Hasta la victoria siempre

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Asteptarile scazute cresc fericirea

Danemarca apare constant printre tarile cu cea mai fericita populatie din lume. care este insa secretul fericirii nordicilor? Conform cercetatorilor, este faptul ca danezii au asteptari modeste de la viata, ceea ce face ca esecurile sa fie putine si sa ii afecteze putin iar implinirile, la care de obicei nu se asteapta, sa-i ii bucure cu atat mai mult.

"over the last 30 years, the citizens of Denmark have scored higher than any other Western country on measures of life satisfaction, and scientists think they know why.In the Dec. 23 issue of the medical journal BMJ, researchers review six possible explanations, and conclude that the country's secret is a culture of low expectations."It's a David and Goliath thing," said the lead author, Kaare Christensen, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense."If you're a big guy, you expect to be on the top all the time and you're disappointed when things don't go well," Christensen said. "But when you're down at the bottom like us, you hang on, you don't expect much, and once in a while you win, and it's that much better." [...]

They also eat fatty foods, drink a lot; genetically, are not significantly different from their gloomier Scandinavian neighbors.
But on surveys, Danes continually report lower expectations for the year to come, compared with most other nations. And "year after year, they are pleasantly surprised to find that not everything is getting more rotten in the state of Denmark," the paper concludes."

Articolul din care am citat a aparut in International Herald Tribune, la 7 ianuarie 2007, si este scris de Benedict Carey.

Otraviti de mici

Cu putin timp in urma scriam despre efectele nefaste si de strategiile inselatoare ale advertisingului si publicitatii. Vom vedea acum ca spcielistii in marketing concep reclame destinate in special copiilor, pentru a le crea de mici mentalitatea consumerista si a le inculca falsa idee ca fericirea rezida in consumerism.

Allen D. Kanner, Ph.D., impreuna cu Tim Kasser, Ph.D., atrag atentia asupra pericolului indoctrinarii celor mici cu mentalitatea materialista prin intermediul reclamelor in articolul lor "Stuffing Our Kids: Should Psychologists Help Advertisers Manipulate Children?".

Problema exista

"Advertising to children has become big business in recent years, with kids under 12 spending over 24 billion dollars of their own money in 1997 and directly influencing the spending of 188 billion more (McNeal, 1998). This surge in child consumerism has resulted in a keen interest among marketers in knowing what makes kids tick. To learn more, advertisers have hired well-paid psychological consultants to help them study every phase and stage of a child’s life. The results are sophisticated, finely-honed commercials that work."

Nocivitatea reclamelor destinate copiilor

"Some child advertisers candidly admit that their commercials exploit children and create family conflicts. According to Nancy Shalek, then president of Shalek Agency, “Advertising at its best is making people feel that without their product, you’re a loser. Kids are very sensitive to that. If you tell them to buy something, they are resistant. But if you tell them they’ll be a dork if they don’t, you’ve got their attention. You open up emotional vulnerabilities, and it’s easy to do with kids because they’re the most vulnerable” (as quoted in Ruskin, 1999, p. 42).

Marketers also work hard to increase their product’s “nag factor,” a term which refers to how often and how vehemently children pressure parents to buy an item. In one of our practices (Kanner), parents have approached the therapist in turmoil over how to respond to such nagging. They feel guilty about purchasing items, such as junk food or violent video games, that they believe are bad for their kids. On the other hand, they worry that by constantly saying “no” they will increase their child’s depression or worsen an already strained parent-child relationship."

Manipulandu-i pe cei vulnerabili

"Another disturbing trend in child advertising is the targeting of very young children. Mike Searles, then president of Kids-R-Us, a major children’s clothing store, believes there are great advantages to hooking a child as soon as possible: “[I]f you own this child at an early age, you can own this child for years to come. Companies are saying ‘Hey, I want to own the kid younger and younger’” (as quoted in Ruskin, 1999, p. 42)."

In ce consta otrava

"Studies on “materialism” show that individuals highly focused on materialistic values also report less satisfaction with life, less happiness, worse interpersonal relationships, more drug and alcohol abuse, and less contribution to community (see Cohen & Cohen, 1995; Kasser, 2000; Sirgy, 1999). Yet materialistic values are the very ones that commercials pound into our children day in and day out.

Consistent with these findings, Kanner and Gomes (1995) have written about the narcissistic wounding of our youth that occurs when advertisements make children feel deeply inadequate unless they purchase an endless array of new products and services. We have described this process as contributing to the formation of a shallow “consumer identity” that is obsessed with instant gratification and material wealth."

Minciunile marketingului

"In addition to inculcating materialistic values, commercials deceive and manipulate children on a massive scale. The false promises of popularity, success, and attractiveness that marketers routinely make for their products are such common lies that we have become inured to their dishonesty. Yet from our clinical work we know that when adults chronically deceive and manipulate a child, it erodes the youngster’s ability to trust others and feel secure in the world. We would expect the falsehoods and distortions in commercials to have a similar effect."

Iata deci radacinile raului, iata cum se explica in buna masura nesanatoasa si nefireasca preocupare pentru accederea pe scara sociala si pentru imbogatire: indoctrinarea cu minciuni de la o varsta frageda a oamenilor prin intermediul "sufletului otravit al capitalismului", reclama.

Studiul poate fi citit integral la adresa:

Omenirea in pericol

Conform celui mai recent raport ONU, resursele naturale ale planetei sunt pe cale de disparitie. Acum, mai mult decat oricand, se impune scaderea drastica a consumului si a dezvoltarii economice. Se pare ca acceptarea unui mod de viata ce presupune in plan material doar depasirea pragului saraciei lucii, cu o cantitate minima de munca, imbogatita in rest cu activitati care nu consuma resurse naturale ale Pamantului, precum socializare, sport, sex, cultura, natura si ecologie, nu este doar cea mai indicata cale conform studiilor legate de fericirea umana, ci chiar o necesitate legata de supravietuirea umanitatii.

"Supravietuirea omenirii este in pericol

Ritmul in care omul a utilizat resursele planetei in ultimii 20 de ani pune in pericol supravietuirea omenirii, atrage atentia un studiu al Organizatiei Natiunilor Unite realizat de 1.400 de specialisti si citat de cotidianul The Times. Potrivit studiului, fiecare locuitor al planetei consuma, in acest moment, o cantitate de resurse de trei ori mai mare decat poate suporta planeta. Expertii au calculat ca fiecare persoana are nevoie de 21,9 hectare de pamant pentru a-si acoperi necesitatile, in conditiile in care capacitatea planetei este de doar 15,7 hectare de persoana. Unul dintre motive este acela ca populatia planetei a crescut, in ultimii 20 de ani, cu 34 de procente, de la cinci miliarde de locuitori, in 1987, la 6,7 miliarde, in prezent.

30% dintre amfibiene, 23% dintre mamifere si 12% dintre pasari sunt amenintate cu disparitia, in timp ce unul din zece rauri importante ale planetei seaca in fiecare an.
Verdictul dat de specialistii Programului de Mediu al Natiunilor Unite se vrea un apel urgent la actiune, expertii atragand atentia ca nu mai este mult pana cand situatia va deveni una fara cale de intoarcere, noteaza The Times.
Marion Cheatle, unul dintre specialistii implicati in program, spune ca deteriorarea progresiva a mediului este strans legata de dezvoltarea economica, care va continua sa afecteze fara oprire starea planetei.
Raportul ONU analizeaza schimbarile intervenite asupra mediului incepand din anul 1987.
Raportul arata ca schimbarile climatice reprezinta una dintre cele mai presante probleme in acest moment, la fel de ingrijoratoare fiind considerate problema surselor de apa potabila, a terenurilor agricole sau biodiversitatea.

Semnale de alarma:

- populatia Pamantului a crescut cu 34% in ultimii 20 de ani, ajungand la 6,7 miliarde;
- venitul pe cap de locuitor a crescut cu 40%, ajungand la 8.162 de dolari;
- in fiecare an, 75.000 de oameni mor in urma dezastrelor naturale;
- trei milioane de oameni mor, anual, in urma bolilor care se transmit prin apa;
- in fiecare an, mor zece milioane de copii, cu varste de pana la zece ani;
- mai mult de jumatate din toate orasele lumii depasesc limita admisa de poluare."

Articol aparut in, printre altele, Monitorul de Botosani, la data de 27 octombrie 2007.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Inegalitatile financiare duc la cresterea mortalitatii infantile

In societatile capitaliste si liberale, care permit imbogatirea cu mult peste media veniturilor populatiei, am vazut ca scade coeziunea sociala, creste numarul de omucideri, numeroase boli grave mentale si fizice sunt favorizate si, in general, creste mortalitatea. In prezenta interventie vom vedea ca in astfel de societati inegale creste in mod deosebit si numarul de decese ale copiilor sub cinci ani.

Patru cercetatori, in speta D. Collison, Senior Lecturer , C. Dey, Lecturer , G. Hannah, Lecturer si L. Stevenson, Senior Lecturer demonstreaza legaturile dintre inegalitatile de venit si cresterea mortalitatii infantile in studiul "Income inequality and child mortality in wealthy nations", aparut in Journal of Public Health 2007 29(2):114-117.

Acelasi rezultat si pentru tari diferite de SUA

"There is considerable evidence and academic debate regarding relationships between income inequality and various health indicators including child mortality. We show that there is a very strong association between income inequality and under-five child mortality amongst the wealthier OECD countries.
It has previously been found that this association largely disappeared when the USA, which has the highest figures within the group for both income inequality and child mortality, was excluded from a similar analysis.
We demonstrate, analysing the most recent available data, that the association persists whether or not the USA is included in the analysis. The wealthy countries which recorded the worst child mortality figures included the USA, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, which were all singled out for criticism in a UNICEF study on child neglect in 19937 and each of these countries has seen a marked worsening of their child mortality rankings since 1960."


" When the USA was removed from the aggregated 2001–2004 data presented here, a very strong (p <>r = 0.63) association was still apparent amongst the remaining 20 countries. A strong association (p = 0.005, r = 0.57) was also evident when both the US and UK were removed. When, in addition, Canada and Australia were removed, the correlation still showed marked statistical significance (p = 0.011, and r = 0.55)."

Rezultate si concluzie:

"Results We discovered very strong associations between child mortality and income inequality. In contrast to earlier results, these associations persist when the USA is excluded from the analysis. The countries with the worst child mortality figures were previously singled out in a 1993 UNICEF study on child neglect in rich nations. We also report their worsening child mortality rankings, since 1960, relative to the other OECD countries.

Conclusions The results strengthen the existing evidence linking child mortality with income inequality in wealthy nations, and add to the evidence that sociopolitical factors are important in this regard."

Studiul poate fi gasit la adresa:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Realizari maoiste

Raymond Lotta este economist politic, autor, printre altele, al lucrarii "America in Decline: An Analysis of the Developments Towards War and Revolution in the U.S. and Worldwide, in the 1980s".

Totodata, Lotta este un admirator al modelului socialist adoptat de liderul Chinez Mao Zedong. Mai jos, Lotta prezinta o trecere in revista a realizarilor obtinute de poporul chinez sub indrumarea lui Mao. Succesele de care vorbeste Lotta, la fel ca si succesele Cubei si ale presedintelui socialist venezuelean Hugo Chavez, au menirea de a ii pune serios pe ganduri pe cei care cred ca socialismul egalitarist e un sistem politico-economic destinat falimentului. Realitatea ne indica exact opusul:

"Social and Economic Achievements Under Mao

China's socialist revolution of 1949-76 resulted in a vast improvement in life for the Chinese people. Between 1949 and 1975, life expectancy in socialist China more than doubled, from about 32 to 65 years. By the early 1970s, infant mortality rates in Shanghai were lower than in New York City! All this reveals a profound reduction in the violence of everyday life. The extent of literacy swelled in the span of one generation--from about 15 percent in 1949 to some 80 to 90 percent in the mid-1970s.

Let's go a bit more deeply into the profound difference socialism made to most people. Before the revolution came to power in 1949, China had been dominated by foreign imperialist powers. By practically all available measures, the economy was near the bottom of the world development scale. It had little industry. Agriculture was brutal serfdom. China had the most ruinous inflation in modern world history. It had a vast criminal underworld of gangsters and secret societies, and almost 90 million opium addicts. For women, it was a living hell: foot binding, arranged marriages, and child brides were widespread social practices. Prostitution was rampant in the cities.

These kinds of social evils and the extreme polarization of wealth that existed before 1949 were eradicated by the revolution: through the establishment of proletarian state power and the creation of a just social and economic order that unleashed the masses of people and served their interests.

Only a revolution could, and did, uproot the feudal economic system in the countryside. The land reform and repudiation of peasant debt carried out under the leadership of the Communist Party in the late 1940s and early 1950s represented the most massive expropriation and redistribution of wealth from rich to poor in world history.

The 1950 Marriage Law of revolutionary China established marriage by mutual consent, right to divorce, and outlawed the sale of children and infanticide. A new women's movement, larger and more sweeping in vision than any in history, set out to break down the subordinating division of labor between men and women and to break down the walls of domestic life."

Asadar, durata vietii s-a dublat, femeilor li s-au acordat drepturi egele cu cele ale barbatilor, mortalitatea infantila a scazut remarcabil. Realizarile maoismului nu s-au oprit insa aici:

"China's industrial economy under Mao grew impressively--at an average rate of 10 percent per year, even during the Cultural Revolution. China, the former "sick man of Asia," transformed itself into a major industrial power in the quarter century between 1949 and 1976--a rate of development comparable only to the greatest surges of growth in history. And it achieved this without relying on exploitation or foreign assistance, and in the face of a hostile international environment.

Agriculture grew by some 3 percent a year, slightly exceeding population growth. By 1970, the problem of adequately feeding China's population had been solved. This was accomplished through integrated economic planning, a system of collective agriculture that promoted grass-roots mobilization, flood control, steady investment in rural infrastructure, and the equitable distribution of food to peasants and rationing of essential foods so that all people were guaranteed their minimal requirements. This was a radical break with China's past in which floods, droughts, and feudal oppression caused routine mass starvation--a condition common today in many Third World countries. And keep in mind that the amount of arable (farmable) land in China is only 70 percent of that in the U.S.-- but had to provide for four times as many people.

China under Mao accomplished what the U.S. has never done. It established a system of universal health care. Health services were provided free or at low cost, and the health system was guided by the principles of cooperation and egalitarianism. Maoist China integrated Western and traditional medicine. Some 1.3 million peasants were trained as health care providers ("barefoot doctors") to meet basic health needs in the countryside."

Deci industria Chinei a inregistrat o crestere anuala constanta, ce a transformat fost ruina numita "China" in una dintre super-puterile mondiale, fara ajutor extern. Problema hranirii imensei populatii chineze s-a rezolvat, iar sistemul de sanatate a inregistrat progrese importante.

Articolul in care Ray Liotta explica toate acestea a aparut in Revolutionary Worker #1248, 38207 si poate fi citit integral, impreuna cu datele bibliografice folosite de autor in documentarea sa, la adresa:

Alte date statistice despre realizarile presedintelui socialist Mao pot fi gasite la adresa:

Iata, in concluzie, ca socialismul egalitarist nu numai ca nu e o strategie ineficienta, dar chiar a realizat enorm de multe pentru oamenii de rand, asigurandu-le un trai mai mult decat decent.

Carbonizarea succesului economic

Cei care, manati de dorinte consumeriste si materialiste, ne invata ca e bine si chiar necesar sa muncim pana ne spetim pentru a asigura "progresul economic si bunastarea" tarii, ar trebui sa ia exemple de la ce se intampla zilele acestea in California. Se pare ca incendiile catastrofale de acolo sunt cauzate in buna masura de chiar succesul economic al regiunii, regiune cunoscuta de altfel ca paradis al oamenilor ultra-bogati. Asemenea stiri ar trebui sa le mai taie din entuziasm apostolilor muncii in exces, caci se vede treaba nu doar ca imbogatirea individuala nu sporeste cu nimic fericirea, dar nici imbogatirea sociala nu inlatura nefericirea, ba chiar din contra.

"Haos în California, după patru zile de foc

[...] Circa 880.000 de persoane au primit ordine de evacuare în California, din cauza incendiilor catastrofale ce au scăpat de sub controlul pompierilor. Fumul, răspândit pe sute de kilometri deasupra Pacificului, este atât de des, încât poate fi confundat cu un nor de furtună. [...]

Victimă a schimbărilor climatice şi a succesului economic

California, devastată de incendii, este victima unor elemente climatice ieşite din comun, dar şi a unei imagini de Corn al abundenţei, care atrage anual multe persoane şi contribuie la distrugerea zonelor sălbatice prin construirea de locuinţe, potrivit experţilor, comentează AFP.

În timp ce mii de pompieri se luptă cu adevărate "furtuni de foc" începând de duminică, acţiunea lor se concentrează pe coline şi munţi, la limita centrelor urbane Los Angeles, comitatul Orange, şi mai ales San Diego.
Mai mult de 16 milioane de oameni locuiesc în aceste regiuni, potrivit recensământului din 2000, dar acest număr este cu mult depăşit: între 2000 şi 2007 populaţia californiană trecuse de la 33,8 la 37,7 milioane de locuitori, fiind vorba astfel despre una dintre cele mai dinamice zone ale Statelor Unite.
Motivele aces­tei atracţii sunt cunoscute: o economie înfloritoare, şomaj sub 5% şi mai mult de 300 de zile însorite pe an. "California este un loc formidabil pentru a trăi până când se produc astfel de evenimente", a declarat Travid Longcore, profesor la Universitatea South California, specialist în urbanism.
El a subliniat că dezvoltarea urbană, limitată în anii '60 în mari suburbii, a ajuns în cele mai accidentate zone. "Este o problemă de creştere, dar mai ales de mod de gestionare", a spus profesorul, notând că toate categoriile de populaţie participă la construirea fără control la periferia oraşelor mari sau la împărţirea în loturi în zonele rurale."

Insa nu doar oamenii de la periferie au avut de suferit, ci chiar si magnatii din zona:

"Mel Gibson şi Victoria Principal, evacuaţi

Mel Gibson este ultimul dintre starurile care au fost nevoite să îşi părăsească luxoasele case din Malibu. Gibson şi familia sa au fost evacuaţi ieri, scrie presa americană. Starul din "Dallas" Victoria Principal a primit şi ea ordin de evacuare. Actriţa a declarat că şi-a luat de acasă numai animalele de companie şi câteva fotografii de familie. Ea a donat 50.000 de dolari centrului de evacuare din Malibu pentru hrană şi pături şi alţi 10.000 USD pentru un centru de evacuare a animalelor.

Focul a cauzat haos la Hollywood. Restaurantul Nobu – frecventat de Jennifer Aniston, Britney Spears şi Victoria Beckham – a fost închis, servind mese numai pentru pompieri. Multe filmări au fost suspendate din cauza fumului de pe platouri. Circa 200 de locuinţe din Malibu au fost evacuate, în timp ce 16 au fost afectate de flăcări. Zeci de staruri au case de mai multe miliarde de dolari în Malibu."


Monday, October 22, 2007

Sufletul otravit al capitalismului

Jef I. Richards, Seful Departamentului de Publicitate la Universitatea din Texas, a afirmat ca „Publicitatea este arta si sufletul capitalismului”. La randul lui, James Randolph Adams, citat in John P. Bradley, Leo F. Daniels & Thomas C. Jones, The International Dictionary of Thoughts, 1969, Chicago, IL: J. G. Ferguson Publishing Co., p. 12), a descris publicitatea ca fiind „principalul motiv datorita caruia omul de afaceri a ajuns sa mosteneasca pamantul.”

Intr-un text bazat pe lucrarile lui Richard Stallman, se explica insa nocivitatea si absurditatea reclamelor:

„Trebuie sa retineti un lucru esential despre publicitatea moderna: Nu conteaza cit adevar poate fi intr-o reclama sau alta, publicitatea in sine spune un singur lucru si anume o minciuna: "tu ai nevoie de lucrul acesta caruia noi ii facem publicitate". Este o minciuna deoarece bunurile cu o valoare reala intrinseca nu au nevoie de publicitate. Ati vazut vreodata publicitate pentru grau de exemplu? In momentul cind spoturile publicitare ruleaza la tv sau la radio sau cind cititi vreunul in ziar poate ca aveti deja tot ce va trebuie ca sa traiti confortabil.
Publicitatea are un scop global si anume sa va faca sa uitati acest lucru. Metodele principale inventate pina acum sint:
-se creeaza o atmosfera de nemultumire fata de bunurile deja aflate in posesia noastra

-se spun minciuni, se apeleaza la minciuni pe care fiecare dintre noi vrea sa le auda si mai mult ar vrea sa le transforme in realitate.

Exemple de minciuni si sintagme folosite de publicitate:

-"NOU" ,"NEW". Cum poate fi ceva simultan nou si necesar pentru supravietuire de exemplu?Sau luind in considerare teza ca 'NOU' inseamna mai bun cel care face publicitatea ar trebui sa ne spuna cinstit modurile in care produsul vechi ne-a dezamagit sau a esuat, ceea ce nu se intimpla.
-"O OFERTA EXCLUSIVA". Poate se exclud mortii sau spiritele, in rest toata lumea are acces la asa-zisa oferta exclusiva!
-"COSTA MAI MULT DAR MERITA". Daca ar fi sa ne luam dupa logica asta strimba lucrurile care nu au inca un pret nu au nici o valoare. Se aunca la gunoi astfel toata natura: oceanele, muntii, animalele, oamenii, tu, eu, el... nu valoram nimic deoarece nu avem eticheta cu pret!
-"MERITI CE E MAI BUN". O perdea de fum menita sa-ti abureasca creierul sa-ti nege judecata si sa te distraga de la intrebarea naturala daca produsul este cu adevarat necesar sau daca e intr-adevar cel mai bun produs sau daca ti-l poti permite cu adevarat.
-"TOATA LUMEA ARE UNUL". Bineinteles, mai putin tu. Da uite ca noi,compania XXX.. am cheltuit 30 ,ilioane de dolari pe o campanie publicitara ca sa atragem atentia ultimului om de pe planeta care nu are produsul respectiv adica tie. Acum, cheltuind doar 99,99 RON poti avea acest produs.
-"PROTEJEAZA-TI COPIII CU.....". Ironic, televiziunea in sine , cea care prezinta acest tip de reclama binefacatoare, se comporta cu copiii tai intr-un mod infinit mai rau si insidios decit orice rau abatut asupra lor. Vezi sfaturile sociologilor si doctorilor refritoare la interactiunea copil-televiziune.
-"VREI SA STII CE VOR FEMEILE CU ADEVARAT?"- si variatii pe aceasta tema. Acest tip de reclama porneste de la premisa ca barbatii si femeile nu vorbesc deloc unii cu altii sau daca o fac atunci nu inteleg ce spun ceilalti! Saturatia limbajului cu iz de reclama e atit de mare incit nici declaratiile de dragoste de azi nu scapa neatinse,multe dintre ele semanind de fapt cu o reclama! -"MASINA ASTA E PENTRU CEI PUTERNICI"- Sigur ca toti cei care cumpara masina asta sint puternici,indiferent daca azi noapte s-au dovedit impotenti sau sotia le-a dat cu matura in cap. Cumparind aceasta masina vei deveni peste noapte seicul omnipotent din 1001 nopti si le vei arata tuturor ce potent esti calcind peste ei!”

Obscurantismul religios isi da mana cu obscurantismul capitalist prin intermediul marketingului

„Rolul insatisfactiei programate
Pentru a fi fortati sa consumam orice,oriunde si in ritmuri necontrolate pur si simplu sintem programati sistematic pentru a privii experientele de zi cu zi ca fiind complet nesatisfacatoare, ca fiind incomplete.
Acest aspect al marketingului are citeva lucruri in comun cu aspecte clasice ale religiilor, ceea ce nu e de mirare din moment ce consumul tinde sa se transforme intr-o religie.
-adevarul este ascuns vederii sau simturilor noastre.
-rasplata o vei primii DUPA.
-adevarata fericire este accesibila doar initiatilor, celor "dinauntru".
-toti sintem deficitari,experientele noastre personale nu au nici o legitimitate fara validarea unui preot.

Reciproc,religia tinde sa se transforme la rindul ei intr-o forma de marketing."experienta ta individuala nu inseamna nimic daca nu te alturi noua. Uneste-te cu noi. Fi una cu noi. Aa,apropo, sa sti ca vom avea nevoie de ceva bani pentru a acoperi eforturile noastre de a-ti arata adevarata cale spre iluminare si adevar. Cind esti gata sa cotizezi?".
Sintem programati sa nu ne mai incredem in simturile noastre decit cu ajutorul cuiva din exterior, o autoritate oarecare ce va interpreta propriile noastre experiente pentru noi. Si atunci apare, ghici cine? Apare domnul de la televizor, autoritatea suprema care ne reda simtul realitatii si ne indreapta pe calea cea buna si dreapta a consumului.”

Textul citat e de gasit la adresa: http://seo-ro.info/rss/106.html

Mai departe, reclama a ajuns si inamicul spatiului verde din orase. Conform unui articol de azi, 22 octombrie 2007 aparut in Jurnalul National,

Asalt - Reclama, inamica spaţiului verde

Publicitatea stradală şi reclamele ce împânzesc spaţiul verde din Capitala noastră nu sunt nici pe departe cei mai apropiaţi prieteni ai mediului. Specialiştii sunt de părere că în locul acestor schelete metalice îmbrăcate în hârtii viu colorate ar putea fi plantaţi arbuşti, copaci sau flori. (...) O simplă plimbare prin Bucureşti este suficientă pentru a constata lipsa unor zone verzi sau mai exact apariţia unor noi blocuri-turn. Într-o capitală în care se construieşte în ritm alert, spaţiile verzi devin la un moment dat un lux. Ei bine, şi puţinele petice de verdeaţă au la rândul lor propriii lor musafiri. Dacă nu este parcată o maşină, cu siguranţă un panou publicitar marchează zona. (...)”

Agresiunea reclamelor fata de spatiul verde din Bucuresti este cu atat mai grava cu cat Capitala se afla intr-un deficit extrem de grav de spatii verzi:

„Numai în condiţiile în care nu se mai construieşte deloc în Bucureşti în următorii ani, iar numărul locuitorilor scade la 700.000 avem şansa să ne încadrăm în cerinţele europene. Or, în Capitală se mănâncă spaţiul verde de la o zi la alta. Cu fiecare maşină care se înregistrează zilnic în Capitală, bucureşteanul mai pierde ceva din zonele verzi la care, în mod normal, are dreptul", explică Niculae Rădulescu, preşedintele Eco-civica.”

In concluzie, publicitatea caracteristica societatilor de consum este nociva atat psihic, deoarece imprima un sentiment de nemultumire permanent si nejustificat pentru a crea in mintea consumatorilor nevoia sau dorinta de a procura noi bunuri si produse, de cele mai multe ori inutile, cat si fizic, caci duce la micsorarea spatiilor verzi vitale in orasele poluate din ziua de azi.

Nu ne vom mira, asadar, cand vom descoperi ca numerosi cercetatori au ajuns la concluzii negative fata de conceptul de advertising si publicitate:

* “Publicitatea poate fi descrisa ca stiinta de a distrage/insela inteligenta umana suficient de mult pentru a putea lua bani de la aceasta.” (Stephen Butler Leacock, citat in Michael Jackman, Crown's Book of Political Quotations, 1982, New York: Crown Publishing Inc., p. 1)

* “Publicitatea este substitutul modern al argumentului; functiile ei sunt acelea de a face ca ceea ce este mai rau sa apara ca fiind cel mai bun.” (George Santayana)

* “Publicitatea este minciuna legalizata.” (H.G. Wells, citat in Michael Jackman, Crown's Book of Political Quotations, 1982, New York: Crown Publishing Inc., p. 2)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Consumerismul inseamna distrugerea planetei

Jonathon Porritt este o somitate in problematica ecologista. fiind in prezent, printre altele, consilier al guvernului britanic pe probleme de mediu.
Intr-un articol aparut in aprilie 2007 in The Guardian, Porritt atrage atentia asupra efectelor devastatoare pe care le are obsesia consumerista asupra Terrei:

Consumerismul, noua religie

"Many big ideas have struggled over the centuries to dominate the planet,' begins the argument by Jonathon Porritt, government adviser and all-round environmental guru.

'Fascism. Communism. Democracy. Religion. But only one has achieved total supremacy. Its compulsive attractions rob its followers of reason and good sense. It has created unsustainable inequalities and threatened to tear apart the very fabric of our society. More powerful than any cause or even religion, it has reached into every corner of the globe. It is consumerism."

Dezastrul ecologic adus de consumerism

"Porritt, chairman of the government's Sustainable Development Commission, has concluded that consumerism is central to the threat facing the planet, cannibalising its natural resources and producing the carbon dioxide emissions which result in climate change.

In a film for Channel Five, he points out that Britons throw away their own body weight in rubbish every seven weeks, with 100 million tonnes of waste pouring into the country's 12,000 landfill sites every year. If all six billion people in the world were to consume at the same level, we would need two new Earths to supply all the energy, soil, water and raw materials required."

Munti de deseuri

"· 3.3 million tonnes of food are binned every year in the UK

· People get a new mobile on average every 18 months

· Last Christmas, more than 6 million PCs were left on standby in empty offices

· 1.5 million computers are thrown away every year, of which 99 per cent work perfectly"

Fara jumatati de masura in combaterea consumerismului

"According to Porritt, the most senior adviser to the government on sustainability, we have become a generation of shopaholics. We are bombarded by advertising from every medium which persuades us that the more we consume, the better our lives will be. Shopping is equated with fun, fulfilment and self-identity. It is also, Porritt warns, killing the planet. He argues, that merely switching to 'ethical' shopping is not enough. We must shop less."

'I've always been very nervous about this implied assumption that the more you put on your credit card, the more your charities will benefit, which is a bit perverse, but is what happens when you're using credit cards of that kind,' Porritt said. 'I think it clutters up the awareness we need to encourage in people now that there's an awful lot of unnecessary consumption, conspicuous consumption, irresponsible consumption, and we're just got to get used to cracking down on that in our own lives and really thinking through the implications of all that.'"

Capitalismul, incapabil de a stopa ciuma consumerista

"'I think capitalism is patently unable to go on growing the size of the consumer economy for any more people in the world today because levels of consumption are already undermining life support systems on which we depend - so if we do it for any more people, the planet will go pop,' Porritt told The Observer. 'So in a way we don't have a choice about this: we've got to rethink the basic premise behind capitalism to make it deliver the goods. In the long run, when you really look at what happens on a planet with nine billion people and really serious constraints on the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that we can emit, it's almost inevitable we will learn to have more elegant, satisfying lives, consuming less. I can't see any way out of that in the long run.'"

""According to Porritt, the most senior adviser to the government on sustainability, we have become a generation of shopaholics. We are bombarded by advertising from every medium which persuades us that the more we consume, the better our lives will be. Shopping is equated with fun, fulfilment and self-identity. It is also, Porritt warns, killing the planet. He argues, in an interview with The Observer, that merely switching to 'ethical' shopping is not enough. We must shop less."

Opiniile lui Porritt, confirmate

"His sentiments were echoed by the conservation group Friends of the Earth. Tony Juniper, its director, said: 'Our consumer culture is completely out of the step with the capacity of the planet. If we're going to have a world that is in a fit state to live in by the end of the century, we're going to have to drastically reduce the amount of material demand.

'We need a legal framework for economic activity, but in the end this is about culture, and culture shapes politics. At the moment the culture is being shaped in an unsustainable direction by the advertising industry. It's perfectly possible to present an alternative, but no one has the budget: Friends of the Earth has a few thousand pounds, whereas millions are spent to promote a single car.'"


Friday, October 19, 2007

Materialistii, victimele societatii si nefericirii

In articolul lor "Materialism and Diminished Well-Being", publicat in Journal of Societal and Clinical Psychology, mai 2007, pag. 251, autorii Todd Kashdan si William Breen fac, printre altele, o scurta trecere in revista a studiilor si concluziilor la care specialistii au ajuns in privinta vietii si fericirii materialistilor, adica a persoanelor preocupate in masura mare de dobandirea de averi si faima.

Cei doi subliniaza inca de la inceput:

"Being preoccupied with the pursuit of money, wealth, and material possessions arguably fails as a strategy to increase pleasure and meaning in life. However, little is known about the mechanisms that explain the inverse relation between materialism and well–being. The current study tested the hypothesis that experiential avoidance mediates associations between materialistic values and diminished emotional well–being, meaning in life, self–determination, and gratitude. Results indicated that people with stronger materialistic values reported more negative emotions and less relatedness, autonomy, competence, gratitude, and meaning in life."

Asadar, apucaturile materialiste nu numai ca nu sporesc placerea vietii si nu ii pot da un sens consistent, dar materialistii sunt predispusi la emotii negative, o scadere a autonomiei, competentei si a capacitatii de recunostinta.

Mai exact:

"Americans are flooded with cultural messages, whether television shows on the lives of the rich and famous, advertising, or conversations with peers, that the pursuit and possession of material goods, income and wealth is the route to increase well-being and quality of life. However, for decades, psychologists have suggested that individuals preoccupied with materialism, who tend to define their self-concept and success in life by the quantity and quality of their extrinsic possessions may be vulnerable to diminished well-being (Fromm, 1976; Maslow, 1954; Deci & Ryan, 2000; Kasser, 2002). This seems intuitive because an over-reliance on materialistic gains and associated social approval as a basis for self-worth leads individuals to be inherently vulnerable to uncontrollable factors, and subsequent self-esteem and affective instability (Crocker & Wolfe, 2001; Kernis, Cornell, Sun, Berry, & Harlow, 1993)."

Materialistii, vulnerabili si dependenti

"Among other factors, more materialistic individuals are vulnerable to fluctuations in other people’s opinion and attention, overestimations of objective rewards with acquisitions failing to increase well-being as much anticipated (Wilson & Gilbert, 2005), and being trapped on a “hedonic treadmill” with a continual need for more materialistic consumption to maintain previous levels of perceived success and well-being (Brickman & Campbell, 1971; Lykken & Tellegen, 1996)."

Materialistii, nefericiti si indiferenti fata de ceilalti oameni

"Research shows that when materialistic values direct one’s behavior, individuals are at increased risk for diminished well-being and psychopathology and become less concerned with the welfare of others (Cohen & Cohen, 1996; Kasser & Ryan; Richins & Dawson, 1992; Schwartz, 1996; Sheldon & Kasser, 1995; Sirgy, 1998). These findings are even more robust when comparisons are made with individuals who tend to make commited action toward more intrinsic goals such as personal growth, making strong and meaningful connections with other people, work satisfaction and being a moral person. (Diener & Seligman, 2004; Sheldon, Elliot, Kim, & Kasser, 2001)."

Studiul poate fi citit in intregime de la adresa:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"Era pinguinului"

Si daca tot suntem la capitolul "Ce mai scriu altii pe bloguri", un text ca cel de jos merita luat in seama:

"Era pinguinului

Oamenii sunt manipulati sa aiba teluri si dorinte false in viata - himere pentru a muncii ca niste fanatici - himere de genul trage tare si retrage-te la 35 de ani - bullshit (ai aceeasi sansa ca la 6/49), haine de firma, celulare pentru apartenta si recunoastere... visuri si fitze - oamenii au ajuns sa traiesca in eternul maine sacrficand prezentul spre beneficiul baietilor destepti care gandesc cum sa-ti faca tie munca mai rentabila, in timp ce tu muncesti fericit pe bani putini care mai tarziu iti sunt IMPOZITATI...

Care sunt noile arme ale dresorilor de minti umane in societatea capitalista ?
Una dintre arme este chiar ego-ul "pinguinului" (cum este denumit noul om fabricat de corporatii in argoul dresorilor de minti). Pinguinul munceste pe bani foarte putini, in raport cu efortul depus si valoarea produsa de el, dar primeste in compensatie tot felul de titulaturi pompoase, am vazut in Romania oameni cu "marketing manager" sau mai stiu eu ce expresie pretioasa pe cartea de vizita, si cu un salariu sub 400 euro. Am vazut pinguini refuzand joburi mai bine platite pe motiv ca daca s-ar fi dus la noul loc de munca ar fi retrogradat ca functie!

Alta arma ar fi manipularea mentalului colectiv prin crearea de curente privind stilul de viata. Exista pinguini care cumpara un tricou "de firma" la pret de 3-4 ori mai scump decat unul obisnuit, desi materialul, design-ul si calitatea sunt identice.

Cum arata noul om fabricat de corporatii ?
Preocupat, important, cand il intrebi de sanatate zice ca se grabeste, nu poate intarzia la discutii, este permanent prins in tot felul de "proiecte" de nu are timp nici sa doarma, ca te intrebi la ce mai munceste si la ce-i mai folosesc banii daca oricum nu gaseste nici 5 minute pe saptamana sa se bucure de ei, iar cand totusi apuci sa vorbesti cu el, o tzine numai in clisee, majoritatea auzite la radioTV ori citite prin cartuliile gen "cum sa reusesti in afaceri".

Ce aspiratii are el ?
Sa fie bagat in seama, si pentru asta ii trebuie o functie, telefon ultimul tip desi functioneaza bine si unul fabricat acum 5 ani, idem pentru masina, televizor, etc, si pentru asta e in stare sa se indatoreze pana peste cap, sporind, in acelasi timp, avutiile bancilor de la care se imprumuta si ale companiilor multinationale de la care cumpara.

Ce-si doreste de la viata ?
Recunoastere, sa fie "cineva", sa il respecte lumea, sa i se ceara parerea, iar dresorii care il fac sa se simta atat de important obtin orice de la el.

Ce intelege din politica ?
Absolut nimic, priveste certurile intre partide si politicieni ca pe un fel de meciuri, de parca ar fi suporterul uneia dintre echipe, nu-si pune niciodata intrebarea cati dolari a castigat el de pe urma a ceea ce a facut cutare ministru sau ce profit poate scoate din discursul unui deputat in Parlament ori la pupitrul unui talk-show. de altfel, politicienii vorbesc extrem de rar despre ce ar avea pinguinii de castigat in plan financiar de pe urma unor evenimente, evolutii sau situatii, si totusi pinguinul asculta aceste noianuri de palavre care nu-i folosesc la nimic.

Realitatea este ca pinguinii nu fac bani, ei doar muncesc si numai ego-ul si iluzia ii face sa continue... viata lor e jalnica, inglodati in credite si datorii, fara timp sa respire, traiesc in viitor sacrificand prezentul."


"Sclavia moderna"

Am dat peste un articol interesant postat pe un blog despre mentalitatea consumerista si despre efectele ei nocive. Cum textul este in concordanta perfecta cu spiritul blogului meu, il voi reproduce aici in intregime:

"Sclavia moderna

Ma intreb adesea cate din lucrurile pe care "omul modern" si le doreste atat de mult sunt cu adevarat necesare si merita tot efortul pentru a putea fi achizionate.
"Mi-am luat o masina noua: o bijuterie, 200CP, 6sec acceleratie 0-100km/h" - teribil de necesara in furnicarul de masini din Bucuresti, nu credeti? Pacat ca nu zboara, atunci chiar ca poate ar fi util surplusul de cai putere.
"Am achizitionat un super apartament de 200mp, stiti in zona aia super selecta. Ahh, si stiti, mi-am luat baia aia superba de la ...cam scumpa e drept, a fost 30000RON, dar arata super" - ce folos daca pentru a plati aceasta achizitie trebuie sa stai mai tot timpul plecat de acasa? In fond, de Luni pana Vineri esti minim 60 de ore pe drum sau la birou, iar sambata si duminica oricum nu prea stai pe acasa ca trebui sa mergi la cumparaturi, sa te vezi cu prietenii si sa iti vizitezi parintii.
Si exemplele pot continua...

Cum se ajunge aici? Simplu: prin bombardament media (reclama, emisiuni realizate de asa zisi "specialisti" in domeniu), prin puterea exemplului (prietenii au - ce eu sunt mai prost?).
Consecinta?Devenim cu totii incet, incet membrii ai clubului sclavilor moderni! Am cazut in capcana: muncim exclusiv pentru a putea consuma! Ehehe...Odata intrat in acest joc se rezolva si alte "probleme": veti fi mai disciplinat la munca (dupa atatea achizitii probabil aveti ceva datorii care trebuie platite), veti face mai multe ore suplimentare (poate va avanseaza si va creste salariul si mai puteti cumpara ceva la fel de inutil ca si pana acum), seara veti ajunge mult prea obosit acasa pentru a va mai putea gandi la ceva - dar nu-i nimic: dupa cateva ore de somn va fi mai bine si dimineata o veti putea lua de la capat...cu munca.

Nu ma credeti? Sugerez atunci sa va puneti urmatoarele intrebari: Cand m-am plimbat ultima oara intr-un parc? Cand m-am uitat ultima oara la un pom inflorit, sau la iarba care creste, sau la agitatia pasarelelor prin copaci? Cand am simtit ultima oara nevoia sa merg la un teatru sau la un concert (nu se pune daca ai mers doar ca mai multi colegi de birou o facusera inainte si te-ai simtit si tu dator sa o faci)? (ahh...ce ne facem...aici nu sunt nici impuscaturi, nici roboti si nici macar teroristi printre personaje...nici macar nu poti avea partea de o mica portie de "American Dream").
Adoptarea asa zisei culturi americane si occidentale nu va face decat sa ne afunde si mai tare: din pacate insa la romani e o trasatura nationala (as spune) sa inghitim pe nemestecate concepte si modele pentru simplul motiv ca vin din America sau din Vest. Poate si de aceea sunt ferm convins ca nu peste mult timp vom fi niste sclavi perfecti; in fapt unii dintre noi sunt deja...noroc ca nu au timp sa o realizeze: Noroc Bun!"

Suferintele copiilor in lumea bogatilor

Tocmai ce am scris acum 2 zile despre opinia Dr. Elliot Barker despre modul in care consumerismul si materialismul parintilor afecteaza negativ cresterea copiilor si, acum vreo 2 luni, despre cum lipsa de afectiune a parintilor genereaza boli mentale si exacerbarea coportamentului psihopatic si consumerist in copii. N-a trecut mult si un articol publicat astazi in Evenimentul zilei prezinta "din interior" modul barbar in care cei bogati se poarta cu propriile lor odrasle, confirmand cele spuse mai sus:

"Merita bogatii copii?

Stresati peste masura de viata de lux, milionarii angajeaza o armata de servitori ca sa nu-si bata capul nicio clipa cu propriile odrasle. [...]

In varsta de 30 de ani, Alison Smith-Squire se declara oripilata de cele vazute in casele unde a lucrat, in special de incapacitatea unor oameni presupusi de succes de a interactiona cu propriii copii, relateaza „Daily Mail”.

„Sunt parinti care au practic o fobie fata de copiii lor si sunt incapabili sa-i stranga in brate: o mama incepea sa tipe la mine sa iau copilul de acolo daca se nimereau in aceeasi incapere”, povesteste dadaca. O alta familie a trimis-o doua luni in vacanta de vara cu copiii la Disneyland, doar ca sa nu-i aiba in preajma.

Alison Smith-Squire recunoaste ca, de regula, guvernanta unei astfel de familii are parte de un trai luxos. Spre exemplu, in vara petrecuta la Disneyland, in SUA, a fost cazata cu copiii la un hotel de cinci stele.

Copiii - accesorii

Dupa atatea experiente nefericite, Alison Smith-Squire a ajuns sa-si puna o intrebare de bun-simt: de ce mai fac copii astfel de oameni, daca ulterior angajeaza o armata de servitori care sa-i creasca si sa-i tina la distanta? „Cred ca o fac pentru ca au sentimentul ca asa trebuie”, spune ea.

In lumea celor bogati, nu esti considerat cu adevarat de succes decat daca ai o casa mare, pe care sa o umpli cu copii, de preferinta de varste apropiate, ca sa vada lumea cat de potent esti. „Astfel de copii devin doar un accesoriu la moda”, adauga dadaca.

Fetitele sunt imbracate in haine de firma, la fel cu ale mamei, in timp ce baieteii au versiuni miniaturizate ale masinii tatalui. Din nefericire, avertizeaza Alison Smith, copiii nu sunt la fel de rasfatati atunci cand vine vorba de afectiunea parinteasca.

Parintii bogati sunt cel mai adesea „plecati” - in calatorii de afaceri ori in vacante exotice. Unii n-au nici cea mai vaga idee despre mancarurile favorite ale odraslelor lor pentru ca nu au stat niciodata la masa cu ei.

Sotia unui bancher pentru care a lucrat Alison isi luase obiceiul de a o suna la telefon noaptea cand fetita refuza sa se culce, pentru a o ruga sa-i citeasca o poveste micutei. Nici nu i-ar fi trecut prin cap sa-i citeasca ea insasi o poveste."

Articolul, scris de Stela spataru, a aparut in editia din 17.10.2007 si poate fi citit integral la adresa:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Succesele Cubei socialiste

Cand se vorbeste despre egalitarism, multi isi imagineaza regiuni cu populatie sub limita saraciei si la un sistem politico-economic incapabil sa le permita oamenilor satisfacerea unor nevoi elementare.

Exista insa argumente serioase pentru a considera ca o economie socialista poate reusi sa asigure tuturor conditii mai mult decat decente de viata. Astfel, realitatea infirma aceste critici si demonstreaza ca o societate egalitarista nu doar ca elimina din cadrul ei neajunsurile inegalitatilor financiare din capitalism, dar chiar reuseste mai bine decat acesta sa ofere conditii de trai mai mult decat multumitoare oamenilor.

Vom examina aizi cazul Cubei, tara condusa din 1959 de un guvern egalitarist. Date pe care le voi furniza apartin unui raport intocmit de CIA, serviciul de informatii american ce in niciun caz nu poate fi banuit de vreo simpatie castrista.

Asadar, informatiile despre Cuba se gasesc la https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/#Govt
si tot de acolo am luat informatiile din aceleasi domenii referitoare la Romania de azi. Sa trecem deci la comparatii intre cele doua tari, una socialista, celalta capitalista:

Conform CIA, cresterea economica a Cubei a fost in 2006 de 7,5%, (Romania a obtinut 6,4%), venitul pe cap de locuitor de 3900 USD/an in Cuba (Romania care are 8800 USD/an), populatie sub limita saraciei 0% in Cuba (Romania are 25%), rata somajului 1,9% Cuba (Romania 6,9% in afara de cei carora li s-a terminat somajul), investitii in Cuba 11,9% doar capital autohton al statului (Romania 25% capital strain detine 3/4, deci capital autohton reinvestit e la 1/2 fata de Cuba), rata cresterii in 2006 a productiei industriale 17,6 in Cuba (Romania 5,7% de unde rezulta ca majoritatea investitiilor derulate in Ro se afla in alte sfere ec.: cumpararea de imobile, bursa si servicii ), balanta de plati pozitiva--adica Cuba a exportat cu 1,6 miliarde USD mai mult decat au importat (Romania are balanta de plati negativa adica am cheltuit mai mult decat am vandut cu 12,5 miliarde in 2006)

Autostrada in Cuba 638 km (RO = 228 km), Armata cheltuieste din buget 1,8% in Cuba (in RO = 2,47%), posturi de televiziune 58 Cuba / RO 48, posturi radio unde medii 169, ultrascurte 55, scurte 1 in Cuba / RO medii 40, ultrascurte 202, scurte 3.

Din cifrele de mai sus rezulta ca economia cubaneza are o crestere semnificativ mai bine asezata (cresterea generata de productie) decat cea romaneasca (crestere generata de investitiile masive speculative), perspectivele dezvoltarii sunt mai bune pentru Cuba pentru ca au imprumuturi externe mai mici decat Romania, aceste perspective vor putea fructificate cu atat mai usor cu cat ei exporta mai mult decat importa.
Si toate acestea in conditiile in care Cuba sufera de ani intregi (in jur de 50) din cauza embargoului si de aproape doua decenii a ramas fara principalul sau aliat mondial, URSS.

Aplecandu-ne asupra venitului pe cap de locuitor, datele estimative pentru 2006 ne arata groso-modo ca Romania are venitul pe cap de locuitor de 8800 de USD pe an pe cand Cuba are doar 3900, ceea ce statistic vorbind inseamna ca romanii traiesc de 2,26 ori mai bine decat cubanezii. Dar pentru ca in situatia in care eu am doua masini si vecinul niciuna statistic se considera ca fiecare dintre noi are masina, tot asa si in Romania la imparteala acestui venit pe cap de locuitor unora le revine mai mult si altora nimic. De exemplu distributia veniturilor prin salarii face ca un director in Romania la intreprindere de stat (RA) sa ia de 100 de ori mai mult decat un anagajat cu salariul minim pe economie din aceasi regie. Deci in Cuba probabilitatea este mai mare ca venitul de 3900 sa apartina fiecaruia, pe cand in Romania , date fiind averile colosale detinute de o minoritate de capitalisti, venitul de 8800 de care vorbeste raportul CIA sa nu fie garantat tuturor oamenilor.

Mai departe, citand alta sursa, aflam ca poporul cubanez are un sistem medical net superior multor tari capitaliste:

"Cuba has a government-coordinated system that guarantees universal coverage and consumes a lower proportion of the nation's GDP (7.3%) than some highly privatised systems (e.g. USA: 15.2%) (UNDP 2006: Table 6). The system does charge fees in treating elective treatment for patients from abroad, but tourists who fall ill are treated freely in Cuban hospitals. Cuba attracts patients mostly from Latin America and Europe by offering care of comparable quality to a developed nation but at much lower prices. Cuba's own health indicators are the best in Latin America and surpass those of the US in some respects (infant mortality rates, underweight babies, HIV infection, immunisation rates, doctor per population rates). (UNDP 2006: Tables 6,7,9,10)"

In niciun caz in Cuba nu se intampla atrocitati medicale precum in tarile profund capitaliste, precum UK unde, mai deunazi citeam,

"Britanicii isi scot singuri dintii din cauza crizei de stomatologi

Zeci de britanici au fost nevoiti sa-si scoata singuri dintii, din cauza crizei de stomatologi din sectorul public si tarifelor mari percepute de particulari.

Sondajul a fost realizat pe un esantion reprezentativ de 5.200 de persoane, care nu au reusit sa obtina programari la dentistii din sectorul public.

6% dintre britancii intervievati au recunoscut ca si-au tratat singuri dantura, cum s-au priceput. Unul dintre pacienti a mãrturisit ca si-a scos 14 dinþi cu un cleºte. Un altul a spus ca si-a curatat tartrul cu o surubelnita, iar un al treilea s-a vazut nevoit sa-si fixeze o coroana dentara cu lipici.

Doar 15% dintre respondenti au mers la un cabinet particular convinsi fiind ca vor fi ingrijiti mai bine. 78% dintre ei s-au dus la dentist pentru ca au fost nevoiti."

Rezulta deci ca, in ciuda situatiei ei defavorizate, marcata de embargo si de pierderea unui aliat economic esential, un stat comunist, Cuba, reuseste sa aiba performante mai bune decat
Romania, stat capitalist de aproape 20 de ani si decat alte tari capitaliste de zeci de ani.
Asemenea rezultate nu pot decat sa contrazica total temerile conform carora tarile ce tind puternic spre egalitarism s-ar afla in stari falimentare si ca economiile socialiste nu ar putea evolua.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Copiii, victimele consumerismului

Saitul http://www.empathicparenting.org/ este o initiativa a medicului psihiatru Elliott Barker. Un sustinator convins al drepturilor si bunastarii copiilor, Barker considera ca mania consumerista, care duce in practica la exacerbarea muncii si carieirei, in vederea obtinerii de mai multi bani pentru cumparaturi, inseamna ingnorarea nevoilor propriilor copii.

Dr. Elliot Barker considera ca:

"The priorities of parents with young children are powerfully altered in the direction of getting the goods and services marketed as necessary and desirable, and parents are driven to overvalue social status and careerism. The values of consumerism are envy, selfishness and greed. Such values are inimical to the altruism required to care for helpless little infants and toddlers."

Pe saitul sau sunt de gasit afirmatii intelepte precum:

"It is consumerism that drives the 80-hour work week. When we learn that consumer goods don't make us happy, we can get serious about reconstructing the family. The critical question in America, at the end of the 20th century, is whatever consumption or the family will prevail".
Cristopher Lasch

"When there are no values, Money counts...".
myron magnet

"As campaigns suggest that solutions to all human problems are to be found in buying things. Consumption in presented as an ideal outlet for discontent, a socially acceptable form of action and participation."
Noreene Janus

"Market driven forces have usurped the role once assumed by family, home and community."
David C. Korten

Ne vom intoarce cat de curand la excelentul sait al lui Elliot Barker, dar pe moment e util de vazut ce sfaturi da el tinerilor parinti pentru a-si feri copiii de capcana consumerista:

"To avoid the temptations of a consumer society, Dr. Barker offers the following recommendations:

  • Raise a child whose emotional needs are met so that there is a well developed capacity for affectionate relationships and little need for a compensating craving for things and thrills.
  • Seek out a circle of like-minded people - existing organizations, intentional communities etc. The Internet is making connections between individuals and small groups of like-minded people possible as never before.
  • Seek out non-commercial spaces (parks, YMCA etc.) and genuinely fun non-commercial activities (sports, cards etc.)
  • Cultivate an awareness of and an allergy to all types of advertising - stealth advertising, "free" this and that, etc.
  • Avoid as much advertising as possible - TV, radio, flyers, newspapers, magazines. Is the content worth the price of exposure?
  • Avoid stores and malls as much as possible.
  • In a practical sense, the world would place an appropriate value on child-rearing - reflected in the status accorded parenting - financially and in every other way. Every town would have an organization as motivated as the Chamber of Commerce to promote the best for its children.
  • Prior to conception parents-to-be would be as knowledgeable about what is important in rearing a child as they are now of things like their favorite sports, music, cars, fashion etc."

Sunt bogatii nebuni?

Am sugerat deja ca inegalitatile financiare, aparute in cadrul societatilor capitaliste, liberale, dauneaza nu doar partilor sociale putin favorizate, ci chiar si celor bogati.
Un nou studiu sustine aceasta idee: in regiunile in care predomina inegalitatile financiare, cei avuti sufera din privinta afectiunilor mentale.
Cercetarea, realizata de Weich S, Lewis G, Jenkins SP (membrii in Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London) si intitulat "Income inequality and the prevalence of common mental disorders in Britain", sustine ca:

"RESULTS: The association between income inequality and prevalence of the common mental disorders varied with individual income level. Among persons with the highest incomes, common mental disorders were more frequent in regions with greater income inequality (as indicated by high Gini coefficient) (adjusted OR 1.31,95% C1 1.05-1.65; P: = 0.02). The opposite was true for those with the lowest incomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Income inequality was associated with worse mental health among the most affluent individuals."

Adresa studiului:
Iata deci ca egalitarismul financiar nu este benefic doar claselor "de jos" si "de mijloc", dar chiar si celor bogati.

Boli transmise de inegalitatile financiare

Egalitarismul financiar, care sustine ca fiecare membru al societatii sa aiba acelasi venit aproximativ cu al tuturor celorlalti, are meritul de a stopa irationala goana dupa bani: odata nivelul mediu de venit atins, ar deveni inutil sa incercam sa ne imbogatim.

Pe langa acest avantaj, care inseamna mai putin munca pentru membrii societatii si mai mult timp liber, egalitarismul financiar are capacitatea de a elimina multe alte neplaceri ale liberalismului, insotit de inegalitati financiare. Am vazut deja ca inegalitatile economice in sanul aceleiasi populatii
inseamna, printre altele, o rata crescuta a mortalitatii si scaderea coeziunii sociale.

Vom vedea acum ca exista studii stiintifice recente care leaga inegalitatile financiare de raspandirea bolilor, atat mentalecat si fizice.

Inegalitatile financiare duc la boli mentale

In studiul lor intitulat "Income inequality and the prevalence of mental illness: a preliminary international analysis", trei cercetatori de top: Kate E Pickett, Oliver W James, Richard G Wilkinson (primul fiind membru al Department of Health Sciences, University of York, Heslington, York, UK iar ultimul al Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Nottingham, UK), sustin ca inegalitatile financiare din societate sporesc riscul de boli mentale:

"In an exploratory study, we estimated the relations of two important economic factors—living standards and income inequality—to mental illness in developed countries."

Cei trei afirma ca:

" There are strong, positive linear associations of GNI per capita with any mental illness (r = 0.80, p value = 0.02), and with serious mental illness (r = 0.89, p value <0.01).> also a strong (r = 0.73) and significant (p value = 0.04) linear correlation between the prevalence of any mental illness and income inequality and between serious mental illness and income inequality (r = 0.74, p value = 0.03). Using different measures of income inequality (10:10 ratio, Gini coefficient) does not substantially affect these results."

In concluzie:

" Income inequality has been linked to physical morbidity, mortality, and such psychosocial outcomes as violence. This preliminary analysis suggests that higher national levels of income inequality are linked to a higher prevalence of mental illness and, in contrast with studies of physical morbidity and mortality, as countries get richer rates of mental illness increase."

Asadar, inegalitatile de venit inseamna boli mentale. Important de retinut este si ca raspandirea si intensitatea acestor boli psihice sunt direct proportionale nu doar cu inegalitatile financiare, dar si cu nivelul de bogatie al societatii: cu cat aceasta devine mai bogata, cu atat ea este si mai bolnava.
Studiul poate fi gasit la adresa:

Inegalitatile financiare duc la boli fizice

In articolul lor "Income inequality and the double burden of under- and overnutrition in India," publicat in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2007;61;802-809, cercetatorii S V Subramanian, Ichiro Kawachi si George Davey Smith argumenteaza ca inegalitatile financiare duc la probleme serioase de greutate: supra-nutritie si sub-nutritie:

"Conclusions: Rapidly developing economies, besides experiencing paradoxical health patterns, are typically characterised by increased levels of income inequality. This study suggests that the twin burden of undernutrition and overnutrition in India is more likely to occur in high-inequality states. Focusing on economic equity via redistribution policies may have a substantial impact in reducing the prevalence of both undernutrition and overnutrition."

Cum se explica insa acest fenomen? Ne spun aceeasi oameni de stiinta:

" Why should income inequality be adversely associated with both undernutrition and overnutrition? An insightful analogy can be drawn with the causes of famines. Famines, as we now understand, are caused not so much by a shortage of food as by the maldistribution of food. In a similar manner, the simultaneous presence of under- and overnutrition probably reflects the maldistribution of resources in food and as well other domains of critical importance to nutritional status. Thus, highly unequal states are characterised by the simultaneous existence of overconsumption by privileged groups and food insecurity among the poor.

In addition to being an indicator of maldistributed resources, income inequality may also be a marker of a less generous, or inefficient, public distribution system, e.g. as a result of corruption. For instance, it has been shown that the non-poor are more likely than the poor to use public systems designed to provide shelter, water, sanitation and sewerage, health care and food grains, suggesting that public distribution systems in many communities are poorly designed to meet the needs of the poor, a necessary condition for overcoming the burden of undernutrition. At the same time, it is likely that existing public distribution systems are vulnerable to manipulation by vested interests, a characteristic more likely to be present in states with high levels of income inequality and low social cohesion."

Asadar, din cauza inegalitatilor financiare, unii oameni, bogatii, pun mana pe o parte insemnata de resurse pe care le folosesc prin prisma lacomiei si le mentin utilizand manipularea si coruptia, iar restul populatiei traieste in foame si sub-nutritie.
Egalitarismul, impreuna cu o distributie mai echitabila a produselor, poate stopa acest declin al sanatatii, atat a celor bogati cat si a celor mai putin favorizati.
Studiul se gaseste la adresa:

Friday, October 12, 2007

UE duce la sporirea inegalitatilor economice si sociale

Intr-o lume capitalista, este de asteptat ca minoritatea detinatorilor de capital sa faca jocurile, in detrimentul oamenilor nevoiasi. Se perpetueaza astfel o stare de lucruri anormale: bogatii devin din ce in ce mai bogatai desi am vazut ca de la un prag (scazut) in sus, banii nu aduc nimic semnificativ in privinta fericirii, in schimb oamenii aflati in jurul pragului saraciei, sunt tinuti la acest nivel constant de nefericire.

" Profilul beneficiarului de fonduri europene: latifundiar bogat, cu relaţii

* În Scoţia şi Polonia, iei bani doar dacă eşti bogat sau reprezinţi o corporaţie

*Fermierii simpli nu fac faţă concurenţei mai bogate în ochii Bruxelles-ului

Cine îşi imaginează că Uniunea Europeană va scoate din necaz ţăranul român se înşală amarnic. Banii destinaţi susţinerii agriculturii, mulţi-puţini, nu ajung la sărmanul truditor al gliei. O dovedesc studii serioase făcute în Scoţia şi Polonia. După ani de zile de studii, a devenit evident că banii europeni nu merg la ţărani simpli, ci la marii latifundiari şi la marile corporaţii. Mitul „şanselor egale la finanţările europene pentru agricultură, care se acordă doar pe bază de proiecte bine făcute” este exact asta: un mit, notează publicaţia online Hotnews.ro. Portretul-robot al beneficiarului de fonduri pentru Agricultură din Scoţia, spre exemplu, sună în felul următor: bogat, chiar foarte bogat, cu puternice conexiuni politice, eventual aristocrat. După mai bine de doi ani de presiuni repetate asupra autorităţilor scoţiene, jurnalistul Rob Edwards a reusit să contureze profilul celui care are succes la accesarea fondurilor europene pentru agricultură. În ultimii cinci ani, 100 de latifundiari scoţieni au „absorbit” 115 milioane de lire sterline, jumătate dintre aceştia fiind descendenţii unor vechi familii nobiliare.
Sumele încasate au fost între 1 milion de lire sterline şi 3,5 milioane de lire sterline fiecare. În timp ce marii proprietari de terenuri agricole au primit sume uriaşe de bani, micii fermieri, 23.000 la număr, care au reuşit să smulgă Bruxellesului nişte fonduri în aceeaşi perioadă, au beneficiat de finanţări în valoare de 1,7 miliarde de lire sterline, însemnând mai puţin de o sută de mii de lire sterline de persoană.

În Polonia, străinii iau banii

În Polonia, situaţia stă oarecum altfel, deşi rezultatele pentru fermierul de rând sunt similare – bani puţini sau deloc de la UE. În ţara vecină nouă, nu latifundiarii au beneficiat de „grosul” finanţărilor destinate agriculturii, ci marile corporaţii. Culmea este că acestea nici măcar nu sunt autohtone, ci „implantate” în Polonia. Potrivit unui studiu realizat de jurnaliştii de la publicaţia online farmsubsidy.org, în 2006, cei mai mulţi bani de la UE, adică 2 milioane de euro, au fost încasaţi de Top Farm Glubczyce, companie cu capital britanic şi irlandez, care administrează 11.100 de hectare de teren agricol. Aceiaşi investitori, sub un alt nume, Top Fars Wielkopolska, ocupă şi poziţia a treia în topul finanţărilor, cu subvenţii de 1,95 milioane de euro pentru 10 mii de hectare. (A.I.)"

Articol aparut in ziarul Gandul in ziua de 11.10.2007.

Egalitarismul financiar este solutia pentru aceste satari de fapt aberante.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Munca la birou dauneaza grav sanatatii

Iiluzia ca fericirea creste in functie de cresterea contului din banca, implica de cele mai multe ori preturi extrem de ridicate. Printre acestea, o cantitate marita de munca, ceea ce de obicei este o neplacere in sine. Ei bine, se pare ca munca de birou, caci despre ea vom vorbi aici, nu doar ca e de obicei neplacuta, dar mai implica si deteriorarea extrem de serioasa a sanatatii:

"Munca la birou imbatraneste creierul!

Munca de birou deterioreaza din ce in ce mai rapid creierul, sustin medicii chinezi, citati de publicatia China Daily. Cercetatorii din Shanghai au studiat un grup de persoane care desfasoara munca de birou si care au varste in jur de 30 de ani. In urma studiului, s-a descoperit ca aceste persoane aveau creierul la fel de deteriorat ca acela al unor persoane care au in jur de 40 de ani. Acelasi studiu releva faptul ca persoanele care muncesc la birou imbatranesc mult mai repede decat cele a caror munca implica efort fizic. Astfel, cercetatorii chinezi sustin ca munca sedentara de birou nu este daunatoare doar pentru trup, ci si pentru creierul uman, au concluzionat cercetatorii."

Si daca riscuri s-ar termina aici, inca nu ar fi un dezastru. Insa bolile muncii la birou sunt numeroase si grave.

"Povestea unui inconstient

AFTER being diagnosed with hyperplasia of cervical spondylosis, Tian Wen was gloomy for months.
"I was told on March 12," said the young man, who works as a sales person. "Doctors told me that it was mainly caused by fatigue and incorrect posture while sitting at my desk in the office."
With four years' experience in the company, Tian ignored necessary rest for relaxation to reduce his stress. "I had always thought that I was young, healthy and strong, and could stand the pressure," he said. "But I found I was wrong."
Now Tian must deal with chronic pain in the back of his neck. He may never live pain-free again. Whenever Tian must work long hours, he will suffer from neck pain and numb arms.
"It is really annoying, but I have to stop my work for a while," he said. "I should have paid attention to that."
Tian regrets working too hard in the past. He longs for holidays and travelling, yet he knows he cannot make it up.
"I never realized the importance of health," he added."

Este acesta un caz izolat? Din contra:

""Ten years ago, the disease struck only those above 40, but nowadays, more and more young people between the ages of 20 and 30 are finding themselves with this disease"Chen Xingyuan,Vice director, Arthrosteopedic Surgery of Longhua Hospital."

Ce alte boli mai aduce munca la birou?

"Failing eyesight

However, Tian's problem is not rare among other young white-collar workers. Although they are admired by others for their better income and comfortable work environment, more and more of these young people working in office buildings are suffering from similar ailments, such as headaches, failing eyesight, nervousness and depression. Some even find a drop in sexual desire.
These ailments have been attributed to the office environment and the stressful work. The bad ventilation that results from air-conditioning also helps spread illness.
Actually, the hazards of working in an office can never be neglected, despite the seemingly comfortable environment.

Chen Xingyuan, vice director with the Arthrosteopedic Surgery of Longhua Hospital, said nowadays an increasing number of young white-collar workers are being diagnosed with cervical spondylosis.

Most office-related illnesses are chronic such as pains in the neck and back, shoulders, lower extremities, arms, wrists, hands, and a general feeling of tension and irritability, as well as vision problems and respiratory diseases. "Although they are not acute, they can be a life-long problem," Chen said.

Traditional Chinese medicine theory has it that cervical spondylosis is a chronic joint and muscles strain, resulting from long-time work and inactivity. "Stationary office workers are most likely to get the disease." "Also air-conditioning in offices is most likely to cause rheumatism," said Chen. "Young office workers who get rheumatism will feel worse when they grow old. Usually it cannot be cured completely."

Bad indoor air
In addition, bad ventilation in the office may cause laryngopharyngitis, or inflammation of the larynx and pharynx, according to Liao Meilin, an expert in respiratory diseases in Shanghai Chest Hospital. "This is generally related to bad indoor air quality (IAQ), which results from inadequate ventilation, chemical contaminants from indoor sources and biological contaminants," said the professor.
Actually, IAQ is an increasingly important issue in the work environment.
According to a recent report from World Health Organization, the study of IAQ and pollutant levels within office environments is a complex problem and the complexity of studying and measuring the quality of office environments arises from various factors, including building renovations such as installation of new carpets, modular office partitions and paintings. "In some serious cases, bad indoor air quality will cause lung cancer," she added.
"Respiratory diseases can strike a group of people who work in a relatively compact and central air-conditioned room because bacteria can grow in the ventilation tubes and spread through the draft," said Pang Zhonghua, vice director of Respiratory Department with Huadong Hospital. "In this environment, one is likely to develop respiratory problems, and if one person is affected with the disease, several others tend to get it too."
In a modern office building, the heating ventilation and air conditioning system is designed to keep occupants comfortable and healthy by controlling the amount of outside air that is added to the building atmosphere, filtering both incoming and re-circulated air to remove particulates and control temperature. "A good ventilation design will distribute air uniformly to each area and especially areas with office machines," explained Pang. "If in a badly ventilated building, one will complain of symptoms associated with acute discomfort such as headache, eye, nose or throat irritation, nausea, fatigue and sensitivity to odors."

In addition, vision problems are also one of the leading sources of complaints among office workers.
According to Ren Jianping, an ophthalmologist in Shuguang Hospital, poor office lighting and long-time focusing can cause eye strain and irritation, fatigue, double vision, watering and reddening of the eyelids, as well as a decrease in the power of focus and visual acuity.
"If one focuses on the computer for more than two hours, he is sure to feel some discomfort in his eyes," said Pang. "And these years, more young white collar workers are suffering from eye diseases, mostly because of the widespread use of computers in office work."
According to Wang Weijun, a gynecologist at Huadong Hospital, the radiation from the computer, to some extent, will even effect an pregnant woman. "Although there is no exact figure on how big the effect of radiation from computers has on a pregnant woman because one can hardly find an example to do the experiment, the effect is surely there, sometimes, it even cause dermatitis - inflammation of the skin."

Si sa tinem cont ca aici se vorbeste despre conditiile muncii din unele dintre cele mai performante si moderne birouri!

Articolul e scris de Xing Bao, este intitulat "Hazardous office", si a aparut in numarul din 16 mai 2002 a publicatiei Shanghai Star. E de gasit integral, in engleza, la:

Asadar, cei care acorda muncii sustinute vreun interes deosebit--motivati, de cele mai multe ori, de ambitiile de inavutire si consumiste--se vor alege probabil cu o sanatate subrezita, pe cand fericirea lor va ramane, in cel mai bun caz constanta. Sa ne ferim, asadar, de astfel de dorinte imbecile si de urmarea lor, munca sustinuta!

Ramane cum am stabilit: banii nu aduc fericirea

Un studiu publicat in februarie 2006 si realizat de cercetatori australieni demonstreaza o data in plus ca banii, odata trecut pragul saraciei lucii, nu aduc fericirea. Astfel, cei care traiesc in comunitati relativ sarace si marginase sunt mai fericiti decat cei care traiesc in zonele luxoase din chiar capitala Sydney.

"The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index survey of 23,000 Australians found the country's happiest people live in poor regional towns and the saddest live in cities.

"Money doesn't actually buy happiness and that's what was shown very clearly for the nearly 23,000 people we've interviewed so far," said Liz Eckerman, researcher at the Australian Centre on Quality of Life at Deakin University in Melbourne. "Only at very, very high (income) levels does money actually have any impact to act as a buffer," Eckerman told local radio.

Unlike traditional economic indicators of quality of life such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index is a subjective measure that investigates how Australians feel about their life and life in Australia.
Australia's happiest people live in the small coastal town of Wide Bay, which includes World Heritage-listed Fraser Island and the whale watching Hervey Bay, on the coast of the tropical state of Queensland.
Wide Bay topped the survey on issues such as standard of living, health, personal relationships, sense of safety, community and future security. In contrast, the town is at the bottom of other surveys which measure employment and income.
The survey found eight of the top nine happiest electorates in Australia were poor and isolated rural communities."

Care sa fie insa explicatia fericirii oamenilor din zonele relativ sarace si marginale, rurale?
Nu ne vom mira cand vom afla ca stransa socializare care exista in acele comunitati ridica semnificativ nivelul general de fericire:

"The people in country towns seem to have a high level of connection with one another, they have good relationships, the neighbours know their kids and look out for them," said survey author Bob Cummins from Deakin University. "All of this tends to make the wellbeing of people in those areas quite high," Cummins told reporters on Monday."

Si daca inca nu v-ati convins, cercetatorii afirma in incheiere:

"The saddest place to live in Australia was in the heart of the country's richest and most expensive city Sydney's inner western suburbs."

Articolul din care am citat a aparut in ChinaDaily, la 14 februarie 2006. El poate fi citit integral, in engleza, la adresa:

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Reduceti cheltuielile

Unul din primii pasi care trebuie intreprins de cei care doresc sa evadeze din capcanele comertului si reclamelor capitaliste este sa invete sa-si reduca cheltuielile.

Mai jos sunt 10 cai ce trebuiesc urmate in aceasta directie:

"Supermarketurile - un drog pentru romani. Top 10 sfaturi sa nu aruncati banii pe nimicuri

Va suna cunoscut: “Am fost la supermarket, am cheltuit o caruta de bani si nu am luat mai nimic.”? O multime de oameni spun asta. Nu va ganditi ca este vorba aici doar de cei care vin la magazin fara o lista de cumparaturi in buzunar. Sunt tentate sa umple cosul cu diverse nimicuri chiar si cele mai calculate gospodine.

De ce oare? Pentru ca, desi par simple locuri de unde iti cumperi ce ai nevoie, in realitate supermarketurile nu sunt altceva decat o gaselnita a comerciantilor: “cum sa vinzi mai mult decat le trebuie clientilor”. Iata ce trebuie facut sa nu mai aruncati banii pe fereastra.

Reganditi lista. S-a demonstrat ca cei care merg la cumparaturi cu o lista cheltuiesc cu 41% mai mult decat cei care nu au niciuna. Cu toate astea, nu este bine nici sa mergeti fara. Trebuie doar sa stabiliti dinainte ceea ce veti gati in saptamana urmatoare si abia apoi sa faceti lista cu ingredientele necesare.

Nu plecati la cumparaturi nemancati. Daca plecati infometati, veti cumpara din impuls tot ce va iese in cale.

Evitati mancarea semipreparata. Nu numai ca nu va face bine, dar este si scumpa in comparatie cu celelalte alimente.

Nu cadeti prada tentatiilor. Supermarketurile pun lactatele si carnea in capatul cel mai indepartat al magazinului, ca sa te forteze sa treci intai prin celelalte raioane pana ajungi la ele. Doar doar iti face ceva cu ochiul. Daca aveti de gand sa cumparati lapte, tineti minte acest lucru si nu popositi in fata standurilor cu ciocolata.

Luati-va calculatorul cu dumneavoastra.
Doar pentru ca un anumit produs este disponibil intr-o cantitate mai mare nu inseamna ca este mai ieftin. Ca sa va asigurati ca nu sunteti trasi pe sfoara, verificati pretul pe unitatea de masura.

Fiti flexibili. Doar pentru ca aveti o lista nu inseamna ca nu trebuie sa profitati de reducerile care se fac intr-o anumita perioada.

Vanati reducerile.
Reducerile pot ajunge pana la 50%, asa ca nu sunt de neglijat. Indiferent ce cantitate cumparati, verificati etichetele. De obicei se fac reduceri la alimentele al caror termen de garantie urmeaza sa expire sau in cazul lichidarilor de stoc.

Educati-va copiii cand mergeti la cumparaturi.
Daca ii luati cu dumneavoastra la supermarket, veti cheltui cu cateva sute de lei in plus fata de ce v-ati propus. Copiii sunt maestri in a-i impinge pe parinti sa cumpere lucruri nefolositoare.
Daca nu-i puteti lasa acasa, transformati-i in cumparatori destepti. Oferiti-le zece lei pe care sa-i cheltuie dupa bunul plac ori puneti-i sa aleaga intre o inghetata si o masinuta, de exemplu.

Cumparati in cantitati mai mari produsele care se termina repede.
Hartia igienica, sapunurile si alte produse de ingrijire sunt mai ieftine daca le iei in cantitati mai mari. Aveti grija sa nu cumparati produse de curatat care fac acelasi lucru. Eventual alegeti substante care se dilueaza si pe care le puteti folosi o perioada mai mare de timp.

Atentie la preturi.
Se intampla ca preturile unor produse sa nu fie actualizate si pe aparatele de cantarire, asa ca trebuie sa va uitati cu atentie si sa sesizati personalul magazinului. Uneori se intampla ca si scanerele de la casele de marcat sa nu functioneze corect. Americanii pierd intre unu si 3 miliarde de dolari pe an din cauza erorilor de scanare."

Articol scris de Veronica Radulescu

Capitalismul ucide

Am vazut deja ca din cauza capitalismului, media de viata a barbatilor din fostele tari socialiste din estul Europei a scazut cu pana la 7 ani. Am vazut, de asemenea, ca in societatile unde exista mari inegalitati economice intre membrii societatii, datorate tot capitalismului, rata mortalitatii si a criminalitatii este mult mai mare decat in tarile egalitariste.
Pe langa acest genocid extins cauzat de capitalism, e timpul sa vedem cu insusi economia capitalista, a carei prioritate este maximizarea profitului, degradeaza si ucide in mod direct.

Intr-o serie de articole intitulate "Capitalism Kills: Case Studies in an Immoral System", specialistul in antropologie si arheologie, doctor, in acelasi timp in filosofie, Thomas Riggins, da numeroase exemple de cum capitalismul, bazat, cum e, pe sloganul "profitul inaintea oamenilor", ajunge sa degradeze viata muncitorilor, sa distruga mediul inconjurator si, cel mai grav, sa puna in pericol viata consumatorilor.

Dau mai jos patru exemple care ilustreaza cinismul corporatist fata de viata clientilor sai si a societatii in general:

"The free enterprise system AKA the free market, AKA capitalism is an economic system, as we all know, that is dedicated to maximizing profits at any cost. Neither ethics, morality, honor, the environment, nor human life itself will be spared by this system and its quest to put profits before people (and everything else). Here are some case studies of the system at work.

Un prim exemplu de cum capitalismul ucide:

The New York Times, October 20, 2005: "Repeated Defect in Heart Devices Exposes a History of Problems" by Barry Meier. This is a great illustration of how capitalism works in the real world. Company makes defective heart device, makes lots of money, covers up the defect to protect "market share", patients die. The story begins with the sudden death of a 21 year old who dies in his girl friend’s arms. His heart defibrillator malfunctioned (short-circuited.) It was made by "the Guidant Corporation, the country’s second-biggest maker" of these devices. It seems Guidant knew all about the defective devices but "had not told doctors for three years" that there had been "about [!] two dozen cases." Guidant also said the death of the 21 year old was "a tragic event" but the company "did nothing wrong" [naturally].

Last summer Guidant recalled "tens of thousands of defibrillators and pacemakers."

Nice going – these things are inside people – you definitely don’t want your heart device "recalled"! Here is something even better. After the company made a new and improved model they had a problem – what to do with the old defective models it had on hand. It did what any responsible capitalist would do – it "sold older units out of inventory"-- still doing nothing "wrong" of course. Meanwhile, they had another device – a defib-pacemaker combo (the "Contak Renewal") approved by the good old FDA – this also had short-circuiting problems. A couple of whistle blowing doctors close to the company exposed them so now the cat is out of the bag. But this story has a happy ending. "Guidant announced that it had regained more than 80 percent of the market share it had lost as a result of the recalls."

Un al doilea exemplu de cum capitalismul ucide:

"It’s not only the beef industry that doesn't care about your health. The processed food industry is also killing its customers to make a buck. The following information is from "The War Over Salt: It's the Food Industry vs. an Army of Medical Experts" by Melanie Warner in The New York Times (Business Day) 9-13-2006.

Medical experts, the AMA in particular, wants the FDA to start regulating the amount of salt the food industry dumps into the processed food it sells. Fat chance! "The food industry, which adamantly opposes any regulation of salt, is lobbying the government to stop any attempts to force companies to limit salt in food." This is because when food is processed it not only loses a lot if its natural flavor and texture but also sometimes "unpleasant tastes are also created." Dumping excess salt into the food hides these bad tastes, makes up for the lost flavors and textures, and also acts as a preservative so this junk can stay around in the store longer. Now 75% of salt people eat comes from processed food.

Salt is a cause of hypertension which leads to the No. 1 (heart disease) and No. 3 (stroke) causes of death in the US. Middle aged people and people at risk should eat no more than 1500 milligrams of salt a day (its 2300 max for healthy young adults). If salt in processed food were cut in half 150,000 lives a year could be saved. Dr. S. Havas of the AMA says, "There have been repeated calls over the last 25 years for the FDA and the food industry to take actions that would reduce these unnecessary deaths. As a physician, it’s very hard for me to understand why these groups have not addressed this critical public health problem." It's the money! Remember, its Profits Before People and capitalism kills."

Un al treilea exemplu de cum capitalismul ucide:

"The New York Times, October 18, 2005: "Study Finds Lax Safety Standards at Construction Sites" by Fernanda Santos. The upshot of this story is that construction companies have found out that it is cheaper to pay fines for safety violations, even when their workers are killed, than to follow the law which requires safety gear. For example, Manuel Falcon had no hard hat or any safety gear when he fell to his death in 2003 at a work site. The federal inspectors only fined the company $2625 for these violations-- $21,000 could have been levied! And this is typical. The "Times" quotes B.P. Morelli, of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (which just released a study of this problem): "The industry fines are considered a cost of doing business and too minimal to effect a change in behavior."

We should note that in the last four years there have been 144 fatal accidents in New York City alone. The study points out that, "The average penalty for serious safety violations, in which severe injury or death is highly likely, is $1,569...." And OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, part of the Labor Department) has only 28 inspectors for all of New York City, Westchester and Rockland counties, as well as northern New Jersey. The low fines and deficient number of inspectors says it all. The government, federal as well as state and local, is on the side of the contractors.

This is not only class warfare against the construction workers it is racism to boot as we find out when reading the comments from one of the trial lawyers to the effect that many of these accidents take place in the "underground" construction industry and the victims are mostly immigrants from third world countries.

The article says "that builders do not feel compelled to comply with safety regulations." This is a perfect example of Profits before People and shows how unregulated (here under regulated or under enforced regulations) capitalism will even resort to killing people to make a buck. They are getting away with murder. The Republican response? Tort reform and verbal attacks on the trial lawyers!"

Un al patrulea exemplu de cum capitalismul ucide:

"We all see the ads on TV from the big drug companies, telling us how devoted they are to our health and wellbeing. Here is a good example of their devotion from the New York Times of 12-9-05: "Medical Journal Criticizes Merck Over Vioxx Data," by Alex Berenson. It seems Merck was more devoted to profits than to human health. The New England Journal of Medicine is criticizing Merck for the way it faked its results on the safety tests on Vioxx, its arthritis and pain drug. Berenson quotes Dr. G. D. Curfman, an editor at the journal: "They did not disclose all they knew. There were serious negative consequences for the public health as a result of that."

Merck is being sued now on the grounds that Vioxx caused people to have heart attacks and strokes. Could it possibly be that the company’s executives, good honorable American businessmen, could have decided to hide and cover up that information for the sake of big bucks?

In 2000, the journal published the results of the clinical trial of the drug -- the trial done by Merck to show, among other things, that Vioxx was safe. Well, Berenson reports that "the journal said the authors of the study had deleted some data about strokes and other vascular problems suffered by patients...." He also reports that the journal said the authors "also underreported the number of heart attacks suffered by patients taking Vioxx...." In fact, it seems that Merck knew that people taking Vioxx were four times more likely to have a heart attack than those who took an older pain killer such as Aleve! Dr. Curfman said, "the totality of the data didn't look good for Vioxx." But that didn't stop the rush to market the drug, which was not recalled until 2004. Let this be a warning for anyone who thinks the capitalist system has your interests at heart.

Don't trust anything corporations tell you!"

Multe alte exemple asemenatoare pot fi gasite in seria articolelor semnate de Thomas Riggins. In ordine: