CNF Exercise 2: Personal Essay
Whores and Sleazebags
Our country is made up of whores and sleazebags. The whores are trying to spread the love and the sleazebags are trying to sell it. When dealing with a whore you don't pay up front, you don't discuss value and monetary elements of the service. When everything is done, when you have received your service you are glad to pay any amount because you know how much it was worth. Sleazebags haggle; they show you what they have and tell you how much they are willing to sell it for. You don't know if it’s worth it but the sleazebags will assure you it is. But what happens when you get it home? What happens when you realize that you just got convinced to buy a well-polished turd? Salesmen, big businesses, the government, and product based markets are run by sleazebags. Doctors, plumbers, trainers and service based markets are run by whores. But which is better? What do we want? Does it matter?
This is the survival of the fittest. The bulk of our country's financial market is focused around products that are quick and easy... cheap. Most Americans can't afford to choose what they want to buy. They have to buy what they can afford using methods like cutting coupons, searching the internet, or scraping the bottom of the barrel just to get by. The sleazebags make sure to show you the “sales” and get you to buy their new product; they will promise you the world such as: “Lifetime guarantee!” Realistic translation: anything the sleazebags want, with any limitations such as “unreasonable use” or a predetermined end date. However, from the beginning the term doesn't make sense because you never get a lifetime warranty on the things that have lifetimes.
This is just one of the ways sleazebags get you to give them money. This market strategy doesn't help anybody except the ones selling the product. There's no way to stop the crap from rolling down hill, when the beautiful advertisements explain so “unbiasedly” that the crap is exactly what you want and need, and we eat it up. But are the whores any better?
What happens when you go to the doctor and you leave no better than you came in? Do you pay their enormous fees or do you demand more service? When dealing with a whore you have the opportunity to assess the service before paying the fee. That's why there are tip sections on the bill when you go to a restaurant. You don't tip the waiter ahead of time, and if you do you expect the service to be that much better. If the service is bad do you give the same tip as if the service is good? What if the food is bad or uncooked; do you just accept this fact or do you complain and get it replaced?
“I don't want to make a fuss.”
How can anybody get better if they don't know that they are screwing up? What if only a few people complain? Who will care?
The real questions are: do you want to continue buying products that need to be replaced or do you want a quality product that will last forever? Do you value quality or quantity? At present we are losing the quality products. “Sure those shoes are awesome but how long will they last?” We are watching our country die out but we are unwilling to change anything.
Why am I making such a big deal out of this? Is it just because my car broke down? My jeans have a hole in them? Am I just ranting to rant?
The sleazebags need to take a page out of the whore's play book if we are to have any hope. How could this work you may ask? It’s actually a lot simpler than you may think.
All the sleazebags have to do is switch to a donation based market. This means that there will be no more sales, no more gimmicks and no more crap. Let’s think about this in terms of the universal super product: a widget. A widget is a product, any product you want it to mean. Now we have the Great Widget Company, step number one for them to whore themselves up is to get some investors for their new high quality widget. This widget is specifically focused on quality and what the consumers will really want. After producing the first batch of widgets… give them away. No price tags, no cost, just a recommended donation that would cover the minimum costs. That means that some customers will not donate anything and others may donate more.
Wait give it away? For free? That's crazy!
This strategy has been attempted before and it has worked! Books, albums and even tours have been funded by donations. The system is simple: if you like the widget you will donate more, if you don't like the widget then you will donate less or not at all.
Now back to our Great Widget Company, after the release of the new widget things can go a few different ways. If the widget isn't up to the customer’s standards then they won't donate very much, and they won't care what happens to the company that releases the crap. If the product is okay, or needs work but has a promising concept then the donations may not be high but they may continue to come in as customers try to help the company build better widgets. Now if the company creates a great product, something that is so good it won’t have to be replaced ever. These customers will donate more than they would have paid if there was a price tag. If the Great Widget Company makes a great product and they receive large donations to cover the original cost of production then they can release more.
But what if nobody donates? People are selfish they don't want to spend money.
If none of the customers donate anything to the Great Widget Company then they will simply close up shop. They would lose the small investment of the initial production, of course. But if those same customers hear about them shutting down then they may make late donations to ensure that such a great company stays in business and continues to make great widgets.
Overall, this system is very risky; it isn't going to immediately replace the current market system but it may eventually. There are many websites out there that already host donation products that are doing very well. In many instances where great products have been given out in this fashion those companies have actually made more profit than if they had put a price tag on it. In the end, the question comes down to whether you like sleazebags or whores.