When we speak of EISENHOWER handing much of our US Federal agencies to a foreign sovereign MITRE CORPORATION then followed by BUSH doing the same we see why these few decades have seen an attack on our US public school system and why employment became so crony tied to a 5% to the 1% freemason/Greek throughout our Federal agencies---seeping down to our state and local government. BUSTING OUR US ECONOMY was more than busting our US labor unions.
We want to discuss education public policy from the view of employment, middle-class, and consumerism. We shared an article from raging global banking UK GUARDIAN trying to tell our 99% of WE THE PEOPLE that our all citizens are driven by greed and excess just as are those pre-Christian CATO/NERO/SENECA stoic OLD WORLD global 1%. NOT REALLY!
When we describe the REAGAN/CLINTON era as the start of an attack on our US public education system for all 99% of US citizens we can see this decline tied to CONSUMERISM tied to moving our US corporations overseas to FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.
This article does address what has become a far-too consumer oriented US middle-class----but from where does this drive to consumerism come? From global banking 1%-----nothing says REAGAN/CLINTON global banking 1% than our favorite freemason STAR -----ANDY WARHOL and that MAD MAN of advertising----DON DRAPER.
From the Hollywood movie WALL STREET----
Gordon Gekko: The most valuable commodity I know of is information.
Gordon Gekko: Greed captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the television series. For the DC Comics villains, see Madmen.
Created byMatthew Weiner
Opening theme"A Beautiful Mine" (Instrumental)
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons7
No. of episodes92 (list of episodes)
Mad Men is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner and produced by Lionsgate Television. The series premiered on July 19, 2007, on the cable network AMC. After seven seasons and 92 episodes, Mad Men's final episode aired on May 17, 2015.
Mad Men is set primarily in the 1960s, initially at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York City, and later at the newly created firm, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (later Sterling Cooper & Partners), located nearby in the Time-Life Building, at 1271 Sixth Avenue.
What took American education system and stable, healthy, broad REAL free market economy was the saturation of US media with ADVERTISING FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS people really did not need. Our humanities and arts public universities gradually became industrial arts tied to graphic arts and advertising as the major employer.
Hmmmm, who do we say LIE, CHEAT, AND STEAL????? Indeed, it is those 5% to the 1% SHOW ME THE MONEY PLAYERS........not our 99% WE THE PEOPLE.
Turbo-consumerism is the driving force behind crime
Failed consumers will lie, cheat and steal to gain the trappings of success so that they can be regarded as normal
Wed 28 Jun 2006 19.12 EDT THE GUARDIAN
Last week my son got mugged for his iPod. He wasn't hurt, just a bit embarrassed about some of the songs his assailants will find on it. This week I had my mobile stolen while sitting on a park bench. This is low-level stuff that is now commonplace. But there is a vital link between these ever-upgradable gadgets and the prime minister's call for a rebalancing of the relationship between the victims of crime and the perpetrators.In "my day" it was different. No one got mugged, perhaps because we didn't have anything worth taking. A home-made catapult was about as hi-tech as it got. Today a kid's trainers, iPod and mobile can easily cost £400 to replace - and can be gone as quickly as it takes a hooded youth to claim there's a knife in their pocket. I'm glad my son didn't take the risk of calling his robber's bluff.
But he had something they didn't. An iPod and the right phone are now essential trappings of youth - not just because they let you talk or listen to music at your convenience, but because of what they say about you. Once we were known by what we produced. Now we judge ourselves and others by what we and they consume. The advertisers know this; that's why they ask: "What does your mobile say about you?" Welcome to the consumer society and the world of the turbo-consumer. It's a world driven by competition for consumer goods and paid-for experiences, of hi-tech and high-end shopping signals that have become the means by which we keep score with each other.
As the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman points out, to be a successful consumer now defines what it is to be "normal". Therefore to be "abnormal" is to be a failed consumer. The lot of the failed consumer is miserable. This new poor may be better off in absolute terms than the poor of previous generations, but in the world of the turbo-consumer what you have means nothing - it's what others have and therefore what we must have next that counts. On these terms the new poor are falling far behind in an age when keeping up is everything.
The failed consumer suffers not just from exclusion from normal society but isolation. The poor of the past had each other in a community of poverty. Misery could be shared and countered through class solidarity and the hope of a different life. The new poor lick their wounds alone in their council flats, with nowhere to hide from the messages on billboards and TV that constantly remind them of their social failure. The new poor, without the right labels and brands, are not just excluded but invisible.
The final ignominy of today's poor is that they don't want to overthrow the rich to create a new order, they just want to be like them. So they are denied even the satisfaction of anyone to hate - just B-list celebrities to envy and copy.
So if you want the causes of crime then look no further than the impulse of the poor to belong and be normal. So strong is this urge that the failed consumer will lie, cheat and steal to "earn" the trappings of success. In the world of the "me generation", people become calculating rather than law-abiding in their overwhelming desire to be normal. This is crime driven by the rampant egoism of turbo-consumerism, where enough is never enough. And precisely because of its competitive nature, consumer-driven crime cannot be switched off through tougher laws.
New Labour has attempted to address some of the causes of crime with tax credits, a minimum wage and the New Deal. They are all helpful, but the government hardly ever talks about them.
Why should failed consumers play by the rules when no one at the top seems to - when social mobility is declining; when the government refuses to implement vocational training reforms for fear of a Daily Mail backlash over A-levels; when more thick middle-class children fill our universities; and when school league tables mean "problem kids" won't be tolerated?
New Labour refuses to change the rules of the market state and consumer society, and instead attempts another crackdown on the symptoms through Asbos and control orders. Just like Thatcherism, New Labour relies on a strong state to police a free market. The prime minister extols his respect agenda without realising that the architect of the term, the sociologist Richard Sennett, was talking about the respect the powerful give to the powerless. So Tony Blair tries to turn back the tide of crime against a rampant consumer culture of new gadgets that are designed, advertised, sold and bought to prove our normality over and over again. Nine years, 50 law bills and more than 700 new offences later, being even tougher on crime isn't going to work.
Of course, it is always wrong to mug or steal - but unless, as a society, we are prepared to understand why crime happens then, in the words of the criminologist Professor Ian Loader, "we are using a sticking plaster to fix a broken leg". You cannot build a tolerant society on the basis of zero tolerance.
In his speech last Friday, Blair admitted that "we can identify such families virtually as their children are born". But his solution is the science fiction of the film Minority Report, when the real crime is the existence of such families in a nation bulging with wealth.
When it is the dominance of the consumer economy that is driving so much crime, easy answers aren't close to hand. We need a different conception of the good life, in which time, relationships and care take precedence over consumerism. Next there is a political alliance to be created between the post-material, happiness-seeking middle classes, who want more time, and this new poor, who have all the time in the world but none of the money. This is what needs rebalancing: not the criminal justice system, but the wealth and riches of the nation.
The problem of not belonging, of being anxious and insecure, afflicts us all. It's just more sharply focused for those at the bottom of the heap. The social theorist Roberto Unger says: "Almost everyone feels abandoned. Almost everyone believes they are an outsider, looking in through the window at the party going on inside."
If we don't acknowledge their plight, the victims of an economy out of our control will always come back to haunt us. Against the backdrop of our comfort and complacency, the case for tax and tolerance has never been more needed.
These global banking 1% freemason STARS working for those OLD WORLD GLOBAL 1% KINGS AND QUEENS who are driven by greed and excessive consumerism and gaining wealth and power anyway they can------created that SOCIETAL FAD -----of saturated advertising in our US society making it COOL TO CONSUME. At the same time our US economy was being driven to collapse by those global banking pols sending our US corporations overseas where they merged, consolidated and were enfolded into the hands of OLD WORLD GLOBAL 1%. US 99% WE THE PEOPLE were being made largely unemployed with employment tied to being a 5% freemason/Greek. The ME GENERATION was driven by those 5% SHOW ME THE MONEY players who largely fueled this US consumerism.
What also drove US consumerism during these few decades of US corporations moving overseas was the PRODUCT CHEAPNESS AND POOR QUALITY that forced US consumers to replace over and over and over products that used to last several decades and often were inherited over generations. THE CHEAPNESS AND POOR QUALITY OF PRODUCTS drove our US consumerism by working and middle-class.
David Bowie - Andy Warhol
Published on Sep 9, 2009
Classic pop art tune from Hunky Dory
Keep in mind CHEAP CHINESE PRODUCTS were always global banking 1% corporations simply operating in CHINESE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES. US citizens used to be able to buy a shirt or pants that would last a few decades-----suddenly having to buy new clothing every few years. This is excessive consumerism by our US working and middle-class---but it was orchestrated by global banking 1%.
'Why are Chinese products of such low quality (other than iPhone being manufactured in China)?
Michael Diliberto, eight years in China, over half in third-tier cities; living, working, setting up businesses, and managing ...
Answered Jan 15 2014 · Upvoted by David Levy, Over 30 years in China Operations & Mfg Turnarounds · Author has 149 answers and 397.6k answer views
As a sourcing professional in China, I can safely say that if I had a nickel for every western manager that pulled out an iPhone during a discussion about product design or quality control in China, I would have retired a few years back'.
Our digital TVs with microchips that deliberately fail just after warranty of 5 years------the microchip costs the same as buying a new TV----where our last century family bought a TV that lasted several decades and went to our young adults.
The end of cheap goods?Some are predicting the end of the cheap “China price”; others are more sanguine
Jun 9th 2011 | HONG KONG AND TAIPEI
“IT IS the end of cheap goods,” says Bruce Rockowitz. He is the chief executive of Li & Fung, a company that sources more clothes and common household products from Asia than perhaps any other. In the low-tech areas in which Li & Fung specialises, the firm handles an estimated 4% of China's exports to America and a sizeable chunk of its exports to Europe, too. It has operations in several East Asian countries, where it diligently searches for cheap, reliable suppliers of everything from handbags to bar stools. So when Mr Rockowitz says the era of low-cost Asian production is drawing to a close, people listen.
He argues that Asian manufacturing has gone through a number of phases, each lasting about 30 years. When China was isolated under Mao Zedong, companies in Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea grew expert at making things. When China reopened in the late 1970s, after Mao's death, these experienced Asian operators converged on southern China. With almost free access to land and labour, plus an efficient port and logistics hub in nearby Hong Kong, they started to make things ever more cheaply and sell them to the whole world.
Ahhhh, the good old GREAT LEAP FORWARD MAOISM using MARXISM to make all China communal land taking away Chinese peasant's ability to have family land owned for hundreds of years to farm and be housed-----great for global banking Chinese 1% to then simply TAKE that communal land and enslave those former peasant land owners.
For the next 30 years manufacturers in China helped to keep global inflation in check. But that era is now over, says Mr Rockowitz. Chinese wages are rising fast. A wave of new demand, especially from China itself, is feeding a surge in commodity prices. Manufacturers can find some relief by moving production to new areas, such as western China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Malaysia, India and Indonesia. But none of these new places will curb inflation the way southern China once did, he predicts. All rely on the same increasingly expensive pool of commodities. Many have rising wages or poor logistics. None can provide the scale and efficiency that was created when manufacturers converged on southern China.
Global 1% designer economy------MOVING FORWARD and no, Chinese 99% wages are NOT RISING.
Nothing can replace the Chinese miracle. “There is no next,” says Mr Rockowitz. Prices will now start to rise by 5% or more each year, with no end in sight. And that may be optimistic. So far this year, Mr Rockowitz says, Li & Fung's sourcing operation has seen price increases of 15% on average. Other sourcers of Asian toys, clothes and basic household products tell similarly ominous tales.
We have discussed why global banking 1% loved STEVE JOBS and APPLE -----the genius of APPLE was to create the desire in our US 99% to be willing to buy new hardware for each technology upgrade that could have been bundled into one release. MASSIVE waste of natural resources-----massive environmental devastation in toxic waste in production and landfill waste---but global banking loved the MARKETING AND ADVERTISEMENT bringing our working and middle-class out to buy yet another product.
Now, in fairness to our US 99% ------at the same time these marketeers were going crazy----our global corporations tooling themselves with these products were REQUIRING our US 99% to know how to use these products and to have them available at home----the 99% of WE THE PEOPLE were consuming largely because we needed products for our employment.
INDEED, THERE ARE ALWAYS THOSE 99% NEEDING THESE PRODUCTS FOR STATUS.
So, global banking 1% fleeced our US 99% of WE THE PEOPLE of our personal wealth we should have been saving and investing in our future family welfare with this manufactured SOCIETAL FAD of ultra-consumerism.
What Was the Real Magic Behind Steve Jobs' Marketing--and Can Apple Maintain It?
Robert Hof , Contributor I cover the collision of advertising and the Internet. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
While Steve Jobs' genius went well beyond smart marketing, there's no doubt that was a major factor in Apple's success over the years. But what exactly did he do right that very few other technology companies have? Bill Cleary, who worked for Jobs at Apple from 1981 to 1985 and later worked with both Apple and NeXT (at the same time!) at CKS Partners, provided some insight at today's AlwaysOn Venture Summit.
Here's what Cleary, now senior partner at Cleary & Partners, had to say:
Apple and Jobs fundamentally changed advertising. Apple fully integrated all its marketing--PR, advertising, creative--something that to this day isn't done anywhere else in Silicon Valley. (Of course, the challenge for Apple now is that that integration was in the form of Steve Jobs himself. No telling if Apple can do the same without Jobs himself as the nexus.)
When Jobs returned to Apple, he instituted the Think Different ad campaign. Nobody else had the sheer chutzpah to say that people like Gandhi and Einstein would be using Apple Macintoshes if they were alive today.Jobs also anthropomorphized computers, Cleary says, making Macs cooler and hipper. That drives the emotional attachment that people have for Apple. You had newscasters almost breaking out in tears after he died, and people putting flowers out in front of Apple stores. People felt part of this company.
The other things Apple does better than any other company in the world, he says, is they can make products cool. Barack Obama is using a Mac, the first time a president has used an Apple. Apple was constantly getting its computers inside movies--for free!--before movie companies figured out they could charge for product placement. Apple would give out computers to Michael Jackson and Robin Williams.
The biggest marketing success Apple had, Cleary says, is the Apple stores. All of a sudden, the entire store becomes a merchandising experience. Apple has done such a good job at retail that we have a Chinese clone--like Gucci.
Jobs also never settled, he says. The guy was a maniac. We had a lot of creatives who came back in tears. Inevitably they came back with work that blew away expectations.
Not least, consistency is key. You always know an Apple ad.
What's next for Apple? I worked on the Knowledge Navigator video for Apple about 20 years ago. It's the iPhone--it's all there. Apple has a roadmap that goes out 25, maybe 30 years. I think they'll expand into other consumer electronics devices in the next five years. I think you'll see an incredible Apple TV.
We want to take today to discuss public policy around US consumerism because what Americans buy is what defines our employment and jobs. We discussed the problem in Maryland for our 99% of Maryland consumers being that the global banking 1% take global corporate kickbacks for allowing defective products be sold in Maryland and especially Baltimore.
All this hyper-consumerism was deliberately developed during REAGAN CLINTON------tied to global banking neo-liberal economic policy allowed to take what was a well-functioning left social progressive capitalism with REAL FREE MARKET opportunity for all 99% of WE THE PEOPLE expanding access to black, white, and brown 99% of citizens.
So, US working and middle class earning more wages buy what are ordinary products tied to house, transportation, clothing, food----but we are soaked in cheap, low quality products often defective needing to be replaced over and over again.
All of these economic policies were driven by global banking 1%-----their greed, their drive to accumulate wealth and power---those pre-Christian CATO/NERO/ SENECA KINGS AND QUEENS.
When 99% of US WE THE PEOPLE allow consumerism be corrupted by MOVING FORWARD US CITIES deemed FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES---we are super-sizing these product corruptions....limiting the kinds of employment we can have......and this all falls heavily on our PUBLIC K-UNIVERSITY EDUCATION.
Hyper-consumerism drives product manufacturing and the kinds of jobs we have which drives our US public K-university education.
Why Defective Products Are Allowed on the Market - and How You Can Fight Back
Jan 6, 2017
This past September, Samsung – the Japanese electronics giant – was embroiled in controversy. The cause: some Samsung Galaxy Note 7 mobile phone units reportedly caught fire due to defective batteries.
The issue quickly consumed the news. TV shows aired videos of smoldering phones – and in one notorious example, a smoldering Jeep. People shared pictures of damage caused by burning Note 7 units on social media. Angry and horrified consumers flocked to electronics stores to return their phones, fearful that they were carrying ticking timebombs.
Samsung took action. The company issued a voluntary recall for all Note 7 units (followed by an official recall from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) and carried out an aggressive campaign to collect every model from consumers before they could cause any more damage. As of December, the company estimates it has received 93 percent of all Galaxy Note 7 devices in the U.S.
They couldn’t act fast enough to avoid the backlash, though. The FCC, along with major airlines, banned the device from all commercial flights and prohibited bringing the Note 7 onto the aircraft in any capacity. Tech review website CNET collected all of the units it had sent out to reviewers. Major mobile retailers stopped selling the device.
Three months later, the damage to company is still being determined; their net profit fell by 16.8 percent in the third quarter. Fortunately, no deaths resulted from the defective product – but with defective consumer products, that isn’t always the case.
Each instance of a catastrophic product failure like with Samsung’s flagship product raises troubling questions, particularly one: did the company know or suspect that the product was defective before it hit the market?
No evidence (as of this writing) has emerged to suggest Samsung knew there was a dangerous defect in their phones but released them anyway. But companies do this all the time, all in the pursuit of profits. And even if they don’t know for sure, frequently companies should have known of a risk or defect that should’ve kept the product from reaching the public.
Unfortunately, the first time many people hear of a problem with a product is when it makes the news for tragic reasons.
When products are released to the market, the first line of defense is the manufacturer itself. But as I mentioned, companies don’t always do the right thing and fix flaws before they cause problems. That leaves the U.S. regulatory process, in the form of industry and government organizations, to serve as the next and final line of defense.
But even that step has issues.
Problems with the U.S. Product Regulation Process
There are essentially three big problems with the regulatory process in the U.S.:
Regulators usually can’t identify problems before they hit the market. According to a recent interview in Trial magazine with Elliot Kaye, the Chairman of the CPSC, “We don’t get to inject safety considerations into products before they hit the market, so we’re left to pick up the pieces after incidents start occurring.”
There is no approval process for consumer products like there is with pharmaceutical products and the FDA.
Just because a regulatory agency approves a product doesn’t mean it’s safe.
The first problem is easy to understand – no one can predict the future, and the sheer volume and rapidity with which new products are brought onto the market each year makes it so even product creators themselves can’t predict what will go wrong.
The second problem is a bit more difficult for many Americans to grasp once they are made aware of the fact. It defies common sense that there isn’t a regulatory agency that approves consumer products before they hit the market. Sure, there are various agencies that have oversight over certain types of products (like the FCC with mobile phones), but there’s no central agency that grants approval for products before they can be sold to consumers.
The third problem is perhaps the most dangerous: approval doesn’t necessarily mean the product is safe. Plenty of products that are approved each year are incredibly dangerous. Consumers can get lulled into a false sense of security. That’s because they think approval means “It’s okay” – which in fact it only means the product passed the test that the agency used.
Here’s the thing: agencies like the FDA don’t conduct independent tests for every product. That’d be impossible under the best of circumstances – countless products are introduced to the market each year – but agencies are also understaffed.
In lieu of independent tests, agencies typically use information given to them by the companies that have their own tests. Problems – and injuries – arise when companies withhold information from agencies that would threaten the approval process. When this happens, consumers can get hurt.
How Consumers Can Protect Themselves from Defective Products
As a consumer, you can’t directly help what a manufacturer does or doesn’t do when they’re developing a product. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself. These include:
Never be an early adopter. Early adopters are the first ones to face defective products. It’s better to wait and see if the first people to buy and use a product experience any problems. That leads to…
Check consumer reviews before every purchase. Try and find reviews from consumers themselves. Industry “experts” and professional reviewers often miss flaws and defects due to the fact that there are far fewer of them than there are consumers.
Beware of fake reviews. Along those lines, some online reviews are fake. Learn how to spot fake reviewsfrom the real thing and remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For its part, Amazon is suing sellers who paid for false reviews for their products.
Keep an eye out for product recalls. Product recalls are there to protect you. In a post I wrote last year, I shared tips you can follow to keep track of recalls and take action should you discover you’re using a recalled – and therefore unsafe – product.
Know where your products are being built. Many consumer products are manufactured overseas in countries with few – if any – regulations and regards for safety. That’s not to say an American-made product is automatically safe, but always try to find out where the product was manufactured before buying.
Buy new when possible. Used products typically don’t come with warranties. You also don’t know how they were handled and where they came from originally.
What should you do if you’re injured by a defective product? First, seek medical care. Carefully document the circumstances of your injury. If you suspect the product is to blame, record everything. Then, contact a defective products attorney for more information on how to proceed.
You’ll want documentation of when you bought the product and from whom you bought it, as well as any other documentation that came with the product and the circumstances of how it was used. That, combined with medical information, is typically the foundation for determining if you have a case.
There are a lot of problems with our system for controlling and eliminating defective products. Manufacturers often have their best interests in mind, not yours. You have to take action on your own behalf and that of your family to keep yourselves safe.
Companies can’t be trusted to keep defective products off the market, and regulators aren’t always capable, either. The next time you buy something, be critical of the product and who made it – then fight back with your wallet by refusing to buy.
The flood of consumerism tied to US these few decades was fueled by our US working and middle-class trying to maintain ordinary domestic lives corrupted by cheap quality products and defective products----but here we see our US citizens still in poverty -----and we do indeed talk about our poor citizens paying $100 for sneakers but we are shouting against those 5 % global banking players profiteering from our US poor citizens in the hyper-marketing/advertising in our US media. We have always understood why someone in poverty would buy a Cadillac or $100 AIR JORDANS----but it is not innate greed, the drive for accumulating maximum wealth and power behind these kinds of consumption.
THE US ECONOMIC MOVEMENT TO LIVE SIMPLY SO OTHERS CAN SIMPLY LIVE STILL CAPTURES OUR US 99% AS THE QUALITY OF LIFE GOAL ERASING HYPER-CONSUMERISM.
Our US working and middle-class are NOT just like the global banking OLD WORLD KINGS AND QUEENS wanting to be CATO/NERO/SENECA.
Why You Should Shut Up When Poor People Buy New Nikes
Lisa Wade, PhD on January 2, 2015
When it comes to forming an opinion on poverty, some Americans just can’t seem to understand why poor people can’t just stop being poor. One of the things that gets harped on is the idea that poor people spend money on frivolous things; somehow some people believe that, if the poor just gave up their cell phone and Nikes, they would pop up into the middle class.
What these people don’t realize is the extent to which being poor is living a life of self-denial. To be poor is to be forced to deny oneself constantly.
The poor must deny themselves most trappings of:
an adult life (their own apartment, framed pictures on the walls, matching dishes);
a comfortable life (a newish mattress, a comfy couch, good shoes that aren’t worn out);
a convenient life (your own car, eating out);
a self-directed life (a job you care for, leisure time, hobbies, money for babysitters);
a life full of small pleasures (lattes, dessert, fresh cut flowers, hot baths, wine);
a healthy life (fresh fruits and vegetables, health care, time for exercise);
and so, so many more things that don’t fit into those categories (technological gadgets, organic food, travel, expensive clothes and accessories).
They have to actively deny themselves these things every day. And, since most poor people remain poor their whole lives, they must be prepared to deny themselves (and members of their families) these things, perhaps, for the rest of their lives.
So when someone sees someone (they think is) poor walking down the street with a brand new pair of Nikes, perhaps what they are seeing is someone who decided (whether out of a moment of weakness or not) to NOT deny themselves at least one thing; perhaps they are seeing someone who is trying to hold on to some feeling of normalcy; perhaps what they are seeing is a perfectly normal person who just wants what they want for once.
I was thinking about this today when I saw a postcard at Post Secret (which, to be fair, may or may not have been submitted by someone who struggles financially). The postcard, featuring a PowerBall receipt, reads “It’s the only time I feel hopeful”:
For many poor people, hope and the absence of fear and worry are also luxuries they live without.
Originally posted in 2009.
Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College
This was the battle as REAGAN/CLINTON era began the attack on our US public K-university. Our 99% of WE THE PEOPLE black, white, and brown citizens all protested the defunding of our US public schools and what we KNEW was the gradual encroachment of global corporations taking over our physical school buildings and curricula------we began by fighting all that hyper-neo-liberal corporate advertising inside schools and things as simple as bringing VENDING MACHINES under the guise of schools needing the money for classrooms.
This was deliberate----designed to capture our US economy into what was our working and middle-class trying to maintain a normal home life with some recreation ----lost employment, falling wages all with a goal of creating CONSUMER DEBT.
EDUCATION AND MARKETING ARE LIKE OIL AND WATER------that is how our US 99% of WE THE PEOPLE have felt throughout this global banking attack on our US economy by hyper-consumerism
Branded: Corporations and our Schools
by Jennifer Rockne
“If you own this child at an early age, you can own this child for years to come.” –Mike Searles, former president of Kids-R-Us children’s clothing store, on marketing to kids
Competition in the corporate marketing arena is fierce. No news there. But as companies vie for brand recognition, brand loyalties, and market share, schools have emerged as lucrative marketing venues. Ongoing funding challenges faced by public schools have enabled marketers to jump in with “donations”-free or low-cost supplemental materials, equipment, and cash. What does this mean for our kids and schools?
The following excerpt, from a letter to principals of School District 11 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from John Bushey, the district’s director of “school leadership,” demonstrates one effect of corporate influence in our schools. One year into an $8 million exclusive vending contract with Coca-Cola Corp., Bushey wrote:
Dear Principal: Here we are in year two of the great Coke contract.we must sell 70,000 cases of the product.. Here is how we can do it: Allow students to purchase and consume vended products throughout the day. If sodas are not allowed in classes, consider allowing the juices, teas and waters.
John Sheehan, vice president of the Douglas County, Colorado, school board, was the sole dissenter to a 10-year, $27.7 million deal struck between a three-school district consortium and Coca-Cola. Sheehan explains vividly the challenge of providing quality public education on a tight budget:
Education and marketing are like oil and water. Public education has an agenda that is already crowded enough. When we become marketers and distributors, we confuse our mission. I worry about a time when our educational goals might be influenced or even set by private companies targeting our students with their own narrow messages. . .Yes, schools need money, but turning to commercial sales for income is a cop-out. It sends the message to our voters and legislators that we can let them off the hook-that advertising and sales of consumer products can fill the gap when it comes to supporting education.
Are corporations, with priorities of profit and shareholder return, proper partners for public education?
The Commercialism in Education Research Unit at Arizona State University, in a study released September 2001, indicated commercializing activity in and around schools has increased nearly 500 percent
Children encounter the corporatization of their schools in their cafeterias, their classrooms, their buses, and on their stadium scoreboards. Companies engage kids by distributing free product samples and coupons through their schools. Even learning itself is laced with commercialism: textbooks feature brand-name products to demonstrate math and science problems, and advertisements saturate classroom magazines and television programs.
Methods Corporations Use to “Go To School”
Electronic marketing such as Channel One,a daily, ad-bearing news program for grades 6-12 broadcast “free” to 40% of all schools contracting it as a mandatory part of the curriculum. The incentive to schools? Installation and unlimited use of the provided satellite dish, VCRs, and classroom TVs. Channel One Communications owns, maintains, and insures the equipment–and repossesses it if the school drops its contract. Two minutes of each daily 12-minute program contain commercials for which corporations pay over $800 million yearly to deliver their propaganda to 8 million captive students.
“The advertiser gets a group of kids who cannot go to the bathroom, who cannot change the station. . .who cannot have their headsets on.” –Channel One executive Joel Babbit on value for advertisers.
Exclusive agreements to sell or use products, primarily with companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola. (Has your child asked for money for Friday’s Taco Bell lunch?) So-called “shoe schools” arise from athletic shoe agreements with corporations like Nike and Reebok-and add unintended stress on schools that compete for students in open-enrollment districts.
Incentive programs like General Mills’ Box Tops for Education, Pizza Hut’s Book It!, and Campbell’s Soups’ Labels for Education encourage school fund raisers to influence family purchases of specific brands or to frequent certain businesses. In-school fundraisers using items like magazines or candy turn kids into salespeople. Company sponsors gain an unpaid sales force and can inflate prices since the enterprise appears charitable. Increasingly, schools are engaging in the absurd practice of encouraging purchases from certain websites like schoolpop.com, robbing their community businesses and their own sales tax base-a key part of school funding in many districts! Another ethically questionable appeal urges parents to acquire and use credit cards that provide a kickback to schools, condoning consumerism and debt.
Sponsored Educational Materials
SEMs are best described as public relations materials disguised to look like classroom activities and lesson plans a la the Chips Ahoy counting game in which kids calculate the number of chocolate chips in their cookies. Even more disturbing are nutrition lessons taught by McDonald’s and environmental issues discussed by the Shell and Chevron Corporations, all contained in widely distributed resources.
Sponsorship of programs and activities such as Canon’s National “Envirothon” high school competition and “Coke in Education Day.” Now, some high school regional and state athletic championship games–and even regions themselves–have corporate sponsors. Wells Fargo bank paid $12,000 for naming rights to an athletic conference in central Arizona.
Contests sponsored by companies like Brainstorm USA through schools to obtain demographic information on students and parents for marketing purposes. Companies are promised a potential market of over 14,000 teachers and two million students.
Privatization that shifts school or program management from public accountability to private, for-profit corporations whose accountability is to stockholders, such as Edison Schools, Inc. You have to wonder…if teachers gain stock options after a year’s tenure, where do their loyalties lie?
Can we Rely on Teachers?
While some argue that teachers can serve as gatekeepers against biased messages often found in sponsored materials, most teachers haven’t been taught how, may not see the need, or lack knowledge in the topic addressed. Similarly, claiming teachers can defuse advertising messages in sponsored materials and programs and salvage something worthwhile from them is like using textbooks containing gender or ethnic discrimination and claiming it’s a good way to teach about diversity.
“The only genuinely educational use I can see for corporate propaganda in the classroom is to inoculate students against it, so that they will not swallow it uncritically without considering other sides of the question.” David Lunney, teacher, Greenville, NC
Why Target Kids at School?
America’s kids represent a large and growing market. Elementary-aged children spend around $15 billion per year and influence another $160 billion of their parents’ spending. Teenagers have even greater economic clout, spending $57 billion personally and another $36 billion of their families’ money annually.
Are Corporation Solving Financial Troubles?
Taxpayers fund classroom time that is being wasted on ads. A 1998 study by educator Alex Molnar and economist Max Sawicky indicated that taxpayers in the U.S. pay $1.8 billion per year for the class time–twelve minutes spent by students on the required nine out of ten school days–lost to Channel One. Channel One’s commercials alone cost taxpayers $300 million per year, and taxpayer cost for just the advertising time exceeds the equipment’s total value.
Citizens can act to keep schools free of commercialism schools in several ways:
1. Support adoption and enforcement of guidelines ensuring public debate on commercialized money offers and keep commercially-sponsored programs out of classrooms (contact us for specific local and state model policies).
2. Teach children to evaluate commercial content and bias in materials they receive in school, Tv shows, commercials and other sources. Discuss your purchasing and finance decisions with kids where appropriate
3. Raise the commercialism issue with school fundraising committees-or better yet, get involved-and directly impact how schools augment funding.
4. Proactively address the larger problem of school funding and disparities between communities, which leads well-intentioned administrators to rely on corporate sponsorship and advertising revenues.
5. Push to eliminate corporate tax breaks for contributions carrying commercial messages to schools, insisting corporations pay their fair share of school funding.
MOVING FORWARD back to DARK AGES bringing OLD WORLD GLOBAL 1% KINGS AND QUEENS extreme wealth extreme poverty----far-right, authoritarian, militaristic, dictatorship is the goal of REAGAN/CLINTON neo-liberalism and Bush neo-conservativism.
The saturation of our US economy with hyper-consumerism----hyper-consumer debt is an invention of global banking 1% and their COMPLEX FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT FRAUDS of our US consumers-----corrupting what was the best in world history PUBLIC K-UNIVERSITY for 99% of WE THE PEOPLE CITIZENSHIP and participation in REAL FREE MARKET ECONOMY.
DON'T BLAME OUR US WORKING AND MIDDLE-CLASS FOR GREED, AVARICE, HYPER-CONSUMERISM----WE KNOW IT IS DRIVEN BY GLOBAL BANKING AND THOSE SHOW ME THE MONEY 5% PLAYERS----
The epitome of global banking 1% marketing and advertisement-----the CATO STOIC SUPERHERO.
The Stoic Superhero
Somewhere along the way in the last thousand years, stoic philosophy has gotten something of a bad rap. To be called “stoic,” is something of a mixed bag, implying that you are calm and composed but also unfeeling, cold, and generally a buzzkill. While the philosophy itself has been largely maligned since its hey-day in the ancient and antique world, it has always attracted me for some reason. As I started to read up on the subject with books like A Guide to the Good Life, The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca’s Letters to a Stoic, I noticed that many of the basic concepts were familiar to me. This is not because I was some stoic-savant, but because I had learned these lessons as a child – from superheroes and comic books.
I have always been a fan of superheroes and in the last few years have taken a liking to comic books as well. Maybe it’s the mythic level of storytelling found in this medium, or maybe it’s just because it’s a fun diversion, but I’ve always loved them. What I began to realize while reading up on stoicism is that many of the core principles and beliefs that the ancient stoics espoused were actually perfectly represented by the heroes I idolized. In fact, as I kept reading I realized that all of my favorite superheroes were in fact characters that embraced this philosophy.
Contrary to popular belief, stoicism does not require some absence of emotion, but rather merely recommends that you strive to control them and mitigate all negative emotions. Stoicism arose in ancient Greece from the teachings of a philosopher named Zeno of Citium, who taught it as a milder alternative to the more extreme philosophy of Asceticism. Whereas the ascetics advised an extreme distaste for their bodies, the stoics prized the intellectual life without actively opposing the physical. Zeno taught underneath a porch called the “stoa poikile,” giving stoicism its name.
What personally attracted me to stoicism was its approach to fear, and its tactics for conquering anxiety. I have always been something of a worrier, largely because I think too much and find ways to stress myself out over everything. In some ways this can be positive, because it forces me to work hard out of sheer panic. However, there is no doubt that it has negatively affected my life, and I felt that I needed a method to cope with it. Stoicism’s novel approach to these concerns is simple, and recommends that one think through the situation logically.
One such example of this would be the one that plagued me most as a young man, “What if I fail this class?” It is tempting to begin to spiral out of control and become convinced that your world will end and your life will crumble around you if you fail. However simply by thinking through it logically, one begins to see the holes in this argument.
SOUNDING LIKE THE STAR TREK 'SPOCK' ROMANTIC FICTIONAL VERSION OF CATO/NERO/SENECA STOICISM.
If I fail the class then I will simply take it again. It might not be pleasant, but I will not be injured, and I won’t face any kind of serious repercussion. Perhaps someone will be disappointed in me, but ultimately they will probably forgive me if I apply myself and try again. Without too much effort, this technique helps to show us how irrational many of our biggest concerns truly are. There is a certain amount of fatalism to this method and the good stoic should embrace the fact that although bad things may happen, he/she is strong enough to overcome it.
This approach to our concerns demonstrates the philosophy’s near-obsession with reason. The stoics believed that reason could conquer all challenges, and that it was the duty of a stoic to exercise it. Only by seeing things clearly and eliminating our negative emotions can we make the right decision. This is closely paralleled in the approach of the Dark Knight himself: Batman.
Batman is perhaps the most stoic of all superheroes, and a large part of this is the high premium that he places on reason. He is bound by his principles, never taking a life, but is also willing to exercise a kind of utilitarianism if necessary. For example, he famously concocted a contingency plan to defeat all of the members of the Justice League by praying on their greatest weaknesses. This was a logical precaution, which he created to ensure that any and all of them could be stopped should they somehow go out of control.
WE ARE PRETTY SURE CATO/NERO/SENECA STOICISM WAS CONTINUOUS WARS FOR MAXIMIZED WEALTH AND POWER-----NO REASONING---NO TAKING NO LIFE.
Not only is this a pure example of the stoic virtue of reason, but it is also a form of their approach to anxiety. It should be remembered that despite all of their occasional arguments and disagreements, the Justice League is Batman’s colleagues and friends. He cares about them, and it could not be easy to determine exactly how to brutally murder them if he had to do so. Batman has endured countless losses throughout his life, and perhaps this is his way of preparing himself for the inevitable deaths of the people that he cares about. He accepted that this was a possibility, and took steps to prevent it despite his personal feelings.
Another key stoic principle was the importance of the will and will power. Although the stoics were not actively neglectful of their physical bodies, they did believe in being willing to be indifferent to it. All pain and torment was seen to be secondary to having a keen reason and a free spirit. Because of this they chose to refrain from luxury and vice that would weaken the spirit. As such they were expected to maintain a kind of constant vigilance and discipline in order to cultivate a great spirit. While the body could fade away, a noble spirit and an honorable death was something that a stoic could aspire to in his life.
OH, REALLY??????? YOU MEAN THE CATO/NERO/SENECA OF EXCESSIVE WEALTH AND ALL THAT COMES WITH EXCESS----THEY 'REFRAINED'
Although many heroes certainly exercise phenomenal willpower, none do so as directly as the Green Lantern. His ring itself is fueled from an outside power source but the Green Lantern’s strength derives from the strength of his/her will. It is provides the wielder with only as much power as they can generate, and will fail if this is somehow impaired. It they are strong enough, they can wield immense power, but they are limited only by their force of will their creativity. Kyle Rayner, my favorite Green Lantern, managed to become a formidable foe largely by harnessing his skills as an artist. This idea of willpower being a force in and of itself has always appealed to me, and the Green Lantern has always fascinated me for this reason.
It would be wrong to discuss the stoic superhero however, without talking about the most famous superhero of them all: Superman. I initially did not think of the Man of Steel as a stoic, until I considered that he actually is an epitome of the stoic approach to discipline. The stoics felt that it was important to always be in control of one’s self, and to never let negative emotions govern your actions. They were not willing to let themselves be overcome with sadness or rage, and believed in doing their duty. No one exemplifies this virtue more than Superman.
It is tempting to be lured in by the inherent power fantasy of Superman, and be caught up in the immense physical abilities of the character. However, upon further consideration his life is more than a little terrifying. Superman lives in a “world made of cardboard,” where even the smallest error could result in a broken bone or a stopped heart. If he ever lets himself fly out of control, people will die.
He must exercise constant discipline, and he cannot ever let himself be overcome by the petty emotions that we take for granted. While fans sometimes chide him for his Boy Scout behavior and his goody-two shoes mentality, they fail to see that is the only solution available to him. He does not have the luxury to fly out of control or express his unfettered emotions like Batman. If Clark Kent allows himself to lose control for even a short time then people could die. Perhaps this is why he forces himself to be kind and even-tempered, because the alternative could have earth-shattering consequences.
The one aspect of stoicism that fascinated me the most was their approach to hardship and to personal tolerance. As a child I often entertained grim fantasies about what I would do if my family suddenly lost everything. I felt very strongly that I had to mentally prepare myself for the worst, so that I could be ready if it happened. This is, oddly enough, something that the stoics strongly advocated.
The stoics believed that one must prepare himself for the worst, and be ready to abandon everything and everyone if need be. This was not because they did not value these things, but because they recognized that all things are ephemeral and that losing them is inevitable. By reminding one’s self that our time is limited and that we are lucky to have the things and people in our lives, we are able to enjoy them more. Forcing one’s self to sleep on the floor, dress in rags, and eat gruel was a way of enforcing this. The stoics believed in having the personal fortitude to weather any storm and this is happens to be the subject of my personal favorite graphic novel.
ONLY IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT NONE OF THOSE GLOBAL 1% KINGS AND QUEENS PRACTICED WHAT THEY PREACHED ESPECIALLY THE PHILOSOPHER SENECA.
Frank Miller is an American comic book writer and artist who has created some of my favorite pieces graphic novels. In addition to writing the legendary Dark Knight Returns, he also was the writer who put my favorite character Daredevil on the map. Prior to Miller’s influence Daredevil was an unremarkable hero with a strange and gimmicky power. To use my friend Eric’s description, “So does he have like heightened other senses or is he just… blind and better than you?” The answer to both of course, is yes. By far Miller’s most famous work with the superhero is his arc, Daredevil: Born Again, a work of genius that just so happens to show the character’s stoic nature.
Daredevil had always occupied a strange space as both a lawyer and a vigilante (Get it? Justice is blind.) and Miller chose to destroy this. He created a story where everything was slowly and methodically taken away from the character of Matt Murdock. The machinations of the evil villain Kingpin and the betrayal of Matt’s ex-girlfriend Karen Page left him disbarred and on the streets. All of the things that he had used to identify himself, his job, his home, and even his costume, were taken away from him. Matt Murdock becomes a homeless man in New York City with twelve dollars to his name and little will to go on.
In true comic book fashion of course Matt Murdock manages to piece his life back together, but not without a great deal of personal change and sacrifice. Beginning the story completely dissatisfied and constantly seeking to blame others, he is forced to evolve. Matt finds a new job as a short order cook and takes pride and pleasure in his work. He learns to accept where he made mistakes and even forgive those who have so deeply and profoundly wronged him. In the end he even defeats his nemesis, but without ever directly attacking him. Matt builds himself back up from the ground up and demonstrates that he is still a hero.
Miller writes Daredevil as a true stoic in the face of misfortune, and that is why I love the character so much. Daredevil is a man who has, time and again, faced extreme hardship and personal loss. Despite this however, he always finds a way to rise above it and come out on the other side. After the laundry list of tragedies that have devastated him it would be reasonable for anyone, even a comic book superhero, to lash out. Yet Matt Murdock soldiers on, taking the beatings and rolling with the punches.
Daredevil also exemplifies a topic that I have discussed in a previous blog on my affection for Batman, the Choice of Hercules. While I had initially chosen to discuss it in the context of Batman, I suppose that it really applies to all of these heroes. I love this story, so I hope that you will indulge me by letting me tell it again. I promise I will keep it brief this time.
While faced with something of a quarter life crisis, a young Hercules goes to the woods to meditate on what he will do with his life. Two beautiful goddesses appear to him and attempt to convince him to follow them. The goddess Pleasure tempts him with promises of material comfort and satisfaction, food, women, wealth, and all of the things he craves for no real effort. The other goddess promises him nothing. Her name is Virtue, and she tells him that if he devotes himself to her he will get nothing that he does not earn through the sweat of his brow and the toil of his labors. But she promises him that this is the path of honor, that will cultivate his character and make him a man to be respected. Naturally Hercules chooses this path, as do all of the heroes I idolized as a child.
In a brilliant interview for the Men Without Fear documentary, Frank Miller had this to say about the character he helped recreate:
“Matt should have been a villain. He had a terrible childhood, his romantic life is the worst… Sure the girls all look great but they end up dead or killing him or something… But somehow this guy redeems himself and moves ahead. He just doesn’t give up. He’s just like his dad.”
The same could be said about any of the characters in this post. It is not easy to do the right thing, and to choose to try to be more than what you are. These characters have the choice to rule like gods over mankind, (or at least to have a pretty decent law career) but they choose to follow virtue instead. The stoics, and the superheroes, are committed to this. Despite their own temptations and desires, they force themselves to continue to strive for excellence.
I admired this quality as a child and I admire it now, because I don’t think that I have it. I know myself and I know my weaknesses, so I continue to look to ancient texts and modern comic books for inspiration to be more than what I am. Is it silly? Yes. Does that matter? No. If I can learn to emulate the great stoics like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Cato the Younger, Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Hal Jordan, and Matt Murdock, perhaps I can borrow some tiny portion of their strength. Perhaps they can make me a better stoic.