Posts Tagged: greed

Sep 16


We were lost, today, in the Greed-Maze of Corporate Retail–an Ikea store. The size and proportions of a Babylonian temple…Display after brightly colored display, dispirited, zombie-eyed underpaid employees occasionally glimpsed. A powerful chemistry-set smell about the place. Phthalates, polyurethane, and their toxic compadres, as we’re shunted through room after room, no escape except if the place is on fire and the emergency exit is hard to find too. A lady who sounds like she is thinking, “I”m in Hell” speaks over the loudspeaker about a special Ikea bargain, what a great Family Opportunity it is. I see a young couple with two small children smilingly looking over furniture for their home, their children clambering on it, rolling in neurotoxic carcinogenic fire retardants…

The shunting of people, the funneling of people, through the gigantic corporate maze, making sure the consumer rat gets every last possible prodding for the desired response–relentlessly funneled as per the authentic map, below, of one floor of Ikea: A discount store we’re drawn to because they clothe the slightly-lower prices as a bargain even as they pass along some of the labor of construction to us–we construct the furniture ourselves at home, and save them a great deal of money…

Mar 15

“Suffering–the New Economic Indicator”

IMAGINARY Banker at Investment Convention: “…then I had an epiphany. The more working class people actually and literally suffer, the better we’re doing our jobs! Suffering is a vastly important economic indicator.

Whether they’re working fast food or Wal-Mart, whether they’re Chinese workers driven to suicide in Apple computer sweatshops, or suffering hugely from overwork in Malaysian sweat shops for American clothing stores like The Gap–if they’re suffering, then *we’re doing something right!* I see doubt on your faces! But trust me–suffering really is a positive financial indicator. I am convinced human suffering could be used like the indicators of the Dow Jones. Suffering’s up? The economy’s up!

“If they’re overworked and underpaid…how are we not making money hand over fist? I’ve gotten some quite positive responses talking this idea over with congressmen. We can actually legislate to demand more suffering from workers…since suffering on the part of workers corresponds precise with extreme, even skyrocketing profits! What’s good for us, at our level of income, is good for America; what’s bad for the workers, is good for America. Because who is the true exemplar of American essence? The well-paid, is who, my friends! You and I!

“I am quite serious. We need to legislate this in–and in order to do that I am investing in a company that will be making suffering meters for the average American low level employee, and another, slightly modified, for overseas sweatshops. We need to rehabilitate the term ‘suffering’ when it applies to workers.

“Right now the word sweatshop is a negative. Can you imagine? It should be a badge of pride. Sweat is what built America! We shop around other people’s sweat, do we not? Suffering, misery, sweatshops…these are positives. And we need to designate them that way–by law!”