(I know this is a bit of a rant on my part. I still think it’s valuable for its statements albeit baldly of the dreadful states of affairs we are in so deeply so widespread, and made by us, across our world/Peter)
‘Added Value’ is a phrase bandied around in Branding circles; amongst those who would Trade Mark their goods and services or else who are considering doing so and so are getting ‘advice’ either from government offices or from legal attorneys; these latter being those who shepherd rights such as Trade Mark rights through government offices to completion: registration.
“Added value” is a concept, given the words in which it is couched, which appears to be a positive and desirable thing to obtain – for anyone interested in or in the course of buying and/or selling.
“Added value” implies getting extra revenues or performance from something which otherwise, without it having had the value added, would have obtained less revenues or performance. But to us in doing business words are cheap and are frittered away like dud and toy monopoly money
Suckers as we are, we are lured, seduced by words; words like ‘GT’ or “Turbocharged’ or ‘All terrain’ or ‘Supertuned’ and so on for automobiles; or else words like ‘deluxe’ or ‘premium’ or ‘unmissable’ and so on for goods ranging from heaters to clothing. Services too are perhaps ‘Premier’ or else ‘Gold star’ or else ‘5 star’ and so on; almost as if everything on offer for sale is somehow a fantastic deal and so-so good.
Everything appears on the surface ‘the ideal solution’ or has a ‘lifetime guarantee’; from that mastic filler you bought to temporarily stop a water leak in your bathroom, and which is never up to the job its advertising maintains it is ‘fantastic at doing’; and right to that ‘bag for life’ which the supermarket sold you which collapses on the way to the house strewing your shopping across the street and gutters.
It’s like we have a disconnect; that words no longer pledge anything to us in product descriptions and trader pledges. We have been ‘educated’ to just shrug and to throw the thing away and get another; happy to expect this other to go the same way as the former. Or else just to pass on our losses to the next unsuspecting shopper. I saw one guy write in a forum about a dud Sky Remote Control he’d bought ‘off the bay’ saying: ‘Oh, well, back on the bay for a fiver with it’!
A not so merry go round of pass the buck in a parcel to the next walk in shopper. I did some work a few years back on counterfeiters and statistics online on sales at a few big popular sales sites. I was analysing user-feedback on turkeys shoppers been sold as pups. A good percentage of people who received what was sheer junk for their money; items which often were reported by their purchasers as ‘falling apart in my hands’ or ‘it broke after a day’s use’; they chalked the losses down to experience, chucked the junk into landfill via their local council refuse collectors, and made zero attempt to obtain refunds or to call to account the sellers in any way.
In peddling this junk, most of which was imported in bulk by the sellers from less rich less developed nations, whereabouts to earn a crust in any way that is possible is acceptable and necessary for so many people thereabouts (and herein lies the only true value in the manufacture, shipping and sale of much of what they produce) – the online sellers, the retailers were reaping a great deal of ‘added value’ from their products; but not the sort of added value which governments like to praise and to promulgate in their speeches and policies – so they would have us believe.
In order to feed and shelter millions of people who are borderline in poverty across the world; it seems that our economic systems ares et up so as to manufacture, ship halfway across the world, and sell as under false pretences as being ‘bargain’ goods to affluent nations’ shoppers, a million and one containers a week of wasted minerals and other scarce resources, and many persons’ honest but wasted labours, the building of container ships and their running and maintenance, the pollution and species detriment all this causes, then there is the online setup and retailing premises, and in the first world, warehouses and storage, import and export duties and officers etc, postage charges, delivery by couriers in vans running everywhere and so on; all this, simply to get a few pennies of a dollar to poor people to live on and to subsist barely in relatively poor areas of the world.
One should be happy I should think, that this great rigmarole does have this single laudable end result; because our economic systems were and remain set up to do nothing of the sort; anathema indeed!
But yet pretty much the same convoluted logic and scamming thing is going on, being generated, here at home in sixth richest nation Britain. The differences are that it’s all above board here; a trader or manufacturer in Britain (it’s probably the same in USA) is able to rake in extra cash – ‘added value’ – lawfully by using pretty much similar tactics to the counterfeiters; but of course dressing up the unlawful mutton as lawful lamb.
The dummies remain the consumers – as in all these legal scam exercises, these wheezes dreamed up by the fly boys in charge – it is the consumer who pays and whereat the buck stops every time; and I do believe our National Lottery and the masses of betting shops – one at every street corner in all lower class districts – and then the online casinos aimed at bored housewives and at over-sanguine punters – all these are great sources of revenue for our government – all these voluntary taxes on an ignorant undereducated lower class sets of persons – are nothing less than the apotheosis,and epitome of consumerism as it works in our world here in the West, and maybe elsewhere and beyond my observations.
The lottery and other gambling merely cuts out a need to exchange something for money; instead a trade in gambling just begets income to the organisers, and their expenditure is only in maintaining their operations, and online there are not even premises to speak of to be maintained.
Great store is set by many of us here on the National Lottery Fund which helps to finance items of National Heritage or of Historic and Cultural Importance – a heritage and an importance of concern only to richer more educated people but not to those whose money is raked in and spent on the upkeep of opera, of historic sites; all of which by and large are pricing- out lower class people by their expense to visit, and these are places, venues also which the general run of visitors to them are well capable of maintaining and improving from their own pockets but, no, that would be just and fair but not politic nor acceptable to them, nor to their elected representatives.
By the way, many of these same well-heeled who would value culture and heritage are further mollified by governments subsidising their rail fares to work and back daily; many of whom have enough loose cash to run smart vehicles and own second homes in again priced-out exclusive villages in the ‘(rotten) Heart of England’.
Visitors come from abroad to Britain and many of their more decent types are appalled at the levels and the conspicuousness of the social cultural and educational disparities shown blatantly in almost every town and city here.
These Brand bandits who would ‘add value’ to their goods and services courtesy of the national government which maintains the (failed and longstanding) policy of encouraging business and trade massively, at the expense of more directly much more useful and social welfare areas, and then seeing its wealth generated NOT filtering down cascading into all order of society beneath it, as the theory insists against the facts that it does, and is doing. (Note this word “beneath” – our sense of priorities is invested wholly in this assumption that all other classes of society are lower down, “beneath”, the order of and the concerns and values of the business class.
The lawful wheeze is to trade mark your brand – simply that – it ‘adds value’. Not on its own maybe – add a thorough and saturated advertising campaign so as to give your brand name what? – all those adjectival superlatives which we listed in our beginnings above here – “superb”, “glorious”, “phantasmagorical!” etc etc, so as to establish the brand name by way of a much repeated and inane thrusting of it down the throats of a populace,it ever being presented accompanied by loud music flashy colors lots of hectic action and crowd-pleasingly going nowhere, and so on, and hereby a sort of familiarity cum legitimacy begins to accrue to the brand name, and so its goods and services just almost magnetically begin to be bought and so this brand grows into a sort of stupid kudos amongst a people, who, inured to having become consumerist bait and fodder for an industry, and economy, a nation set first and last on money making, are sorely beguiled.
You might have observed in your workplace how when a guy or girl your peer and equal gets a promotion at interview and is thereafter set over above you and your crowd, maybe as a manager or a person of authority; that lo!, inexplicably most of us are happy to fall in and so o set ourselves beneath the person lately promoted; and obey regardless, nor ever questioning why or whether we ought to.
This may not be particularly a phenomenon of note but for the fact that so many of the persons who obtain such promotions do really appear to be, at the least, rather questionable material for advancement. This is not sour grapes, nor envy nor jealousy. Rather it is observable that the persons who obtain promotion are those most likely to say ‘yes’ to anything so as to have obtained it, Thus the upper echelons at organisations become filled with persons having no self-integrity nor independence of thought or of action. And this is the reason why there is so much wastage and inefficiency and general jobsworth attitudes across industry and commerce here.
The very same is true of advertising. We just swallow it whole like an oyster or a gobstopper; and in no time we are singing the jingles and dancing the dance to the tune of millions in the bank for brands which have at a stroke ‘added value’. In fact they have merely persuaded us to pay more for the addition to an item of a name – a brand name. Some of us even wear their brand names on our clothing! On our kit. On our cars. We do their advertising for them and we think we’re cool having a flash on our car saying ‘castor oil’ or ‘exxo’.
I heard a guy talking on the radio the other days saying how advertising and polling companies, who process colossal amounts of data about common citizens’ habits to try to help influence the common people’s decisions and lifestyles; this guy told how he had employees going out and ‘chatting’ with people about their ‘families and children’ and what they feared and desired in these regards; and he said blandly that in this way ‘you can soon see what the average guy’s political views are and often which way they vote in elections etc’. Thus these guys are out befriending ordinary people with a base ulterior motive of luring them into speaking from their hearts things valuable as dirty collateral lucre to their interlocutors. The radio speaker saw nothing wrong in doing this. Blind. Insensitive. Working people like puppets is AOK, eh?
And this is just one of a whole industry vast of technique and techniques with which to corral and to push us plain people here, there, wherever our ‘benefactor betters’ would have us be in their own interests. This is how things work, nearly everywhere in our lives, and right now.
The ‘added value’ then is ever toward the brand owner, toward the maker and the seller; never to the man in the street Mr Joe Consumer and his lady friend. To this guy Mr Consumer the case is sheer ‘added cost’, for no tangible benefits, nor intangibles, sheer ‘added cost’ every time.
We really are herded like cattle; shunted like sheep to the abattoirs of the malls, where we are slaughtered in our purses and pursuits; and made suppers of in our utterly entrapped and inability to see beyond an all pervading miasma of consume, consume, consume.
One final complaint. Our consumerism is destroying the planet and thereby it is destroying we ourselves. We hear ‘concerned noises’ from the press and media every now and again about plastics in the oceans, landfill, nuclear waste disposal, air pollution, water contamination, and water shortages, lots and lots of impending and impinging deteriorations and depredations of the environment and of resources and of health and of species and on and on and on.
Our governors, our so called betters, those misnomered ‘great and good’ do nothing – they might stick a tax on sugar in foods, and on tobacco, on plastic carriers, on drinks and all that; and claim thereby that they are doing something for the environment. What occurs is that sales in tobacco, drink, carriers, sugar drinks and foods plummet for a month, maybe two, but thereafter gently begin to level out to much the same levels previous to the taxes having been imposed. Everyone knows this scenario from their own personal experiences which have many such instances of these and like cases.
Direct attack, approach, right on the actual problems, are rare, and happen very very seldom; only when the effects of not doing anything for generations, have become overwhelmingly unpalatable for us, and disaster is knocking at the front doors of the governing, wealthy and leisured class.
Thus poor people can smoke and drink in excess; drink sugar and pay for carriers; the wealthy are fine with this in general – they are a class apart in both instances. “Thou hast committed fornication; but that was in another country and besides the wench is dead”
The wealthy are preparing for environmental disaster I’m pretty sure. Not in organised conspiracy together, but powerfully unified nonetheless by their badges and their tokens and their habitual required codes of behaviour which they have evolved so as to denote and identify themselves one to another as the top knobs who have ‘arrived’. There are plant banks and seed banks and other ‘precautions’ of similar purpose across the world and across the nations; bunkers – supposedly to save the ‘necessary’ in event of nuclear attacks etc – but also handy for the better-off to dive into and so take cover in an event of an environmental Perfect Storm. Why would they not? Just another instance of how we are their consumerist fodder and biddable herds, able to be, ready to be, ‘sacrificed’ when/if the time comes.
Nothing environmentally will be done of substance unless a) money can be made for clearing up our environmental acts of thuggery or b) the escape routes for the crème de la crème (aka the scum) are cut off or otherwise become suspect, and ill-boding events are encroaching and are imminent, immanent.
For something right on the button of the problems to be done would strike at the inmost arteries of the heart and so shed fatally the lifeblood of consumerism; and such an event is unthinkable for those big bad boys (and girls) who nurture us for fools. The governments know this too, and approve of the status quo, are a glad and willing part of the well-heeled status quo.
There are – contrary to the propaganda, the advertising, the complete thrust of all economic speech and life as we hear and experience it – alternatives to consumerism. It is not a hapless trap we have inadvertently set for ourselves and cannot now avoid. Such a line of thought is part of the propaganda. It can be stopped. Only all of us don’t want it to stop. We who are its victims are sold on it fake news of untruth and advertising lies, daily at every waking hour, the general message being that all in the garden is rosy and that we have to keep producing, selling, buying, to keep things cosy rosy.
This is THE BIG LIE. There are other ways of life in which we can live more sanely and happily and just as securely and comfortably. They do not involve a wanton rape of the planet; nor a psychic persuasive dominion over ordinary people. Some few involve a more true freedom and individuality (‘individuality’ of person being yet another cyber-myth’ of our shaded economic unreality) for all people. (How many fashions are designedly, surreptitiously, and cunningly, created by people paid to influence us and who are working for economic generators of goods, services and propagandas? How we are told we are ‘individuals’, and we in fact like a massive bunch of bananas in a monkey’s hands)
We are unaware of these better and other ways of life and living because systematically we have been coached out of them and led to believe things convenient for our belief and so we are in large part unable to see a way out, even were we to begin to desire one. Our education system openly boasts its purpose is to provide young and other people with skills for the workplace and the marketplaces. To suit employers needs etc etc. No exit. Cul de sac.
Even my son who is not greatly experienced and who has observed life in a few short years he has had so far of adult life, he independently has come to conclusions close to some of mine here as being his thoughts on life in general.
I would go so far as to conclude that the persons who aspire to ride up the ladder in life as we live right now, are aspiring unaccountably and without their knowing it, to having others in large part living their lives for them; them thinking to have all their time as leisure time or with a few short intervals for directing those others living their lives for them.
Further we have returned to a Pagan Pantheon of gods whom we admire and do praise to. Our Marvel hero movies and our screen and stage goddesses, singers and what have you, sports men and women, the movies and games of graphic carnage and conflict and of wars of deceits and wiles and sheer betrayals, of peripatetic turnarounds and sudden continuous switchbacks, all is a general degeneration into an adulation and worship of power at work within a general theatre of chaos. All its prominent role models in art are all the types of Pagan Pantheon gods; doing, acting, living as if larger than life lives for the impress of the common person; whose aspirations these monsters inspire. They are the reflections of the ethos of those who control things.
All is a mock-up of life, of a way of life we moved forwards from thousands of years ago, but which has now come again, retrograde and in a dark time, and in a time when its homage will add to our distress and worsen our downfalls.
Truth remains, and will do so ever; it is only we, the untrue, who shall dissipate away.