Paying too much

I occasionally do armchair theorizing about what is going on with the economy and politics. (Yes, I know I am quite incompetent regarding business and politics things, but I still have to attempt to figure it out.)

Paying too much, "overpricing," seems to me to be why the "1%" exist. By using the "charge what the market will bear" and paying as little as possible for what they pay for, along with price-fixing and business territory control to block competition, the ultra-wealthy have cheated countless people out of their fair share all along the road to be among the 1%. And, more than that.

As most armchair-theorizing tends to be, that is way too simple and misses lots of boots-on-the-ground stuff. But….

An example would be when a small group of oilmen determine that lots of oil is under some poor farmer's farm. They keep the knowledge of the oil secret, and wait until hard times falls on the farmer, who gladly sells the farm for less than it is worth even for a farm. Property now theirs at the cheapest possible price, the oilmen strut in and begin to reap millions in profit off the oil they pull up from under the former farm. In such ways the 1% work their way up to be in the 0.1%, big game sport they play. Buy low, sell high, and do the least possible value-added in between. They no doubt see it all as fine business practice instead of as cheating others in a massively big way.

In a world with more justice, how else could it have been done? Given that the price of oil is fixed by the larger world economy, they can't very well charge significantly less for the oil from under the farm. If the oilmen simply took out a good working wage for their kind of expert value-added work they did by paying for oil exploration, the putting in of the oil wells, and arranging oil transportation to market, to provide them a comfortable life and family provision, that would still leave millions of dollars extra. Those extra millions of dollars, what to do with them in this fantasy more-just world? Seems to be to divvy it up between the farmer and the land. The farmer gets enough money for the farm to be able to support he and his family and go buy a fully productive similar-sized farm elsewhere. That leaves millions still, and it seems to me that part of the oil income from under the farm, ought to go into a fund to support the land, compensate the land for the resources being taken from it without expectation of the oil being returned.

This idea of the land (and all natural resources of the planet) being paid for the resources removed from it by civilization, leads to some very interesting scenarios. Would require a just administrator, of course (and our business-controlled political system has a hard time finding such people nowadays, unfortunately) and the specification would be to use the moneys to improve the land and all other natural resources. 

Then the question, what is "improvement" of the land-water-air animals-plants etc. There would be big money available for big projects. Create ecosystem preserves and provide for their appropriate maintenance. Bring water to the rest of the non-preserve desert lands to enable it to become productive. National parks all over the place. Money for renewal energy research galore, rapid progress there. 

This pay-the-land-for-resources-removed would logically extend down to paying a bit for every fish caught in the river by a sports fisherman, and all the oxygen burned out of the air by one's car, would need to be paid-for, and the moneys be used to strive to provide for more and happier fish in the river and replacement of oxygen into the air somewhere. 

Thus this happens to lead in the direction of long term sustainability. 

The difference between that way of doing things, versus the way that it is done now that simply super-fattens the accounts of the ultra-wealthy, is an end result of this armchair theorizing.

Fact remains, the 1% happen, not unlike the schoolyard bullies happened. And the land slowly sickens and dies as we tromp all over it in our quest for wealth. And the 1% are boss. And they are probably not going to voluntarily give up part of their piles of ultra-wealth, to pay back the land and other natural resources they harvested but did not pay the land for. 

Still, it seems that this is a way out of some of the big problems that America and the world are creating ever faster.


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