Michael Moore released “Capitalism, A love Story” last year and exposed the lack of scruples from blue chip American companies when it comes to acquiring wealth. I couldn’t help but to start feeling helpless about how ineffective I was in changing the global reality that 90% of the world”s wealth belongs to less than 40% of the world’s population.
Upon reading his references I also noted how the CEOs and owners of these companies had lobbied in Congress to get their way of doing business legalized and legitimated. Whether it is a drug company that wants to shorten the process by which the FDA approves drugs from the lab to the counter, or get access to public funds for their corporations, in order to survive the recession they caused. These companies have dominated the way we eat, the way we live and the way we view morality. If Fox news could easily get away for falsely reporting an election result (Florida in the Bush re-election) is there any stopping these giants? Purdue and Tyson can lobby their way into introducing new agricultural practices for growing livestock. By doing so a strand of E-coli traceable to these practices is introduced and goes unpunished. Record amounts of money are made by those at the very top of course. If they seem unbeatable, why not join them?
South Africa has its own giants that seem to be doing the same thing as the Americans. They run under the alias Tenderpreneur. This is a system where government projects are allocated to the highest bidders with the smallest degree of merit. Project quality is compromised and development is sacrificed for financial gain. These entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the skills shortage and privatised their intellect to have their way with government projects. The system of checks and balances that is currently in place only seems to highlight the very cosy relationship that exists between government officials and these “tenderpreneurs”. Lobbying seems to be done at a more personal level and the further from the CBD radar the better. Eastern Cape rural development has seen the minister of finance deliver truck loads of money for electrification, water delivery and education infrastructure, yet only a few of these projects have come to completion. Yet still, if beating them doesn’t seem to be feasible, why not just join them?
Business and wealth trends of the modern world have been changing, from brutally corrupt, to subtle white collar corrupt and now finally FREE and INNOVATIVE. Since the 1490s when Columbus captured slaves in the Americas, Caribbean and Africa, business growth has been achieved by conquest and force. Slaves dying and getting sick was seen as part of the business and a loss in production. The current trend involves a less direct form of conquest, where those with money can manipulate government systems and deceive the whole electorate. The future trend though seems to be free. Free social networking that makes millions, free internet services that connect the world to a variety of information and even free products that would have otherwise cost exorbitant amounts. Google products are a good example, from Gmail, to Google earth, to Google Sketcher, I use all (legally) and pay for none. Eskom uses Google earth and the new Streetview to trace power lines and thus is able to deliver a more efficient service. GPS devices could be cheaper if they were based on free Google technology. Facebook and Twitter have given a new set of entrepreneurs ideas for marketing. The billions seem to be slipping away from those with corrupt intentions in Congress to those who have the ability to be truly innovative. The lack of human exploitation involved in business structures that offer free products could be the future. Microsoft and Netscape were both trying to sell an internet program several years ago and Netscape had the better performing product (not surprisingly). Microsoft then used the business structure of the day, which was pure white collar crime and basically included windows internet explorer with every Windows 98 OS, this led to the slow demise of Netscape. Imagine Google Chrome being introduced as a free product at the same time. It would transcend all corruption and in essence win. Free is the future. Even Malcolm Gladwell released an article for the New Yorker titled, ” Priced To Sell: Free”, looking at the effect of the market of free products. I enjoy gadgets and the cheapest ones come from Asia. Whether India, China or Japan. If you ever need a pen with a microscope or sunglasses with a camera, or a tablet PC for the price of a mobile phone visit www.dealextreme.com . The attraction in deal extreme is not in the weird, cheap and diverse product list but rather the free shipping offered ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD (RELIABLY). The innovation of FREE equals Edison building a light bulb then designing a power plant and eventually starting General Electric. Or Bell creating the telephone and starting the Bell Telephone Company through family. FREE in my view seems to be the new business structure.
Girls are hot, free is Hotter.