Archive for the Consumerism Category

Dear Costco:  Please Pull Plastic Bottles (June 12, 2017)

Posted in Boycott Series, Consumerism, Environment, Oceans, Plastic, Water on June 12, 2017 by e-commentary.org

Costco Wholesale Corporation

P.O. Box 34331

Seattle, Washington 98124

Dear sir or madam:

          Costco impacts the lives and livelihoods of your customers and other citizens.  Plastic threatens the lives and livelihoods of your customers and other citizens.  As part of your “Sustainability Commitment,” would you do your part to reduce the threat of plastic to the lives and livelihoods of your customers and other citizens?

          Using plastic bottles to transport water creates pollution and public health problems that often are unseen and threaten the very water they fleetingly transport.  Plastic bottles roam and range the seas.  The bottles break down into little particles and shards ingested by birds, whales and other critters.  Lead shot in birds is discernible via x-ray, yet plastic particles go undetected except by chemical analysis.

          Issue a major public statement that you will no longer carry bottled water.  For ninety days, post a statement in the area of each of your stores that otherwise would house the bottles above a palette intentionally left empty.  You will perforce lose business and make fewer profits.

          Thank you for your attention to this request.  Best wishes.

. . .

[June 8 was World Oceans Day.]

[See the e-commentary at “Playa Plastica / Plastic Beach (September 13, 2010)” and “Plastic Pirates (August 6, 2012)” and in the category “Plastic.”]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Boycott bottled water

Living In The “Peoplocene Age”.  The Inconvenient Truth:  Renewable Energy Is Not Sustainable; The Population Must Be Restrainable.  (December 12, 2016)

Posted in Book Reference, Carbon Surcharge & Dividend, Climate, Collapse, Consumerism, Environment, Gas/Fossil Fuel, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Overpopulation, Peoplocene Age, Population, Society, Taxation, Technology, Water on December 12, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “It’s too late?”

J          “It is too late.”

. . .

J          “But we pretend and extend.”

K          “Get up, put on your socks, and soldier on.”

. . .

J          “We are producing far more babies than solar panels.  That scenario is not changing under any scenario.  There is very little hope, there is only collective delusion within the collective.”

K          “Ironic that so many will not acknowledge our global plight and others who will acknowledge our situation do not even acknowledge the underlying and overriding problem.  The ‘Peoplocene Age’ is upon us and we do not know it.”

J          “The ‘Peoplobscene Age’?  Too many people, too little planet.”

. . .

K          “The plebiscite on global climate destruction takes place in the specialized voting booths known as the maternity wards of the world one new voter at a time.  The votes are tallied every day, the voting booth never closes and the decision is unanimous and uncontested.  Everyone endorses global climate devastation one baby at a time.”

J          “We need to reduce the load.  Period.  The only viable solution is to produce fewer people not to delude ourselves into thinking we can produce more panels and power.”

. . .

K          “The inconvenient truth is that renewable energy is not the answer, now or in the long run.  If one honestly calculates all the costs including every opportunity cost, the total cost of renewable energy does not and never will pencil out.”

J          “My concern is that we are not allowed to provide that answer, so we are not allowed even to ask the question.”

. . .

K          “We are in the flood right now.  I don’t recall anyone in the movie even once mentioning overpopulation.  Go through the flick and replace the phrase ‘reduce fossil fuels’ with ‘reduce world population.’  The only sustainable energy policy is a people policy.”

. . .

J          “There are more neurosurgeons than skilled solar panel installers.  Americans contend in response that they can simply wave a wand and the problem is solved.  If the government – or the private sector with generous tax breaks, credits and deductions  – commits to training more solar panel installers, voila, we will have more solar panel installers.  But at what real cost?”   

. . .

J          “Those people who are here must reduce their load.  Period.  Everyone wants to live like they do in Bethesda-Chevy Chase; no one can sustainably live like they do in Bethesda-Chevy Chase.  The Republicans delude the populace that they can live the Bethesda-Chevy Chase lifestyle simply by demanding to live the Bethesda-Chevy Chase lifestyle.”

. . .

K          “The planet will support 500,000,000 souls comfortably and 5,000,000,000 souls uncomfortably.  We are grossly over gross.  Overpopulation is at the headwaters of all of our problems.”

J          “And first and foremost among the downstream problems is our growing inability to provide clean, available and affordable water.”

K          “We need to reverse the two trends.  We need to quit depositing more humans on the planet and quit removing other species off the planet.”

. . .

J          “Yet, by definition, it cannot be the biggest problem confronting humanity unless you use the word ‘terrorist’ to describe it.”

K          “Okay.  Fair enough.  We have overpopulated the planet with almost 7.5 billion precious little miracle . . . terrorists.  And the numbers are growing.  There you go.”

J          “That should work.”

K          “Almost 7.5 billion precious little miracle terrorists are pummeling Mother Nature with poison.  Then we sprinkle nuclear reactors around the planet that are finicky nuclear bombs waiting to be detonated by default.  Pull the plug on electricity, pull the pin on the reactors.  The nuclear reactors are weapons of mass destruction that will go off when they cannot get the electricity to stay on.”

J          “The mutant shall inherent the earth.  We allow one country to pour radiation into the Pacific Ocean day in and day out for over five years and create the world’s largest Superfund Site.  The grazing ground for sea critters is toxic.”

K          “The Pacific Ocean Superfund site and other ocean Superfund Sites also have massive gyres of poisonous plastic and detritus spinning around.”

J          “The ultimate inconvenient truth is that the entire Earth is now a Superfund Site.”

. . .

K          “What if the government only provided a tax deduction of ‘x’ for the first child and ‘1/2 x’ for the second child?  Or no deduction?”

J          “The hard simple truth is that little can be done to slow population growth.  The load has overloaded us.”

K          “A carbon fee and dividend program?” 

. . .

J          “With so many available bodies, there are so many opportunities for corporations to exploit the vast pool of desperate workers.”

. . .

K          “We have met the enemy and it is a little miracle terrorist.  It is us.”

J          “Mother Nature is the only adult on the planet.  She is growing impatient.  Soon she will intercede.”

. . .

[See Daniel Quinn from “What a Way to Go:  Life at the End of Empire” and his “Advice for Young People” at minute 48.  Try to find some joy in this life without deluding yourself.]

[See the e-commentary at “On Overpopulation (June 14, 2010)”, “Kids As Consumer Durables (August 6, 2007)”, “Global Environmental Something (February 16, 2009)”, “A Gentle Landing On Earth (August 1, 2016)”, “‘It’s Only A Rental.’ The Earth As A Cosmic Doormat.  De-Immanentizing The Eschation. (September 28, 2015), “Global Climate Craziness (GCC) and Taxation (March 23, 2015)”, “On Roiling And Rolling Collapse (March 9, 2015)” and “Over Over-Population:  10 Billion Little Miracles (And Counting) (And Costing) (January 26, 2015)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“We have met the enemy and it is a little miracle terrorist.  It is us.”  Nogo

We need to reduce the load.  Period. 

Be fruitful and don’t multiply; multiple fruit fruitfully

Slow climate destruction; practice birth control

Too many live people; too few dead dinosaurs.  To say nothing of the too chilling consequences of burning the few available dead dinosaurs (or whatever spawns gas and oil).

Price carbon

Stay calm and price carbon

Panic and price carbon

Better never than late?

Preserve the Nest; at all costs.

The mutant shall inherent the earth. 

Too many people, too little planet

“Can you think of any problem in any area of human endeavor on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases in population, locally, nationally or globally?”  Albert Allen Bartlett, Great Challenge

National Financial Literacy Month: Teaching Financial Literacy In The “Debt Age” (April 25, 2016)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Consumerism, Economics, Economics Nobel, Federal Courts, Kleptocracy, Nobel Prize, Noble Prize, Schooling on April 25, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “But do they really want them to be financially literate.”

J          “Who wants a citizenry to be financially literate.  Illiteracy is so profitable.”

K          “What would they teach.”

. . .

K          “For a few hours, they should teach them simply to consume less.  That is the answer.  Devour less.  That goes against the spend and spend and spend and consume and consume and consume mantra they are fed every waking moment on every medium everywhere they venture.”

J          “The same corporations and institutions that ceaselessly propagandize them to spend then underwrite a few hours of instruction advising them, in effect, not to spend.”

. . .

K          “You could teach supply and demand, yet supply and demand no longer drive or dictate price.”

J          “Price/earnings ratios remain a sound financial metric in an economy with accurate price discovery.  With all the government and private sector manipulation and intervention, they are not relevant or reflective metrics of reality.”

. . .

K          “Markets do not exist.  The ‘stock market’ is a Racket.  What few insider trading cases are prosecuted are overturned and repudiated by obliging federal appellate courts doing their job protecting the Kleptocracy.”

. . .

K          “Personal finance courses would at core contradict all the carpet bombing saturation advertising inflicted on the public.  And look how the consequences define our age.  We have evolved from the ‘Stone Age’ to the ‘Bronze Age’ and now to the ‘Debt Age’.”

J          “Still prudent to avoid debt at any cost unless the return is nearly certain.  The debt one assumes to spend time around a college may not be worth the return.”

K          “To the individual and also to society.  Buying a used car and not eating at a restaurant are sound pieces of financial literacy advice.  However, someone must buy new cars and frequent restaurants on occasion.”

J          “The loans for new cars exceed the expected life of the cars.  Restaurants are moving to computer ordering and eliminating the wait staff.” 

. . .

K          “All prices are manipulated and manufactured.  What would you teach.” 

J          “Most current economic curricula in America’s colleges and universities is a secular religion built on inaccurate assumptions and the conviction that growth can continue forever.”

K          “To educate the Nobel Prize winners in Economics in economics, night classes in financial literacy could be offered.”

J          “The classes for them would need to be scheduled around their daily teaching schedules propagandizing the religious orthodoxy.”

. . .

[See the discussions of the “Save” program and the “Credit Abuse Resistance Education” program.]

[See the e-commentary at “Consume, Don’t Invest (Nov. 9, 2009).”]

Bumper sticker of the week:

“The more flak you get the closer you are to the target.”  World War Two bomber’s observation

Twenty Sixteen (January 4, 2016)

Posted in Collapse, Consumerism, Economics on January 4, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “A system that cannot go on forever will not go on forever.  Can we make a resolution and agree that this will be the year of resolution?”

J          “Not this year.  The financial system will trudge and trundle along.”

K          “Despite so many fractures and so many fissures and so much fraudulent manipulation and so few functioning markets?  Next year?”

J          “Probably not next year.  The system is resilient enough to limp along through next year.”

K          “We keep stealing consumption from the future and leaving debt.  The solvent consumer is a rare and endangered species.  Who will fuel the economy?”

J          “The low price of fuel reflects in substantial part the lack of consumers fueling the economy.  The Middle Class now is the Muddle Class.  The system can muddle along.” 

. . .

J          “An international flare up?  That is in the works and part of the plan.  I reserve my right to revise my time line.”

. . .

K          “Until it can’t.”

J          “Until it can’t.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at The First Look At The “Second Political Party” (January 2, 2011), The “Superfluous Consumer” (July 27, 2015) and Is The American Consumer Irrelevant? (December 12, 2011).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Places to Go  People to Annoy

I lost everything and found myself

25 sit ups / 10 push ups

The “Superfluous Consumer” (July 27, 2015)

Posted in Consumerism, Economics on July 27, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

 L          “They say that 70 percent of economic growth is driven by consumer spending.  Yet the consumer is spent.  So many consumers borrowed money (at substantial interest rates) from tomorrow to consume yesterday.  Today, the consumers must borrow from the day after the day after tomorrow to pay for necessaries.”

. . .

M          “What will they do when they can’t consume?”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

Work Buy Consume Die

Net Neutrality (April 20, 2015)

Posted in Consumerism, Digital, Google, Internet, Less Government Regulation Series, Net Neutrality, Privacy, Society on April 20, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

A          “The business model is built on two pursuits:  the profitable and the prurient.”

B          “The prurient is the profitable.”

. . .

A          “The first image from the ‘Gaggle’ search revealed pictures from her ‘Spring ‘Show Us Your Tats’ Break ‘77’ revelry.  The announcement of her Nobel did not surface until page 3 of the search.”

B          “There is no profit in Nobels.”

A          “I just cannot ‘friend’ Gaggle, because Gaggle is not a friend.  For a decade, Gaggle allowed access to the site.  Then Gaggle blocked access to the site likely because Gaggle was not making any money by providing access to the site.  Even if I used the full HyperText Transfer Protocol address, namely http://www.myinsignificantwebsite.org, Gaggle still revealed nothing.  Darkness.  Only the honest search engines such as ‘Ixquick’ and ‘DuckDuckGo’ reveal what is really there on the Internet.”

B          “And those two search engines do not track your searches.  Hard to develop search engine optimization (SEO) when Gaggle calls the shots and practices website nullification.”

A          “The Internet is a collection of monopolies and is in effect a ‘public utility’ that needs to be regulated by the public.  Net neutrality sounds like a sound idea.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

If Google does not allow one to access a website, does the website exist?

Net Neutrality Soon

“Peak Advertising” (November 3, 2014)

Posted in Consumerism, Economics, Football, Minimum Wage, Occupy Movement, Peak Advertising, Sports, Television, Voting, Wages, Writing on November 3, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “‘Mt. / Everest / Sherpas / Prefer / Burma / Shave.’”

2          “Turns out that some of the first ‘six-word memoirs’ were crafted by English majors laboring for BBDO.”

. . .

1          “‘Peak Advertising’ occurs when all of a person’s senses are assaulted all of the time with non-stop commercial advertising.”

2          “That is the collective business plan of all the social media platforms.  They are premised on their presumed ability to bombard the right demographic with saturation advertising all the time.”

1          “At some time, the marginal utility of each additional fusillade will not provide any return because the consumer has nothing to spend and no source of additional debt.  What if they don’t have any more money?”

2          “They have huge advertising budgets.”
. . .
2          “Well, right, those people may be out of money.”

. . .

1          “If the television is viewed as a mirror rather than a monitor, what should one make of a string of ads for fortified barley soda interspersed with those huckstering elixirs for erectile dysfunction.”

2          “Potents for potency.  The medium is also a microscope into the ‘Land of Skinny People’ where the people have BMIs below 22 and definitely do not reflect their viewers.  They hawk products that make a person fat ninety percent of the time and concoctions that purport to make a person skinny ten percent of the time.”

1          “When others talk about ‘thinking inside the box’ are they referring to the big flashing box in the home and the little flashing box in hand?”

2          “A wide body watches a wide out on a wide screen doing battle for his team and town.  The viewer should go out and do.”

. . .

1          “Seventy percent of the economy is attributed to consumer spending.  The total amount and the percentage of consumer spending in the next few years will be revealing.”

2          “Hard to spend if you have no money and no one will provide any more credit.”

. . .

1          “One thought might be to have parents lease a newborn’s forehead to tattoo an advertisement.  You can’t let an unbleached beachhead canvas go untrammeled.”

2          “Start young.  The kid surely would develop an affinity for the product or service.”

. . .

1          “Anyone in a political battleground state has been subject to ceaseless fusillades of hate and fear from all quarters for months.  In interviews, voters criticize the negative campaigning and yet in the voting booth vote in favor of those behind the vicious attacks.  The candidates provide what the public really wants.  Each political battle is part of the ceaseless war in American politics to own the government with its ability to plunder from the populace.”

2          “I vote to be a non-combatant.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Mt. / Everest / Sherpas / Prefer / Living / Wage

Occupy Namche Bazaar

Namaste

Peak Oil, Peak Water, Peak Land, Peak Advertising, Peak Peaks

“Don’t mind your make-up, you’d better make your mind up.”  Frank Zappa

“If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”  Mark Twain

A ‘tax and spend’ Democrat versus a ‘no tax and spend’ Republican.

Vote