Meet the Econobots

The driving force behind most people’s action in the developed world can be money or happines most of the time. Sometimes fear for life or mild fear can play a role but money and happiness are the principle forces. Then if you make a pie chart you’ll find that it’s about 80% money and 20% happiness. We tend to forget our jobs because most of them are boring, unless we make a lot of money and they become stressfull.

This power of money worries me deeply. It is a strange thing, like a drug we need in order to survive. If we don’t make any money we will eventually become homeless and can’t maintain an image associated with constant income. This leads to social rejection and loss of opportunity. It is your choice, the stick or the carrot, and you better like that carrot!

There’s a large number of people that are just not managing to be happy, even though they work hard at jobs that make little money. They are stuck, like a slave in a plantation, with almost no choice, and little understanding of their options. You could call these people “Econobots” because their lives are dictated by the rules of the economy, by the opportunities to make money, the scraps thrown to them by the economy.

Another namen for an Econobot is worker. He/she is known. The minds of these people are profiled and programmed by the mass media. You don’t have to wonder what their talents are, they have to little and what talent they have is demoralized by them being seduced to trash themselves on TV shows. The Econobot is a robot that cares for nothing but his/her own lifestyle, which is one of barely hanging on.

I see it as a result of human competition for the same resource with machines. Humans and machines both use fossil fuels, which are distributed to people with money, and companies lobby to minimize the money allocated to making people happy in favour of subsidies to help them produce. This does translate in better prices for the people, but this dynamic never stops as long as machines and people both feed off a limited source of fossil fuels. Prices never come down to zero and all happiness is sacrificed.

Add to this banks that want to profit off the need for money. Their interest is to make everything as expensive as possible and make sure people have as little money as possible so they have to borrow. Then when people borrow to buy stuff the prices can skyrocket, so they have to borrow more. This is a way for banks to capture a market. You can’t buy a home without a mortgage. You could once, but banks drove up prices by borrowing to buyers and now you can forget about buying without a loan. Banks win!

Banks vying for money and companies vying for resources mean a normal worker is going to face high prices and low income. The perfect storm. On top of that companies want workers to prefer their products, so they program them continously through the media/internet. The Econobot is a suffering mule all because of the scarcity of resources and everyone trying to become happy.

Was this ever different? Yes. Land used to be cheaper. Banks didn’t own everything. There where different currencies. You can find those situations in ‘poor’ regions, where you can’t earn. So in a way there is an economic heat island effect at work where in one place people are stacked 100s of floors high while 10 km away from them empty fields lie fallow because banks priced them to expensively. You can’t spread out, all kinds of objections to that, nature etc. but if its about a new piece of highway nature comes second every time.

The Econobot will struggle on his/her second floor appartment with 2 kids and two temp jobs while the cost of living are pushed up by banks looking for investment opportunity. There is no chance these people will realize they are stuck in a system not designed to make them happy.