Bullshit Economy Kills!
Time to start caring more about the Givers than the Takers.
Why don’t we value the Givers rather than the Takers?
There’s a certain kind of people, who make a huge difference, yet hardly get the recognition they should. I call these people the Givers. Think teachers, who spend their own money to buy school utensils, because the school doesn’t. Think people reforesting barren wastelands often destroyed by industrial enterprise*. Even more so, they often struggle to make that difference out of their own pockets. Our economic system doesn’t seem to value their contribution. Which, in systems perspective, is madness. We pay millions in taxes to destructive industries in funding, millions more to clean up their mess and millions more in healthcare for the damage they do to people. Why don’t we spend those millions on the heroes who do make a difference, who are healthy for the planet, people and society. Why?
*)There are actually many video’s of individuals or small groups doing this. Rarely their government offers the support that might do wonders, or get many more involved in such matters.
Bullshit Jobs damage the human spirit
In the Netherlands about 70% of all jobs have a control function. Some necessary, like guarding the dykes, others born out of a system that puts mistrust above anything else. Indeed. Managers, controllers, overseers all seem to not trust professionals, but rather stifle every mistake they make with new regulations and protocols. They also normalize the fact that we value ‘leadership’ higher than doing the real work. Just think about it, way over 50% of jobs don’t create value, costs lots of money, yet are valued the most!
Of the rest about 10% of the jobs (wild guess) make wasteful idiot products, like plastic gadgets and toys. Only those jobs creating essential stuff and foremost essential caretakers from street cleaners, nurses, foresters to teachers really matter. Also essential are the arts. They are about being human, expressing the self, and what we all feel but can’t put into words. That means that most jobs are bullshit. No wonder, so many people lack sense of meaning, get depressed, show apathy or get distracted into crazy hobbies.
Why are there so many bullshit jobs, as Rutger Bregman calls them? I think for two reasons. These are: (as mentioned) many jobs are build on mistrust and or defense against the poor. Give enough people something to defend and they’ll happily help keep the lies alive. An old saying is, ‘Satisfied slaves are the biggest enemies of freedom.’ It seems that this is the function of a bigger middle class: give them bullshit jobs, controlling the poor, that make them think their careers matter. And they better cling to what job they have, because getting fired is too dangerous. Thus the billionaires make them collaborators of a sick system.
Now, before you believe I believe in conspiring elites. No, not as a global scale conspiracy, but I do think there’s a systemic culture that lures people into such sick meddling behavior. Old families do reside at the top for centuries, and they do hand down tricks and tactics to stay there. Yet also new people can grow into it, and everyone can drop out too. The individual faces don’t matter, the culture has a logic of its own, “We, who have, seek to keep what we’ve acquired. For that we do what helps us.”
Why do we value the Takers, rather than the Givers?
For one, we have been raised in a ‘Taking is Better’ culture. Education is all about competition, getting best grades, proving yourself to the system in your willingness to play for it, or better trying to get as high as possible. Our whole logic is deeply tied into this: Climb the ladder! Grow your business! Develop yourself to succeed! Be a winner! Don’t be a loser! (‘Losers’, like those who stop climbing the ladder to care for the victims of the system! wtf!) We believe taking grows our society, and the takers carry all progress. Looking more closely we should see that they destroy the environment and people for personal gains. I think we live in a robber culture, dressed up as CEO’s.
Secondly we believe in the logic of direct reciprocity. Thus if I sell you a plastic gadget, i’ve supported the ‘holy economy’. If I buy such a gadget I help my society as a consumer (and pollute the ocean a bit more some time later) When I plant a tree on my own accord, I’ve just spend money, but who cares. Nobody got directly richer from it. Thus all those millions of volunteers that help keeping society humane and working aren’t seen as valuable as those that have a job, whatever that job is. Helping replant a forest destroyed by industry is worth less, than making millions in stocks made from the destruction of that forest. And while the industry gets government support to do so, because it offers jobs, those that protest the cutting of the forest are regarded as obstacles to profit and growth? How mad is that?
Thirdly, and this may be the most maddening one, the givers give anyway. Yes, millions seek to help and make a difference. They act out of their own accord. They care. Thus when one underpays a teacher or nurse they keep doing their job, because they see it matters! Thus the takers, reason they get away with taking from them to make everything cheaper to invest, yes you guessed it, into takers. The weird thing is, takers will get there anyway. It’s the givers who may need help to keep doing what they do. Thus to me, ideas like basic income, high taxes for the very rich, fair salaries for care jobs, investment in long term regeneration of nature should beat any dime for the dinosaur companies slowly killing the planet.
Why we need to reward the Givers and take from the Takers.
I think it’s pure biology, like being gay or straight. We either grow up as giver or taker. Yes, and many nuanced variations in between. Takers being the hunters. Givers being the nourishers and caretakers of society. Takers could be hunters and take risks, because they had a home to return to with their spoils of the hunt or war. These they shared, because they were related to the givers and perhaps because banishment was then the worst possible punishment. But now in our complex society we lose such relationships out of sight. Takers can buy whatever caretaking they need. They can pay to avoid the consequences of their actions, like the war hawks of the arms industry. And this is poisoning their minds. They live in bubbles (watch them in Davos vs Rutger Bregman) that never confront them with the consequences of their actions, until it’s too late and unbalanced nature destroys them too. Yes, Mar a Lago will drown!
So what would happen when governments would invest in the givers? What would happen when they would invest in long term? The takers would still take, but have to be more careful. Their profits might be lower, but they’d make them anyway, because that is who they are. It is the givers that could shine, and would make giving much more attractive to all souls caught between these two sides. Starting projects to replant forests, starting building houses for the homeless, starting to educate those who can’t afford school would suddenly make sense to many more millions of people. And thus the whole of our world and society would improve. It is the givers who think about what benefits the whole? The wonder what needs must be met. They believe being human matters. I dream that this side of our nature wins.
Secondly, what is the profit of a nurse or teacher in the long run? We get told to think they cost us a lot. So what if a nurse helps heal a sick little boy, and his teacher helps delivers him a future where he enriches society with his art or craft? That’s gain for all of us. What is the gain of a banker? They invest with projected money based on future gains, read they loan from our future. We need to pay that back in the future. US citizens are still paying for the costs made with the (unjust) invasion of Iraq, while the big oil industries profit from the gains. If that isn’t robbery from both Iraq and US citizens, then what is? Thus support our collective future, not economic profit thinking.
What happens next is that we all should vote on programs supporting our world as a whole system. That we buy as little from the takers as possible. That we support, when we have jobs, every giver around us as much as possible. That we start trusting more and refuse ridiculous jobs. That we resist anyone increasing their own salary, while reducing those of others. Just read other Gentle Revolution bligs, like the Green Overhaul, and other peoples solutions, like Regenerative Design, that are already out there. Just choose to support those that help the whole. Help change our culture to a giving culture that considers what the whole of our society and natural environment needs.
BONUS 1: Logic to consider
By investing in those who help heal the whole, we invest in ourselves.
By paying those that voluntary care for others, we change the culture of the whole for the better. By investing in those who maximize profits, the whole will lose money to a few.
Our heart knows who our social heroes are. These should be supported by our governments with trust, means and connections.
Healthy nature should beat any claim to personal ownership of said nature.
The culture in which takers dominate, forces us all to be like them, and help destroy our nature environment driven by their logic and greed.
Having a personal attitude aimed at taking, winning, ambition is okay, as long as the consequences don’t hurt others, hurt nature and or involve conscious meddling with laws, politics and or lying in the media.
Whomever orders or does damage to the whole, should pay for the damages. Think lying, hiding truth of scientific investigations of the long term effects of an industry, and or pushing for continued production in this way. Crimes against nature are as bad as genocide, especially when thousands of deaths can be related to industries knowingly circumventing addressing the issue. i think we should consider being consciously responsible for the slow death of many, through industrial activity, is an offense equal to assault and manslaughter. Politicians who help such industries are personally responsible for the effect of their support and or related decisions. Justice in hindsight is possible. Treating those, that work for the whole and or protest to save nature, as obstructionists, is piracy and oppression. We one separated these costs of cause and effect (watch the corporation) and should a.s.a.p. turn back that clock.
2. Killing some of the arguments of the very rich:
Billionaire philanthropy doesn’t work!
The very rich keep on claiming their philanthropy makes a huge difference. Well, if you include how they got the money, they should be embarrassed like hell: underpaying workers, bribing politicians, destroying nature, hiding reports that show products are failing or even poisonous in effect or production and the list goes on. Philanthropy means you don’t change the system, at all. It’s distractive PR. It’s like most NGO’s: mopping the floor with the tap open. The Red Cross takes care of the victims of war, but it doesn’t seek to stop the wars. They’re not allowed. Most well intended philanthropical organizations seek to help, but won’t challenge the causes that are the root of the problem. Think inequality, corruption, injustice, oppression, war, mono cultures, all kinds of pollution by big industries. The only real challenge to that has been socialism (no wonder it’s hated so much), mass protests, bottom up innovations and caring governments.
Thus taxes spend on people at the bottom who do make a difference, help the most. It incites many other people to also be great change makers. Investing in long term wealth for everybody and nature beats all promises of profit for a few. We only win when everyone wins.
Sadly both socialism and caring governments are highly susceptible to corruption or, nowadays, foreign meddlers who’ll do everything to make such ideas fail for their interests. Mass protests may be steered to get anxious about more emotional issues like immigrants of another colour. Innovations can be bought, tempered with or, like the electric car, sidetracked for decades.
It’s here that through whistle blowers, alternative media, people waking up and exposing the dirty players people we can help such leaders and innovators to stay on the right path.
Bonus 1: More people come to the same conclusion
The rich getting richer hurts everyone and everything else!
It may sound strange. I’m not a socialist, nor a liberal. I rather seek the meta-level in systems to rise above broken systems. For one the promise that the rich getting richer will benefit the economy and thus us all, has been disproven many times. Go google it yourself. The USA on average did best when the taxes for the superrich were about 75% to 95%! Yes, read your history.
Secondly and more importantly, a healthy system is very diverse. Nature developed millions of different species all interdependent and working together to fine tune and balance into a healthy system. What happens when one predator kills everything in it’s way, like an unrestrained cancer? Exactly disease happens. This is valid on the overall level and in our own culture. When a few old buzzards can influence all media demanding restrictions in topics that can be discussed, lack of diversity makes all conversations shallow and often untruthful, let alone hurtful by omission of essential issues.
Thus we may discuss (puppet) Trump and his tweets, immigrants and murders as much as we like, from whatever angle. Yet we see no daily updates on climate programs, no daily steps towards healing of nature, no discussions about injustices around the world committed by our own industries. And we, the people get more anxious. We feel Greta Thunberg is more real than our governments. That is both troubling and sad. And it says the rich and powerful, who’ve known for decades what is happening and should be done, ain’t doing it, nor seek to learn or change on a major and necessary scale.
The rich didn’t work for it, as you may think!
It seems to be the logic of many who say, socialism takes away well deserved earnings. They say these rich worked for it. Then how come Trump-like inheritors also count as hard workers? Then how come we think those who work over 60 hours and still can’t feed their family aren’t hard workers, but those who have an army of lawyers, lobbyists and CEO’s are? So it isn’t the amount of hours, that we can say brought in the money. They made their money often by playing the rules, or even cheating. Most millionaires have some shame about their own first million. That should have you thinking.
Somebody, in the near future, will be mega rich of running an army of job robots doing all the work. Then is that his own achievement? I think, we must realize that all work done to create the infrastructure, that created him as an entrepreneur, too often ends up not getting the return on investment it deserves. Why aren’t all jobs lost not his concern? That even his own workers may end up on the streets is also not his concern. And if they get angry, then they’re are a lazy mob. We tell ourselves they should have played the game like him; a game that knows very few real winners, and many many more victims. Thus ending up super rich, means not one worked for it. It means someone played the game to get rich at the cost of many others. I say, we should also reward all those that helped create the climate in which such an entrepreneur could add his contribution to the whole. We should more fairly reward the shoulders we stand on, read all of us. Nobody is anything on his own, certainly not the superrich.
We’d all go bankrupt when we’d do this to the very rich.
Well, is the money in the hands of the very rich to everybody’s benefit currently? Or do the billionaires play Monopoly with fewer and fewer ‘winners’? The worth of a living tree in the Amazon is currently over $100.000 in healthcare benefits, eco benefits, stress reduction, tourism. What is it worth cut down? Made into 3000 papers and 130 Ikea cabinets I guess the net profits for the industrial aren’t even above a $1000 per tree. Talk about value destruction. And do I need cabinets I throw away in 4 years, because the construction is too sloppy? For the industrial this is a gain, for me and our planet this is a loss. Thus the ‘keep the giant wasteful industries working’ argument is actually a losing argument, except for anyone investing is this madness.
Currently whatever the big industries get their fingers on, degrades the quality of the products and harms the environment. Salmon? Overfishing led to industrial fish farms leaking hormones and other pollutant into the environment. We all suffer the consequences, yet they don’t pay for that, not even in taxes. Industrial meat, furniture, gadgets, clothing etc, all have become terrible industries, killing local balanced approaches over profits to be made by killing such cultures. We now know millions of small organic farms would heal the planet, more Monsanto is killing it, literally. And they even spend millions to keep that fact under the table. Let’s admit the mass production experiment of humanity failed. Small and local in touch with the environment worked for centuries. Let’s get back to that.