stuff to bore u with

we`ve all probably read figures like this be4, but still i go wow... i`ll try and promise that this will be my only political rant of the wek, i know people must be bored...

by the end of the 20th century, the world`s three richest individuals had a combined wealth greater than that of the poorest 48 countries. (united nations human development report, september 9 1998. 3 richest are bill gates ($51 billion), helen walton (walmart, $48b) and warren biffett (investor, $33b)). the report estimates that a child born in the US, britain or france will in its lifetime consume and pollute more than what 50 children will do in the poor nations. also estimates that in 1998, only 40 billion dollars was needed to bring basic health, education, clean water and sanitation to the world`s poorest countries. okay, probably off the mark, but let`s double it - only $80 billion. (america spends $399 billion a year on defense, more than the next 20 nations combined - source newsweek july 2003). gates incidentally also owns more than the poorest 100 million americans combined, and while he has started that charity, how the f**k did he get so rich... . also - the ratio between the salary of a CEO and that of a shop-floor worker has soared from about 39:1 in the late 70s to about 1000:1 today. (john ralston saul, "The Collapse of Globalism").

artificial wants are created by people wearing nice prada suits and gucci shades sat in swanky offices. they go to university and study such things as `the sociology of consumption` and `sell yer grannyonics` to learn how best to wring the money from your sponge. i reccommend reading the literature of the public relations industry for some insight into the way these people think. one of the most famous is the `father of spin`, edward bernays. he talks about "regimenting the public mind every bit as mich as an army regimants the bodies of its soldiers, of inducing a "philosophy of futility" amongst society, by concentrating peoples` minds on "the more superficial things that comprise much of fashionable consumption." if we shop, goes the logic, we don`t think. it sounds terribly simplistic but look at the world. look at how much we consume. look at how we consume.

our minds are concentrated on the simple things by a number of methods, and fear is ever-present. religion is one example, job insecurity is another, the lack of powerful unions another, random and unjustified wars yet another. bernays`s ideas were a major force in shaping the last century, and are at work today, moreso i would argue than ever.

so stop shopping! don`t give the bastards your money.

(The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays & the Birth of Public Relations Larry Tye)