Down the Drain.

As a novelist, I’m beginning to believe that it is a waste of time to blog about made up thrillers when we have a ringside seat at a much more relevant drama under our very noses. Huge corporations that have formed part of the framework of our lives ever since we can remember are on the point of bankruptcy. Who needs fiction?

It seems that a marketing model that has worked for years has finally been revealed to be faulty. Who knew? The only market strategy that always works is the one the tobacco industry followed. Joe Badbreath runs out of smokes; he gets up from the couch and goes out to the car; he drives to the store and buys more – then he comes home and burns them. You can hardly beat that for creating market demand.

Since 1939 aircraft manufacturers have had it made. Until 1945 they increased production beyond any previous dream, moving into every kind of workshop and factory in every corner of many countries. And what happened to the resulting production? A bunch of poor young fellows flew them to the other side of the water where another aircraft manufacturer ran another windfall system where they would turn those aircraft into scrap metal. As long as you weren’t one of the young fellows, you had it made. Since 1945 the system has slowed down some, except where pork barreling can work efficiently, and where the prices compensated by increasing exponentially.

It seems that the solution to maintaining peak production and peak profits is to have an efficient means of eliminating your products. Detroit managed that for years, producing some lemons that people were glad to send to the crusher. Today, people are looking for automobiles that they might like, and which might be worth keeping for many years more than the old sales system can accommodate. Result? Both GM and Chrysler are teetering on the brink – and Ford has an anxious expression if you can catch them when they don’t think you’re looking. They are all trying to find a way to recover the old magic, but the magic bullet is hard to find.

Whatever solution smart engineers come up with they always seem to run into a blank wall whenever money comes into it. They could produce wonderful machines that do 100 mpg, that last a lifetime, that use no oil – either in the motor or in the tank – and are so safe as to be almost foolproof. The only problem is the money.

Millions of working people are losing their jobs, pensioners are losing more than 50% of their pensions, local governments are going broke. Banks are at a loss how to continue separating the public from their wallets, because they’re frightened to lend any money to someone who may just walk away from the debt. Some governments are hiring the very people who got us into this mess to show them how to get us out of it. Talk about putting the foxes in charge of the henhouse – these guys have only succeeded in bailing out their friends so far.

So I puzzled how I could write something that might compete with this blockbuster of a fantastic scenario. I hardly think the most ridiculous Hollywood production company could outdo this epic – audiences just wouldn’t believe it. And what I came up with was the fact that the whole problem is money – actually the very idea of money. Maybe it’s a concept whose time is past. Next time I’ll try to offer some cogent support for the idea.


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One Response to “Down the Drain.”

  1. joylene Says:

    It’s no wonder we haven’t been invaded by aliens. They stop by, see how haotic we’re treating our resolves and probably can’t get away from our planet fast enough.

    Either that or they’re flying off in their ships, laughing their heads off.

    Good post, Chris!

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