Saturday, March 31, 2012

Profit and Loss, a Human Perspective

We have all, in more or less words, heard the expression “It's just business.” Usually, when we here it there is negative karma associated with it. However, if we consider it from a global perspective, it represents something all-together more dreadful. It reflects opportunities lost, and opportunities are what make life worth living.

I am just one person, but my experiences are not altogether different from other people's experiences. For example, something recently happened to me in the context of “It's just business.” I started work on a farm in California, 1500 miles away from my friends and family. The terms of work were that I would work about 45 hours a week for room (a small travel trailer), partial board (vegetables from a farmer's market), and 500 dollars a month. While not the best deal in the world, I took it because it would place me in a position for greater opportunities, namely starting to market my laundry soap and line of teas at above-mentioned farmer's market. However, in the first week I got moderately injured and sick, something not all-to-uncommon doing hard manual labor in animal husbandry. I was willing to persevere, however the farmer was in need of something more. He let me go, as he is in dire financial straits, and could not afford to wait for me to get better.

In the end, both of us lost out. He did not get the farm hand he needed to be a financial success, to take care of his family, and to have the life he works tirelessly to build. I lost out on an opportunity to do the above-mentioned things, lost respect from peers, life needlessly turned upside-down, and was left penniless, and why? Because of the insidious nature of money. It does not just affect the microcosm, the farmer and I, but those who's lives touch ours! Promising friendships put under undue and untimely strain, small children who want to have time to spend with their dad, and the quality time spend on things that matter, not where next months mortgage payment is coming from! This is why we need post-scarcity! Not Socialism, because it does not nurture innovation, not free market capitalism and its endless pursuit of profit to the degradation of all else, but radical abundance, so that everyone has the tools they need to climb the ladder of human achievement!

My story is not unique. If anything, it is far less disastrous than some, where people actually lose their life due to not having what they need. I am fortunate, I had another opportunity available to me, and my wounds will heal. It is not microcosmic, it is macroscopic and systemic. Let's do better! Let's build a future where stories like this are not common, where “It's just business!” is a phrase of a by-gone era. We have the tools we need, let's use them intelligently, so that humanity does not have to endure another generation of broken dreams and false hopes.

I will be discussing this more fully in my upcoming book “Perspectives of Someone of No Particular Consequence, 99 Reasons to Occupy” #POSONPC99RTO

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