Who’s Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics

Who’s Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics by Terre Nash, National Film Board of Canada

According to the current UN rules of economics, which governs the IMF, nations and international money flow, if you are not making or producing lots of money in the ‘market’, you are not worth anything. All nations must conform to these rules, or they cannot borrow money from the International Monetary Fund, or participate in the UN and all of its functions.

For example, if Nature is not producing income for a local area provincial government, it is not worth anything. In other words, beauty, forests, oceans, animals and ground that is not producing income via mines, farms or timber companies, is not worth anything. There is zero value in Nature, unless it produces income for someone.

Growth is valued above all else. If an economy is stable and not growing anymore, that is seen as something bad by international economists, who govern how leaders look at things.

An oil tanker crash is actually good for growth in an economy, because it stimulates ‘growth’ in an economy and in a corporate balance sheet. There is the new tanker that must be ordered, cleanup crews that must be hired and lawyers that must be retained.

Permanent war is also good for ‘growth’ in an standard economist viewpoint. Eternal war is best, because that stimulates all kinds of jobs in an otherwise stable economy which may actually ‘stagnate’ and stop ‘growing’ otherwise.

Peace is not valued, because it produces no income or growth. Think of all the tanks, ships, planes and bullets that must be manufactured. Think of all the no bid contracts that must be signed immediately, without the normal bid process and competition process present in the ‘free market’.

War is very profitable, thus ‘good’ in the international economic point of view. Arms supply account for more than 50% of the economic ‘value’ of many countries as measured by GDP and the UN international economic ‘rules’. But the deaths and suffering caused by war is not counted as a deficit or accounted for. Using depleted uranium weapons and nuclear bombs is also considered ‘good’ for business, because it is ‘profitable’, despite the fact that these weapons leave the Earth uninhabitable for hundreds of thousands of years, and may actually exterminate all human life.

Every minute, the global market for arms spends 1.3 million dollars, but communities are becoming less and less safe globally. Globally, countries are spending $22,000 per year on each soldier, but only $350 per year on educating a child. This is a reflection of the economic belief that permanent war is good and profitable, but education is bad and unprofitable, and not good for economic ‘growth’.

The cost of one nuclear submarine equals the cost of educating all children in 23 developing countries, with 160 million school age children. This is the economics of war as a profitable business. Educating children is not important, because children can grow up to feed the war machine without ANY education. A soldier can shoot a gun without ever going to school, for example. Women who raise children are also not valued or given any importance in the international economic corporate view of things, mainly because women are not making these decisions.

Education is not good for growth, because that is money that must be spent long term, for a long term gain which may mean no economic growth at all, especially when the education is in the liberal arts for example. While a community may end up with more art, music, gymnasiums, and childrens focused programs with more educated residents focusing on liberal arts degrees, these do not generate growth or economic value, so they are not considered in the economics point of view and have zero value to a corporation. Thus, few or no jobs are offered in this field, and salaries are generally low in this area. Teachers offing art and music programs are the FIRST thing to be cut when things get tough, while those teaching war and other ‘profit’ oriented things are retained.

The amount of money spent on armaments in just two weeks globally, could provide safe and clean drinking water for all people in the entire world.

Economists do not think long term. Corporations do not think long term. Corporations do not think more than five years into the future, because that is the only view or forecast that they see, via their financial projections.

All non profits are worthless, because they do not produce income or growth. In other words, non profits that work on art projects, neighborhood safety, feeding the homeless, caring for the elderly, providing for the sick, disabled are worthless. These and other sustainable community based projects are not part of the economic ‘plan’, make no profits and thus get no attention and have zero  value in the economic point of view.

GDP and international economics which govern what all national government do and where they direct the money flow of government does not include things people really value when talking about what is valuable in a community or nation.

GDP does not tell you about environment, happiness of the people, beauty of the land, numbers of wild animals, forest cover in a country, or anything sustainable. You could be in a country that is a dictatorship and all the people are miserable, 20% are in jail, the whole country is polluted and the leader is about to push the button for a nuclear Armageddon, but that country could have a 10% GDP, which economists would say is ‘good’ because it is making lots of money from the sale of arms for a major arms producing country, or exporting large amounts of oil to a foreign nation that needs it. Does that make any sense at all?

Growth does not value women raising children or pregnant, because they are not ‘adding value’ by working for corporations. Around the world, women are raising children, often in large numbers, because they have no access to birth control, abortion, family planning services or financial stability. Large numbers of children are the poorest person’s retirement plan. Women often raise food or animals to feed their children, or make clothes, or build structures to house them. But none of this activity creates profit, so it is not supported or valued by any government or corporation.

GDP Growth does not value any aborigine tribes or village system, despite the fact that they have been around for tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of years in a sustainable fashion, living in harmony with Nature in many cases, because they cannot be counted financially and they produce no profit or growth economically. A stable village living in a sustainable fashion off the land, in harmony with Nature is not worth anything in terms of GDP, or corporate balance sheets. Thus, they must be eliminated.

GDP does not measure barter activities. A Groups is not worth anything if a group is bartering things and not spending money or buying things. Barter is worthless to a corporation and to the international economists. Barter is actually seen as something bad, because it takes away from the ‘profits’ of corporations who must sell things at a high price in order to make a profit. Thus the economic system that is very ancient that has historically been around is not even considered or paid attention to.

A village producing things and supporting everyone in the village in a cashless manner is considered worthless and useless, even though it has been doing this for a ten thousand years or longer.

GDP Growth is not worth anything when it comes to human rights, community values, and future generations values. The only thing that matters in an economists viewpoint and the corporate balance sheet is short term profit, so nothing else matters.

When a family raises a garden, or a community garden is formed that benefits the whole community, it is not worth anything as far as GDP or corporations are concerned.

Time is not worth anything to corporations or GDP. Time is only a unit of measure that shows how many $$$ are being produced for a corporation or a country. Unemployed people are worthless to a corporation, and are seen as a drain on the economy, not adding value to the GDP. Older people are seen the same way, negative. They are obligations, a nobody, not worth anything to anyone, least of all to a corporation. Unless someone like this can be fed through a machine and be turned into fertilizer or food, they are not worth anything. If an older worker can be gotten rid of and eliminated without paying them retirement, so much the better, because that improves the corporate balance sheet and profits.

This is why so many corporations get rid of retirement plans, axe workers right before they qualify for retirement and why so many corporations ‘raid’ other companies, take all the money out, while leaving workers high and dry, with nothing left of monetary value. This also is a good way of destroying communities and an entire nation.

The important thing to realize is that all of these non counted things and people are not valued or counted when it comes to politics and process or long term planning on the national and international stages. Billions of people are INVISIBLE, UNCOUNTED, and UNVALUED because they are not on the corporate balance sheet and are not producing a PROFIT, or economic growth.

The only people who get things of value from the political process are those who are at the table, asking for things. In other words, politicians control the values and money supply being fed to constituents. If the only people who have access to the politician are those who pay $10,000 per plate, or more, then poor people, aborigines and those who are retired have zero value, and get nothing from the politician.

Women raising children are worthless, useless and unproductive. All women not working for a corporation and producing income are not counted in GDP.

Men who go to work in the military, who are part of the nuclear monopoly, are productive and part of the GDP, even if that means starting a nuclear war that destroys the whole globe and all life on it. Men are valued highly, because they can build weapons, pull triggers to kill people, and push buttons to launch nuclear weapons. These things all stimulate the economy and generate money for corporations who build these things. These things are all good for the GDP. Men do not take time off to have babies and raise children, so they are much better suited for the corporate machine and profits.

Hundreds of thousands of men who go on yearly men only ‘tourism’ junkets to developing countries where child prostitution is the aim and goal are considered as a positive and profitable enterprise by the standards of international economic standards, but the grinding poor neighborhoods that feed this profitable enterprise with young boys and girls are not valued at all.

Forced prostitution is valued greatly because it produces huge profits which stimulate the economy in all kinds of ways, all the way up to bribes at the government level, but stable, safe neighborhoods where children are protected from prostitution and everyone has productive and stable work is not valued at all.

In the Phillipines for example, where 58 million people live, 20 million people are homeless, while just a tiny percentage own all of the profit making resources and land. The US army bases there feed and grow the unhealthy dynamic of poverty, prostitution, gambling and drugs, because the military also does not value families, communities or stable villages with sustainable structures. Armies feed on and destroy communities, families and entire nations. Armies plus police forces guard the profit making corporate enterprises, often kicking people off the land that is exporting profitable mono culture crops for consumption in foreign lands. Meanwhile, 70% of the children in the Phillipines do not get enough to eat.

Around the world 1 BILLION people are malnourished, while corporate owned warehouses are stuffed and overflowing with profit making grains, seeds and nuts.  Of course, these crops must be left to rot or be destroyed if they cannot be sold for a profit, because there is no value in feeding the homeless, hungry or starving. Thus, 10,000 people a day starve to death every day around the world, while corporations focus on generating more ‘profits’, while causing more and more suffering globally.

17 million children die each year around the world due to diseases that result from poverty and lack of things that people in ‘civilized’ countries take for granted, like clean water, warm clothing, clean sanitary conditions and heated homes.

Gross Domestic Production claims that it measures the ‘wellbeing’ of a country. At the same time, that same country can be filled with 45 percent of those people living in poverty, slums, polluted water, polluted air, polluted ground, sickness throughout the whole population, rampant crime and greed, a huge percentage of people in prison, a high rate of violence, and everything too expensive for the average person to afford. But, GDP says that country is doing well…. How silly is that?

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Who’s Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2012/09/whos-counting-marilyn-waring-on-sex.html