Blogs by J. O. Quantaman
10/12/2009 12:25:24 PM
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Sales are valued in quantity, not necessarily quantity. The brokers who sell junk bonds are paid according to how many bonds they sell. The same thing goes for sellers of toothpaste, disposable pens, aluminum drainpipes, pizzas and so on. Nobody worries whether a product may have or good versus bad effects on the environment or beneficial versus detrimental effects on a buyer's health.
We are conditioned to expect a variety of choices for anything we purchase. Folks have the freedom to choose from a number of brands of toothpaste, bath tissue, canned fish, lipstick, longnose pliers and so on. At the same time, the producers of these brands compete to keep their products on the front shelves of stores. Folks can buy the brands they desire, but no matter how they choose, they must pay a considerable markup, which covers advertising and exposure costs. In some cases, the only thing that distinguishes two products is the design of their packages and the mojo of their respective brands. Buyers must pay for successful as well as unsuccessful advertising campaigns.
The above example is like a computer that has one built-in function. It can only add and subtract numbers. It has no ability to multiply or divide, and it doesn't remember the answers to the additions or subtractions. It is a dumb machine without useful software.
Now suppose we institute a marketplace where producers must compete for the privilege of selling their products. A producer could not sell a product or service until the producer proved the product or service was superior to all other competitors. Rules could be introduced on this level to gauge a product's true worth to all prospective buyers. The product (and making of it) would be healthful to buyers as well as to the society in general. The product would be useful and durable. It would be designed to be recycled and/or disposed with the least footprint on the environment. In short, a society could apply sensible constraints at the beginning of the product cycle rather than at the landfill stage. Consumers would have fewer choices, but they would be getting the best value for their money. Consumers would also know their purchases were not contributing to dreadful climate changes.
In sum, a competitive marketplace would respond to ongoing changes in the software, which would reflect the best health of citizens as well as sustainable and prosperous economy.
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