Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll (especially sex)

So did you hear about the two antique dealers who got washed up on a desert island with a chippendale cabinet, They got very rich over the years selling it back and forward to each other over and over, making a profit on each deal they did.

Last night my wife and I were invited out to dinner with a few old friends - of course I really didn't want to go, being the miserable unsociable git that I have become over the last 50 or so years on the planet, but actually I really enjoyed the whole evening. I do have to be a little careful at events like this cos I have this thing where if I drink too much wine I get very loud, and start to say a few things without thinking too much about the consequences. See normally I am a very quiet guy who considers his words and weighs up exactly what each situation can take in the way of humour, politics, religion or whatever. There are only a few people who really ever hear what I truly think about things - I've got few enough friends as it is.
Anyway, one interesting discussion centred around my inability to understand how wealth is created. I have thought about this for a long time (like for years), even to the point where I have actively sought out and questioned people who call themselves economists, but to date I still don't understand how it happens. It could just be that I am simply not smart enough to get this I guess.
But thinking about those two guys with the Chippendale cabinet - that is kind of the situation we are in isn't it. We have these resources that we buy and sell, and wealth gets created, but I just can't understand where it comes from. See if someone in our local hippy town comes up with some new fad, like emotional whatever techniques, and some other guy goes and buys it for £60 an hour, he's got to get that £60 from somewhere, so he has to sell something he does to get his money, but those people that buy whatever he is selling have to sell something themselves to get their money, and so on and so on. So the original guys new idea is creating wealth, but that money to buy it off him has to come from somewhere. So I reckon someone somewhere has to be losing out badly. Wealth can't come from nowhere. My hunch is it coming from explotitation of the third world - I bet the profit is coming from exploitation of labour, just like Karl Marx said all those years ago.
Just tell me if I'm wrong, one of you clever fuckers out there.


  1. Not just the Third World Tom, but otherwise I think you're spot on. Those of us not in the owning class produce value with our labour, a great deal of which is appropriated by owners, otherwise known as capitalists. From this a whole world of shit is created... a division of some importance amongst anti-capitalists revolves around whether there is more to hierarchy than this simple act of theft or not. Rightists deny that an egalitarian society would create wealth, but then they're lying arseholes! We face still the choice of old: socialism or barbarism! Anarchy now!

  2. I will answer that question, Tom, if you send me £75.

  3. Vicus you greedy fucker. Cheque in post ok.

    Kropotkin - I thought I'd got that almost sortyed. Just thinking about natural resources too though - like oil say, that creates wealth too.

  4. That's true Tom, but natural resources aren't worth anything until mixed with the labour of workers. However, automated the extraction processes are, at some point in the production of say, oil, some poor fucker is getting ripped off; not getting the true value of their labour.

  5. You were doing so well, right up until the last sentence there Tommy. I was so proud.

  6. Oh Pammy, it breaks my heart that I have let you down yet again. Try as I might I cannot live to the high standards you desire of your man. Loathe as I am to say it Pammy, I fear I will never be good enough for you.

  7. Well, who wouldn't make money and get wealthy if it only costs about a buck to produce and manufacture something and the markup is like 20-30 bucks!

    Oh what I wouldn't give to be financially stable.

  8. Oh, Tom, what's the problem. I want to rip you off. So I sell you a pair of trainers/jeans/hoodie/whatev-ah for a fistful of tenners, and you're happy 'cause you look cool and hip down wiv da kids when you're bemoaning the lot of the poor. I'm happy 'cause I am now in possession of aforementioned of fistful of wonga.

    In order to sell you said consumer goods, I needed someone to make them for me. Because he is starving, due to totalitarian and/or corrupt regime with close links to former Western governmental leaders, he was prepared to make the consumer goods in exchange for a bowl of rice. Because I am a really nice guy, I gave him a bowl and a bit. And to preserve the status quo, I gave one of your tenners to the totalitarian and/or corrupt regime.

    You look trendy - your happy.

    He got fed - he's happy.

    His dictator got a back-hander - he's happy.

    I got rich - I'm happy.

    Management consultancies describe this as a 'Win/Win' situation. Nice.

    Er, Body Shop, anyone? Sell shit to teenagers, made by teenagers in the third world for fuck-all money, sorry, 'invested in'.

    I'm going back to Pammy's blog, that is sweet and smiley.

  9. Krusty, you're sweet.

    Tommy, you know I still loves ya.

  10. I'll tell you the answer of £65, thereby undercutting Vicus and demonstrating the Adam Smith free market economy. It's dog eat dog out there.

  11. I’ll tell you the answer for £100
    At first sight you may not think this represents value for money.

    However, but my answer will be the correct answer as I have qualifications in answering questions and therefore my answer will be a quality answer.

    It will last you twice as long as Vicus’ and so in reality is 50% cheaper than his. He is ripping you off.

    It won’t break in the first week which is what will happen to Murph’s if you go for the cheap option.

    This is the Best Option – send your cheque to me

  12. Ziggi appears to be offering an 'added value solution'. Check out his after-sales service and 'customer support'. You know you trust Vicus, but Murph claims to be cheaper - how does he manage to be over 13% cheaper - there must be a catch (there's no such thing as a free lunch). Are there hidden costs?

    You see, Tom, you've exhibited a demand, and you have three offers of supply, now there's a market place, and someone somewhere is going to get turned over. It's human nature. Depressing, isn't it? And it's your fault!

    See what you've done with your asking questions, why can't you be content with ignorant consumerism, eh?

  13. I'm a Labrador - we work for Baker's Complete Shite. Still, my economic utterences will be as useful as the next person.

  14. The marketplace & someone being turned over is not "human nature".... that is the last resort of the comfortable reactionary. You can call it your nature if you like, but it ain't mine!

  15. Well, thank you everyone for answering my question, and thank you also to the three people who have offered to supply me the answer in return for cash.
    Interestingly, we are pretty much all in agreement as to who is picking up the tab for the extravagant way we choose to live our lives. So now all we have to do (or not) is work out a practical solution to this uncomfortable (or not) situation that we find ourselves.

  16. Oh, I'm comfy enough, except for all these annoying bill collectors yammering at me constantly.

  17. What I want to know is if a finite amount of wealth, or paper money, was in circulation at any one time, and there was more of it the next day, where in the hell did it come from? My employer supposedly payed me from his profits, then I took that and bought stuff with it, but more and more people work and spend, which means there's more money floating around, so, where is it coming from? Otherwise more and more people would be getting less of a cut of a finite amount of cash, which obviously isn't happening. So, is there a money orchard growing somewhere?

  18. Welcome Michael and it's good to know the mystery of wealth is not only my problem. It would be good if someone could put forward the other point of view - I remember Mrs Thatcher's 'cascade of wealth' theory, which to be fair, I think most people realised was a convenient justification for the rich to get richer.
    I genuinely would like to know the actual truth about this situation if anyone out there knows it.

  19. Tom, notice that there probably isn't one millionaire lurking in the comments section. However, I would like to point out that the media financial experts all provided us with the real reasons why gas prices go up when they do, and since anybody with a lick of common sense knows they are just blowing it all out of their asses, I guess it wouldn't do much good to ask a millionaire where wealth comes

  20. Your wrong!
    Hang on......errrrrrrr your right!
    No wrong........right........wrong...
    Oh damn must be all that sex getting to my brain........

  21. Welcome Whitesnake, and yes, you are so right, or wrong. On balance I think I have to agree with you, or actually maybe I don't.

  22. And the winner of the Definite Maybe Contest goes to........ Tom! No, Whitesnake! No, wait.

  23. how to make wealth

    1.exploit and control an abundant natural resource, and convert same into necessary goods.
    2. kill a bunch of people. take their goods too.

    congratulations! you are wealthy! move to america and eat fried chicken on the beach.

  24. I can tell where a fair proportion of my wealth is going! I've ordered my happy organic freerange turkey from the village butcher and this year it is £8+ /lb !!!! eeek. It better have been bloody happy in its life prior to being just a tad dead.

  25. Hoepfully you are enjoying life so much that you just don't have the time to post for those poor lifeless boring suckers in blogland.

    Love ya! And remember to have fun for me!

  26. See what happens, Tom, when you start thinking seriously about stuff. It makes your brain hurt and unable to think of things to write about.
    Get back to writing about stuff you know about. Not sure what that is, I have never regarded you to be an authority on anything at all.

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