Tag Archives: equality

On Equality of access

The impact of access (or lack thereof) is immense. Being able to directly interact, command the time and attention of an individual can be a catalyst for change, a source of information or even a life line. It’s importance is hard to understate, to illustrate take an example of building a fence:

A fairly simple process as far as land development activities go. Like everything else money comes first, then finding a contractor, then building. Every step of that process can be eased by access to the right people:

Money: Anyone who knows me has access to 1$ (that’s about all I’m good for most days), but there are a select few who know people with FAR greater amounts of money, and far greater complicity to dole it out. Not that people are usually appreciate of being hit up for cash, but it happens all the time. People who have access to billionaires don’t go to the bank for 10k loans, indeed people who know the .001% are usually others in the .001%. For those of us who don’t have access to someone like that, the next step would be a bank (or community organization). Even there access is key, I assure you meeting the owner of a bank for a loan (when the meeting was setup by your billionaire friend) is a decided different experience that meeting with the loan officer at the local branch. Who you deal with is as important as what is being dealt.

Contractor: The CEO of a major company generally do not take orders or work with a single customer (when there are millions of customers there is not enough time). Major clients can usually get face time with the PIC though. The difference is service is staggering (think call center customer service vs concierge)

From getting a zoning variance to getting a transplant, who you have access to is critical, and (took a while, but getting to the point) in government we need to have equal access! All our public officials’ time should be handled by a lottery type system, having the .001 % and those they hire command the attention of our most powerful leaders is detrimental to a fair democratic process. What we get is just another facet of corruption.  (Spending time with the ultra-rich to the determent of the rest of us is a corrupt practice in my opinion)  Should our officials be free to spend their time with whoever they like? NO! Hell no!  They are given power by the masses for the betterment of the masses, in accepting power far beyond that of a normal citizen they should likewise accept limitations on their freedom far in excess of a normal person.

There are some simple things we can do to turn the tide: Make all communication of elected officials public, have all campaigns publicly funded, Prohibit political ads.  Looking further out: Rework entire legal system to eliminate legalese, have easy to understand laws (and just a few of them), add a boat load of government employees.

The old adage “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is as true today as when it was first uttered. Sadly with the common practice of “closed door” meetings, the insanely disproportionate involvement of the super wealthy in government and a few thousand years of history, I don’t think this is an issue that will resolve itself.

Current affairs:

I prefer to keep away from things that are happing now, not that there is a lack of interesting things happing. Rather I find that looking at anything so close from a historical perspective simply lacks a whole lot of value, there are people far better than I keeping a historical account of matters.  So as I waste time today watching a video on the infoweb (as I sadly do more than I care to admit) I saw an advertisement for McDonalds…

 

In the advertisement roving groups of McDonalds employees were driving around and handing out ( presumed) free McDonalds breakfast foods to people, the people were VERY happy to receive this food. It I assume it was intended to convey many things, but the three that came across to me were: first McDonalds is giving away free food they are a good company, 2nd I might get free food, people like McDonalds. So why am I talking about it? It is just a perfect, to the T real life demonstration of real cost of capitalism, and here is why:

The core of the advertisement was that McDonalds is giving food away, this is a mischaracterization McDonalds is in the business of selling food, not giving it away I will not get into the semantics of it’s charitable, work ill gotten gains and such.  How is this a cost? Time and resources, human capital and public good sentiment! The entire concept here is an insane waste; just to produce this commercial McDonalds expended thousands of man hours, production costs, real resources some of which humanity (as a whole) has limited amounts of. The reason behind it all was to improve as many people’s opinion of McDonalds as possible, so as to increase there likelihood of buying McDonalds.  Here we start to see the problem, McDonalds is not “good” for people, and by that I mean on the whole, It uses (or at least used) old dairy cows for it’s beef, and filler (I read fast food nation a wile back). That is probably not a surprise to anyone, but think of it this way: if you were going to cook a meal for your friend, yourself, anyone, would you inject non-food filler to make the meal cheaper? I think it borderlines on poising, but we as a society have almost no problem when someone dose it in a business setting . Far from it, that kind of practice is the publicly accepted norm!   This leads to organizations that have almost no interest in public good commanding HUGE amounts of public resources!  And for what? What do we gain for this humongous waste? Two things, a very small, very luck group of people get to command tremendous power over their fellow man, 2. In wealthy nations like the U.S. an unskilled, un-educated sixteen year old can work at McDonalds and make twenty thousand dollars in a year. If 20k seems like a small amount then it is a good indication of where you lie on the socio economic ladder, in some nations that is a fortune!  I know there are better ways, this kind of stuff is needless, we have real problems on the planet that need to be addresses, but instead we waste time as a species with this kid stuff.  Because “freedom” I think that most of the time I hear people talk about it they have no idea what it means, how about we move on to “happy” or “ needs met” .  This will not happen with McDonalds as it is ( really most any Co.) there modus operandi is bad(profit), we should not be trying to exploit each other as a form of motivation…