Monday, July 29, 2013

Cheryl to Corporate Power: You've Won

(taken in Vaughn, or somewhere like that)

Hey, Corporate Power. You have won the game.

I declare it. No one wants to say it, but we're all sick of this game now. We've been playing forever. You own Boardwalk. You own Park Place. With stacked hotels. You control the corners and you can pay any of our rents easily. We know our next bad turn is going to make us give up Marvin Gardens or worse, the Railroad, before there's any chance of collecting $200 at Go.

I don't want to play anymore. I want to eat a snack, hang out and share some small talk. Take a nap. Enjoy this Sunday Afternoon that's just within reach. That is, was just within reach until somebody pulled out this stupid game and decided we were all going to play.

So I'm saying:

Corporate Power, you win.

If you're going to be assholes about it and keep making us all play along until you are legitimately the only ones standing, I am just not going to sit at the table and swallow my frustration and roll the dice. I don't want to play this game anymore.

Here's what would be fair, since you won. Step away. Take what you need for a comfortable life, and disperse your monopoly money back into the pool, shuffle your properties and hand them out, so the rest of us can have a good time too. Let's salvage what's left of this family gathering on Earth. Why the rush to use up all the stuff and transform it as fast as possible? Why is every deadline an emergency? To pay your hotel bills. So leave the game. Be a good sport and let someone else have a turn. Or at least give them a break on the rent.

I'm not saying to bankrupt yourselves. I'm simply saying to use your wealth and influence to help dismantle the public trading system and build a new system that favours small and mid-sized buisinesses, sustainable practices, and includes maximums and minimums to establish the controls. There's no harm to you in doing it, and maybe you can still save your soul. Or just buy a ranch and raise chickens. Whatever.

You may ask, "You want us to give away our money and then dismantle the economic system we lovingly built on the robot-inspired fallacy of pareto efficiency?" I know it sounds scary, but listen, you'll be okay.

At any given time, there is a "top of the line." The best performing, highest quality, best available technology to solve any given problem. If you are able to afford to always buy the top of the line or custom, for every problem you want to solve that is solvable using money, you are wealthy. If you have enough money aside that you could reasonably be expected to continue living at that level for another 200 years without ever earning another dime, then you have won the game. You can derive no further benefit from earning. Everything else is just wasting the Earth's resources for your own amusement. And that would make you a jerk. Wouldn't you rather be a good guy?

In your zeal to compete, maybe you didn't notice that we're not having any fun anymore.

For that matter, are you? You seem pretty stressed out.

You owe it to yourself and the rest of us to stop playing, or at least to agree to change the rules so things feel more fair and fun for everyone. You must admit, the current rules favour fake value over real value, and that was never the intention. The intention was innovation to improve the overall quality of life on the planet. We are doing just the opposite, and most of our attention is taken up with your stupid game. So be good sports, back off and play nice, will you?

And yes, people can point to Warren Buffett and Bill Gates - isn't it wonderful what they're doing? Yes, it is. And. And why should they control the majority of the world's resources? Why should they be the ones to decide where resources can best be used to improve the overall quality of life for humanity? Isn't the role of democracy to ensure everyone has some input into how our resources are used? Our governments were foolish, they gave away our resources so they turned the game into a slow-drip of public resources into private hands. They didn't extract enough, and now our resources are running out. Now, we need to rely on private individuals to understand the state of the world and decide whether, how and how quickly to fix what. If they want to. Somehow, that is deemed Not the Role of Government.

I'm glad Mr. Buffett stepped up. It's grand. And.

And most of the Corporate World would have no way to even understand what I'm saying as anything but confused babbling. So I will shout it loud, and maybe someone will shake his head and wonder for a moment.


Now, please, can we go for a nice walk in the woods and catch up on how the kids are doing?