Friday, April 23, 2004

Tangent brought forth by "This Application is Not Responding"

I've had it with microsoft word. I guess I've been bad to poor little word as it is a grandchild of papa Gates... making him work extra hard for me.. taxing the very system I work on by asking it to incorporate graphic files and odd text orientations to the layout of this document I'm working on. Poor little word is just not equiped or tutored (programmed) correctly to suit my needs. Someone once asked me why I couldn't get proper publishing software... I replied (my department doesn't want to fork out the cash to buy it). At least they aren't expecting me to do all my graphic rendering and photo-editing with the sophisticated 'paint program' included in the accessories folder.

So I think of papa Gates and all of the large corporations that dominate the world market. I think of the fortune 500 companies. I just read recently that Thomas Jefferson once augured that financial institutions and corporations would one day threaten democracy. Objectivists, and corporate allies would argue (not publicly, of course) that a true democracy was never really a viable possibility. There must always be people at the bottom and people at the top. Sure whatever, at least the people at the bottom and the middle could be taken care of better.

I think that we'd be blind if we didn't see how the growth of corporate power has affected us (my god, here she goes again... she's starting to sound like a populist)
On the level of consumption...many of our choices even as bottom and middle-rung consumers have been seriously limited by the monopolies. We can only buy what is offered to us by the big dogs that are left at the end of the take-over wars. I must act as a beta-tester for Microsoft even though I am their customer.

Don't get me started on how marketing to the masses also limits our choices. Yes, to some extent I can choose to buy things at little boutiques and off the path record stores, but I've noticed lately that many of these places have gone out of business... despite my efforts to frequent them, and I'm not just talking about the weird and off the wall places that are just flash in the pan fad vendors. On my street alone, I've witnessed three or four businesses that were there over five years ago go tits up.

If you want the bottom-line here: Middle-class businesses, small-businesses cannot compete with the monopolies and big businesses. I do get hope every now and then... when I read an article like this one. Cheers to the community of Inglewood, CA who decided to vote the Wal-mart out of their neighborhood.

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