We have been sold to

Countless of times, in various forms, that picking our way through all those well guised market offerings has become a crucial skill to navigate through a very consumerist world. My sister and I were talking about money the other day – it’s power to move and change things – and how almost everything, from market to social forces tumble over themselves to pledge allegiance to and serve those that have the most of it. We talked about the ills of capitalism and a socialist system alike and came to the conclusion that like just about anything in life, it is always best to strike a balance of sorts.

I was always for privatization from all the way back when I first learnt about it in school. The freedom, the abundance of choice was a heady mix and I was delighted to find that the country I lived in was one such place where progressive/forward thinking people had decided that market forces would be the major deciding factor on how the country’s resources were allocated and that most importantly, people (both manufacturers and buysers) were allowed to chose: what they bougth, how they sold. I thought that was pretty awesome.

It’s a text book thing. The good side about a privatized economy is that the more people participated in it the more opportunities it opened up for everyone else. The engine of growth and all that. Competing for the buyer’s attention (and his pocket) meant better products and services at increasingly lower prices. So where are all these ‘better’ products that offer real value then? Growth maybe, but value? Why do I get the impression that as a consumer, we are being sold ‘stories’ instead of the real deal – products and services that actually make our lives easier/better? When did the deal go from ‘superior value’ to ‘superior branding efforts’?

How rare a find is  a product or service that actually delivers?  And since when have become so desensitized to our own wellness, that a ‘brand’ and what it connotes carries more weight than the value it supposedly offers?

 

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