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Alexander Johannesen

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Thu, 23 September 2004 13:00:00 GMT

Notice! This blog is no longer updated as such, and the new spot to point your feedreaders and blurry eyes are https://shelter.nu/blog/

This also means no more comments here, and especially not you spammers, you filthy floatsam of the internet!

Market economy : Where don't I sign up?

Sorry for the short break, but I've been acting branch head for the last two weeks and holding a 4-day XSLT course at the same time, so I haven't had much time for opinions or tidbits (for tidbits, look to my other RSS feed). But lately I've been thinking hard about a number of things - as you do, and as I do - and they are all about business management. Oh sure, I've been thinking a bit about Padington Bear as well, but let's leave that one for bed time.

"Business management" you might think, "How utterly boring!" And you're probably right, but if you're anything like me, it affects you as much as it does me. In fact, there are not very many people in the world who are not affected by it, wheter you're a regular Joe or working for a company or a home-mum or a bum on the street or a child in someones tummy. "Business management" traverses and seeps into the fabric of any and all consumers, and the evil-twin of it is in politics. Yes, I know, we're all fed up with politics these days, so don't worry, I won't go into the stupidity and crazyness of US - but I'll mention that God wants Bush out of office! - nor Australian politics. I want to talk about global ideas.

Because we're now a global globe (as opposed to the old times when we were local farm-dwellers who got legs and boats), it is assumed that the only way to do business is to go global. If you're not a part of global business, you're not a proper business. This beautiful nugget of wisdom stems of course from the miracles of capitalistic ideas, where the notion of "market and demand" should also be the practice performed by both states and corporations. It is said that the market - being an organism in itself and won't be controlled - shouldn't be controlled at all, but in fact let the market decide for itself what price it would want for what service or product. this way, we're all competing at the same level.

Now anyone with a bit of brain realise the flaw in this logic, but if you state so, you'll be dubbed anything from "politician" to "communist". My favourite is "socialist". (It is of course a given that people who resort to this kind of categorisation don't know shit about neither politicians, communism nor socialism, but I digress.) Let me then for the record point out a few of those flaws by pointing out some basic things needed to even have a market;

  • The social idea of trust, is in fact loyalty, and loyalty can be bought. And, as often is the case, loyalty is based on silly things like habit instead of trust.
  • Advertising is in the world of Internet known as spam and / or obtrusive, and its rooted in the general notion that people need to be fed ideas to embrace them, as compared to embrace things out of their own needs and searching.
  • What you buy when price is considered is never the same as when quality or time is considered, but when price becomes the most determining factor, everybody will try to offer things as cheap as possible in trying to be price competitive. In an ideal world, they would all offer the same quality, but reality knows that there is no such thing as identical products or services.
  • A market consists of people that use money as they see fit, not a mass of money that is used by people. There are great fluctuations in "markets", and as such will never offer good measurables of value. The diversity proclaimed to be good is in fact hiding the fact that inflation, deflation, corruption, bribes and threats and guesses are important levers in the market.

Business management that is embraced in commercial corporations are seeping into the public service. Some aspects of it have already been there for years, and for me, proving the demise of the public good. I've seen it in every country I've worked and lived in. They all proclaim that any service or product should be converted to a market economy, and our success should be meassured on how good its doing in these markets. But why should we embrace these markets? The commercial corporations obviously want to control it as much as possible, without political influence, so that they can reap its benefits, because once you're big, you've got a big market. Small players gets squeezed, unless they catch niches. The driver for market is advertising, and advertising is driven with money. It is a circular thing; we get money to use on advertising which brings more money. The product becomes second. Quality is not as important as quantity. When you create something for a market, you create as many as possible, not as good as possible.

I chose to leave the commercial consultant market and go working for a government body, because I want to create quality; I want to focus on the needs of things that don't have a great return of investment. I want to serve people good services where they don't have to pay for it. I believe in a state system that actually benefits the people.

I guess its a the usual cry of "A given operation has a market value of 1000$. When you've got 1.000.000$ and pay 1.000$ for an operation that will save your life, you still got 990.000$ left. If you've got less that 1000$, you die." I feel that health, education and social benefits should be quality driven, not market driven. The human race has been in a market driven economy for thousands of years, and only gradualy built up a better system to fix the flaws in the inhumane market theories, and now we're all retorting back to it ... and it is wrong!

Who can I vote for to fix this? *sigh*

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