecta; tacos, burgers, and pizza. The check cashing places come next, and the cash for gold vultures circle, land, eat the carnage and fly off. All these businesses don't create jobs, they leech money out of the neighborhood. Then when it's all gone, they take off and the next leech comes in to fill the empty spot. 
In response, communities vie for more government subsidies, turn around and tax their own citizens for being overweight, and craving sugar. They tax the landowners, the ones that cared enough to stay, or had no other choice, now have to bare a heavier burden. They remove services to the people who are stuck there, jobless, homeless, penniless and indebted up to their eyeballs, leaving them now hopeless. 
The community leaders are charged with being "innovative" while having no base to start from. How do you innovate poverty and homelessness? They are instructed to be revenue streams, that creating money for the town is what they are there for, and they numbly agree and follow on. They have no idea what they are doing or how they are going to accomplish it. Truth is they were lost before they started. 
There is an answer to this. There are ways to fix it. We could start by looking at where it started, begin recognizing trends that brought us to where we are, recognize our participation in it. We could stop punishing all the people who can't fix it and blaming it on their greediness. We can recognize that we have been marketed into this, and that understanding human vulnerability has enabled marketing psychologists to abuse, harass and violate our bodies, homes and stability long enough. We can expose the manipulative tactics being used against us for what they are; greed, hypocrisy and an inflated sense of entitlement. We can stop this madness, we only need to recognize how far it goes and acknowledge the affect it has on us personally. 
For me I acknowledge that I like inspiration and hope and ideals. It appeals to my heart and opens up my chest, makes me feel like I can breath for a moment. Then when the reality sets in, and I realize that none of the things I believed about something ended up being the actual thing that happened, I am embarrassed and accuse my mind of making a bad choice. But that isn't true. What happened is that the presenter of the things that appealed to me, knew that I would be attracted to those things, and they used that to get the targeted response for me, and when it fell down, they expected me to blame myself and not them. This is the same mentality that people who abuse others have. Give the victim just enough of what they need so that they will be able to be controlled. It shouldn't surprise us that those people often end up in power. It's not that we can't rule ourselves, it's that we don't know yet that we can. We can get there. We can make these people-corporations stop abusing us if we call them on their bullshit.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My kids are growing up

I have had kids since I was a kid myself. Started having them at 15 and raising them at 18. Two grew up in families that love them dearly and would move the earth for them, and the other four grew up with me. I always liked that, growing up with my kids, but now, I am forced to recognize that we are all grown up. They aren't as dependent on me as I have come realize I am, on them.
The other day, my daughter who is about to be 18 let me know she wanted to leave school. I listened to her tell me all her reasons why, silently playing my own memory pictures to the words in her description. I was really identifying with her, when I was snapped out of my mind-movie, by "Mom you are 39, you'll be 40 this year, you aren't thinking like an 18 year old, you don't know what I am going through."
At first I was shocked, my brain clicked, I'm 39? Then I felt like I was kicked in the gut, "I don't know?" Why the hell did I carry all that angst around so that I could identify with you then?! At that moment I realized it was me who was wanting to be identified with. She never asked for all of that. Dammit, why does she have to just break down my barriers? I wasn't ready!
I told her she was silly, and she said the conversation was over. Fine, I needed time to regroup from that anyway.
Luckily I have a partner that is more mature than I feel (or act) most times. I relayed that conversation to him, up to the "you aren't thinking like an 18 year old" comment and he laughed. "Thank goodness" he told me, "we've grown past thinking and that way!" "And we survived!" I laughed.
I didn't think growing up would feel this way. Suddenly I needed to call my parents and apologize for being a teenager. Especially theirs. I heard the same things she was pleading come out of my mouth all those years ago, and I thought they just couldn't understand. Maybe that is wrong. Maybe they felt out of place, overwhelmed and pushed toward things that didn't jive with them too. Maybe they just put on a better show. They told me I would understand when I grew up. I think this means I should tell them that I just did. 

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