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#330844 - 12/19/20 03:54 PM Re: What is wealth? How is it made? How is it accounted? [Re: logtroll]
chunkstyle Offline
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Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 2675
No doubt desires are the well spring of advertising and media production.

If advertising and medias primary goal is to produce feelings and desires in an individual in order to illicit a certain response then it fulfills the very definition of propaganda:

"Propaganda is the more or less systematic effort to manipulate other people’s beliefs, attitudes, or actions by means of symbols (words, gestures, banners, monuments, music, clothing, insignia, hairstyles, designs on coins and postage stamps, and so forth)."

A very effective tool for selling products, ideas and politicians. So much of our culture and ideas come at us as manufactured propaganda that, often times, conversations become just a distribution system to deliver payload of dubious origin.

It may not be a language barrier as much as a product placement barrier.

Best line I remember from a run down, sun beat old private bill board on the side of the road sayin something of 'what does it profit a man to gain the earth but lose his own soul'.

Sounds like scripture, or it did anyways.


Edited by chunkstyle (12/19/20 04:03 PM)

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#330847 - 12/19/20 06:10 PM Re: What is wealth? How is it made? How is it accounted? [Re: logtroll]
NW Ponderer Offline
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Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 17485
I'm going to wax a little poetic about this, admitting I haven't read the thread yet, so this is my initial thought process:

For most people "wealth" is a comparator - a relation to how "others" are doing. This is true across cultures, whether we're using gold, dollars or goats as the standard, one is "wealthy" if they have more of them. For some, it becomes an obsession, the need to accumulate and be seen as possessing more. Trump is a good example of this, but it applies to many in the "moneyed" class, and those who aspire to being there.

For me, wealth is more about satisfaction. Am I satisfied with where I am in my life? In comparison to others, I might be deemed wealthy (I retired early), but to others I am a pauper. I reside in equal parts working and investor class. I own my home outright, but drive (mostly) well-used vehicles and don't go much in for luxuries (although, I try to insist on well-made). I now have abundant leisure time to "spend" on friends, family, travel and petty pursuits. I don't want for needs. I can buy what food I want, eat out when I want, acquire tools or toys on a whim, or take a trip or rescue my offspring from imprudent choices. I am keenly aware that these are luxuries to many if not most. In that sense I consider myself "wealthy." It's about the absence of want.

To me, wealth is about personal happiness - so ironically those who might objectively seem "wealthy" to others can be spiritual paupers, always wanting more.

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#330850 - 12/19/20 06:38 PM Re: What is wealth? How is it made? How is it accounted? [Re: logtroll]
chunkstyle Offline
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Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 2675
Comparing and contrasting, ‘Feelings’ of contentment, sure.

At some point, though, shouldn’t objective conditions come into it. Thinking about handling $400 emergency for many. Lack of adequate food, healthcare, any material benefits from the political economy, Labor uptake, etc...

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#330853 - 12/19/20 07:21 PM Re: What is wealth? How is it made? How is it accounted? [Re: chunkstyle]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 17485
Originally Posted By: chunkstyle
At some point, though, shouldn’t objective conditions come into it. Thinking about handling $400 emergency for many. Lack of adequate food, healthcare, any material benefits from the political economy, Labor uptake, etc...
Absolutely. It is hard to be content or satisfied when you don't know where your next meal is coming from, or when any setback results in personal disaster. Yet, it is also true that people with little can be satisfied with their condition.

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#330856 - 12/19/20 11:27 PM Re: What is wealth? How is it made? How is it accounted? [Re: logtroll]
pondering_it_all Offline
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Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 10892
Loc: North San Diego County
Loggy, I did NOT leave out a "not". Capitalism is a means of accelerating entropy. Without capitalism, entropy runs slower but is still inevitable. With capitalism, entropy over the whole system runs faster, but we can do things that enlarge the system. Sometimes by orders of magnitude.

I'm just thinking on a grander scale than most people. I think that life on Earth has all the resources in our solar system at our disposal. Going to other stars may always be impractical, just because of low ROI. But we have the energy capital right now to have access to all that. If we stop advancing and equitably divide what we have now, all humans now living could have long and happy lives. Other species, not so much.

But unless we restrict population growth, those equitable shares get smaller and smaller. And not over millennia, but over decades. We would all get poorer over our individual lifetimes.

Some people want everybody to be equally poor. I prefer people become equally rich.

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#330857 - 12/19/20 11:55 PM Re: What is wealth? How is it made? How is it accounted? [Re: pondering_it_all]
logtroll Offline
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Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 10800
Loc: One of the Mexicos
My focus is more on the environment. In my view, most of what we mindlessly call wealth is being generated from the destruction of the environment. I see that destruction as human-caused cancer, not entropy.

If no costs are externalized, I'm afraid the account books don't support that the conversion of the environment to a wasteland, and the pollution of the atmosphere into a greenhouse, and doing such a fair trade for artificial wealth.

I don't want more, I want less. I don't want to go to live on Mars, either.

I was down at the farm this afternoon working on the greenhouse foundation for our local role in the Conservation Innovation Grant, and two of our LLC's newest members, both naturalists and ornithologists, were doing an annual bird count along the creek that flows through the farm, which they have been doing for twenty years. We are on a neotropical migratory flyway. They reported that they have documented an average 2% reduction annually, with less species diversity. I count species diversity and heathy populations of wildlife as an important form of wealth. We are losing it quickly and dramatically.

The cost of some kinds of wealth is much higher than its value - I think that means it is not actually wealth, but delusion.
_________________________
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller

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#330863 - 12/20/20 01:24 AM Re: What is wealth? How is it made? How is it accounted? [Re: logtroll]
chunkstyle Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 2675
Agreed.

If you factored the externalized costs of environmental destruction into the profit/loss calculation of most capitalist endeavors you’d find that capitalism mostly operates in the red. The trick has been to sell the public on a fairy tale of free markets and artificial scarcity that benefits the current arrangements.

The pandemic response should have been revelatory as to what is prioritized in the political economy. Property and profit are guaranteed. Life, liberty and happiness? Not so much.

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#330877 - 12/20/20 07:12 PM Re: What is wealth? How is it made? How is it accounted? [Re: pondering_it_all]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 3954
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
Yep population is a problem. Now throw in climate change. Latin America, right now, is running out of food. Europe, Africa, actually pretty much the entire world is starting to feel a pinch. Now add in the ice caps melting. We all know how that is changing things like world water lines. However, just one more things about that melting business. Seems that the ice weighed a lot and was able to kinda stabilize things geological. Now little things, like that Cascadia subduction zone - that one will destroy the northwest. Then there is the supervolcano which will do wonders on the southwest.

So, there are too many people and many of those people are running out of food and moving around. The earth we live in is also getting pesky. Oh, one more thing - seems that access to water is also becoming a serious problem as well. Anybody that has water and food and has not blowed up is in the sights of them that have such problems and there are a LOT of them!

If nothing else - interesting times!

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#330881 - 12/21/20 02:32 PM Re: What is wealth? How is it made? How is it accounted? [Re: logtroll]
chunkstyle Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 2675
Agreed JGW.

Lets start by eliminating the population that's contributing the most to the climate collapse and work it backwards..

Wouldn't that make the most sense. Eliminate the problem by eliminate the greatest contributors of CO2?

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#330882 - 12/21/20 02:59 PM Re: What is wealth? How is it made? How is it accounted? [Re: logtroll]
perotista Offline
member

Registered: 09/05/19
Posts: 1205
I always wondered if the rain forests were the same size as they were in let's say 1900, if we hadn't been cutting down trees and eliminating farm land to build suburbs, shopping malls and the like if we wouldn't be having the problem with CO2 we're having today. I do think the asphalt and concrete being laid down while eliminating vegetation has a lot to do with it.

Although I may be over estimating the ability of plants and vegetation to reduce CO2 and replace it with oxygen. Just a thought. I've never been able to find an answer to the question above.
_________________________
It's high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first instead of their political party. For way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.

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