Deliberate Waste: The main tool of Malignant Materialism

The main game cleverly played and plied by the systems of Malignant Materialism is deliberate waste, run at three levels:
First, a clean front of worthy prosperity forming a loss-leader façade supplies a credible number of useful goods and services at moderately competitive prices. This functional façade sucks you into accepting the following deeper murky levels unquestioningly too.
Second, a thick middle shell of deliberate waste profiteers grandly. This means large-scale deliberate waste, not the incidental small-scale waste that is needed for comfort, up to 10% in the spirit of biblical tithing, nor the accidental waste that is correctable.[1] Waste that is deliberate is well-rationalized as something that is needed. Thus the medical industry spouts noble-sounding mantras like research and development and quality control that cry Profit, Profit, Profit! The latest medical doctrines and fashions generate a plethora of extra tests and treatments that spin the money wheels and drive up the costs. Hospitals, doctors, drug companies, health insurers, and lawyers quietly conspire to convince John Doe’s boss to pay ever-rising insurance premiums justified and puffed up by this consumptive diagnostic and therapeutic waste. Medicine is far from alone. Most areas and arenas of enterprise, service, and laborarms dealing, law, construction, transport, and automotive industries to name just a fewrun similar rackets of deliberate waste.[2]
Third, an inner elite core of top wheelers and dealers, bonded by family, school-tie, and club, runs Malignant Materialism. Who they are varies from nation to nation. Yet everywhere they exchange similar knowing nods over genteel dinners and on the golf-course, as they smooth through business decisions, front lofty-sounding Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to falsify their balance-sheets, fix prices with their cartels, bend laws with their influence, bribe decision-makers with their gifts, and manipulate share prices with their disinformation. These top businessmen of the globe cling to their privileges and power at almost any cost to…the wider interests of civilization. They show unbelievable blindness, cruelty, and unscrupulousness, having gotten rich from the power of its extravagance and all nations have been deluded by their spells. [3]
The layers of deliberate waste in my own field of intensive-care medicine—at least in the USA—account for some 50–60% of whatever yardstick is used, without exaggeration. But in the more extreme case of the arms industry, deliberate waste must mount to over 90%, much at government level. Deliberate waste also wastes away our planet. Worse, the treadmill of busywork’s deliberate waste drains away the precious life-hours of folk in field, factory, and facility.
Doctors turn blind eyes to prevention (making sure to pay it politically correct lip-service) and prosper from treating disease instead. Lawyers skirt mediation and let disputes generate billable hours and suits. Audiologists and opticians weave webs of tests and multiply hearing-aid and spectacle prices tenfold. Dentists neglect dental hygiene (when did your dentist last watch how you brush?) and fill cavities instead. California car makers buy railways, help them fail, and sell more cars. Manufacturers build obsolescence into refrigerators and generate return sales. Bike shops neglect repair and sell new cycles. Arms-dealers preach “mutually assured destruction” (“MAD”) and “better dead than red” and fire national paranoias to sell more arms. The list is endless. The more you look, the more you see deliberate waste everywhere.
Yet at the same time, happily, many worthy businesses manage to side-step the traps of Malignant Materialism, and they shun its seductive systems. Instead, they strive to keep the Golden Rule, pursue worthy prosperity, maintain good ethics, serve people, profit fairly, avoid waste, and protect the planet. They cut waste, not corners. They work hard to supply useful, efficient, productive, amazing, astonishing services. They put themselves in the pocket of the client. They make medicine for the people, knowing that profits have never failed to appear. Such worthy businesses welcome competition, base prices fairly on costs, work-hours, and profit, share profits with workers, structure work-forces around the magic number of 150,[4] and so on.

Now the economic crisis gains some padding from the surplus of deliberate waste, but the cost is the losses of the many jobs built on the sand of deliberate waste.




[1] Schumacher, Small is Beautiful.
[2] Packard, Waste Makers; Ponting, Green History of the World
[3] Third, its elite, David Rothkopf The Superclass, also http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v‌=LHtNFZ6K0pE;
They cling to, Lee, Outbreak of the First World War 47;
Gotten rich, Rev. 18.3 & 23.
[4] Cut waste, David Fison Times, on Skanska 24 May 2005
Useful, efficient, Bartelle, The Future of Online Search on Google. http://edition.cnn.com/2005 /TECH/12/23/ john.bartelle/index.html (2005)
They put themselves, Ikea
Medicine for the people, George W. Merck, Talk at Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, December 1, 1950, Merck, George cited by Kay, John in The Sick Need More than just Healthy Profits. Financial Times 2004/11/23, p. 19
Magic number of 150, Gladwell, Malcolm’s The Tipping Point explains The Magic Number of One Hndred and Fifty