25 Nov 2011
Come not-shopping with me
Today ls “black Friday.” There are a lot of people out shopping today. I’m not one of them.
However, I’m also not part of some ideological movement in opposition to shopping today. I just don’t like crowds. I can’t be bothered.
I was invited to a “buy nothing” day on Facebook. I suppose if the point is to raise awareness of needless consumerism, I’m a fan. But in this era of anti-capitalism, of the “99%”, I’m wary.
Because when it comes to capitalism, I’m a huge fan. Capitalists do several important jobs. Even the “1%” do important work for the rest of us. And I do mean us. I’m no 1%-er. My earned income this year will put us just over the federal poverty line.
But you won’t find me occupying (wherever). I ADORE the fact that back in the 80s the 1% were willing to spend several thousand dollars on a mobile phone that all it did was make crappy phone calls. Because they did that, a market evolved, parts got cheaper, prices came down and capability went up. Now I can buy an iPhone for a couple hundred dollars and have a device several times more powerful than my first computer.
I am thrilled that there are capitalists willing to do the job of waiting for me. I wrote code for a large software project, and I got paid at the end of the month for it. I didn’t have to wait until the whole project finished and sold to the customer(s) to get my share. A capitalist paid me and did the job of waiting. They even took the risk for me. They thought there was a market for the product we were creating. But they might be wrong. I don’t have to care, I got paid anyway.
So, I may be a fan of minimalism, and of avoiding crowds (and sitting out on the back deck writing blog posts in gorgeous autumn weather). But I’m a fan of these things in the context of capitalism.