2062 was another happy and peaceful year. Surely this will enter the history books as a time of widespread prosperity, love and happiness for all in this world. The continuing social improvements each year have meant so much; like the recent one hour reduction in the work week to 20 hours. This has helped personally in our expansion of the blueberries section of our garden, and of course there's more time for hiking, crafting, and other interesting stress less hobbies.
The new World Order with a just and central government has accomplished so much.
- Dictatorships are non-existent with a new democratic model that is true to all people.
- Management of local and global affairs is completely free of the corporate influences.
- With the peace structure now in place the possibility of future wars appears remote.
- The elimination of poverty, prejudice and human injustices has been accomplished.
- Today's friendly, happy and relaxed lifestyle is so much kinder to people and planet.
What were they thinking?
Society had become too fast, too nervous and nasty. In the age of too much, they gobbled up natural resources and competed frantically with fellow creatures for more of everything. They strived so hard to acquire that next thing, always pushed on by the big free enterprise marketing machines. In their efforts, family, friends and nature were often neglected and the world's unfortunate poor were all but forgotten by most.
There were so many conveniences and automatics in their world that they barely needed to lift a finger to do anything. Yet people stressed long and frantically to acquire the money to live this way. The majority were fixed on this 'achievement' of obtaining more goods and services. It does not make any sense but it was their lifestyle, even while so many starved and millions of newborns on the other side had virtually no chance of survival beyond a few painful years.
Corporations ran the show.
Commerce had attained the power to influence government in many ways and very convincingly (and profitably) shaped citizens' habits. Business received preferences from government to the citizens' disadvantage and social displeasure continued to grow.
Commercial interests designed consumers' life styles; the clothes, cars, homes and other products they bought, and even how they should interact socially and as a family. The tool used was advertising which had increased in volume and intensity for so many years that it was virtually everywhere - on TV, telephone, internet, junk mail, buses, arenas, public buildings... Citizens were subjected to 1000's of ads each day. There were even advertisements on people's clothing which the wearers were proud to display for the manufacturer.
Great advances in medical technologies extended life spans even though they were increasingly plagued with sicknesses such as obesity, cancer and diabetes. Flashy ads for unhealthy food products received much of the blame as it extended to children through immense advertising with cute logos and fun attractions.
Real fun was disappearing.
Family time had taken on a new meaning with extra work and shopping hours. In the home there were separate TV's for parents and children and viewed in separate rooms. Healthy exposure to nature, outdoor games and exercise practically disappeared and were not included at all in many families' lives.
The production and disposal of unnecessities was devastating the environment. Consuming was the thing and there was so much to buy, much of it so flashy and so grand. Imagine owning a 6000 pound automobile and never walking several blocks to a store or riding public transit. Family homes sometimes had 10 or more huge, beautifully furnished rooms that took so much time to maintain, and so much of life to earn the money to pay for it.
Competition to appear better than average became a social 'value' for so many, often occupying their lives and diluting values in the process. Corporate marketing encouraged this and was mean as they had set their sights on children for a life long conscription. Morally wrong, but the young would supply a continuation of profits for another generation. But product design and marketing creativity would eventually peak when lifestyles become too tiring and people wanted something better.
Corporations became monstrous and the competition vicious as they scrambled for sales. Moral principles were abandoned at an increasing rate as there were inadequate government restrictions or they were not enforced. In some industries the extent of marketing deception was unbelievable according to today's standards. Some very strange and disturbing ways of doing business became popular and were used across industries. Cunning and devious methods to trick consumers out of their money proliferated.
Fine print was only one popular way to hide true costs, to sell inferior products or trap buyers into regrettable contracts; "The warranty only..." "Assumes no responsibility..." "Some conditions apply..." Ads and agreements required careful study, word by word, and then you had to take your chances because it was too difficult to understand.
Deceitful ads were everywhere; it was hard to believe any of it anymore. The worst was food packaging - a serious health issue. The label's bold lettering did not indicate contents like excess saturated fat, salt, sugar, preservatives, taste enhancers, and insecticides. That was in faded, small and hard to read print.
Getting scammed by a sly marketing scheme or trapped in an agreement was no longer a big deal, it happened all the time. Almost nobody complained, because if they did the response was usually fluff, perhaps delivered by a fast talking customer relations mouthpiece. Buyers might even feel embarrassed for getting tricked again.
The credit business was big and profitable and mean. Enticements and offers were in the mailbox regularly. Gouging with excessive rates and lending to those who could not afford it trapped so many causing personal bankruptcies.
Sports were real big but suggestions were that they were made big for viewing, for advertising, for business. Pro athletes were paid many millions as average sports loving families could not afford game tickets. Companies bought season tickets to pass out as 'gifts'. Weirder yet - while dog and bird fighting were cruel and strictly against the law, arenas were packed with 25000 people who came to watch hockey players administer black eyes and teeth removal on the opponent players.
Gambling was illegal except for government as they profited from lotteries and casinos through out the country. It was done with intense advertising campaigns encouraging citizens to "GET RICH". The results included broken families, suicides and profit in the name of the taxpayer. But they did caution; "Gambling can lead to financial and legal problems, loss of career and family, and other serious issues." No kidding!
The rich-poor gap in an unjust world. The inequality in revenue between the wealthiest and poorest citizens widened out of proportion. It was just too easy to acquire more when at the top and too difficult when struggling to survive at the bottom. Coverage of poverty issues was overwhelmed by reports on entertainment, sports and rich lifestyles. The globalization of trade did not always significantly improve the lives of workers in developing countries. Desperately needing income they often worked excessive hours, in difficult and unhealthy conditions, at very low pay to deliver low cost products to big enterprise for huge markups.
10 million children were dying every year of hunger and easily preventable diseases while over here millions suffered from obesity.
Natural areas of fields and forests, rivers and oceans were gradually turning into mammoth garbage deposits from the great consumption binge. So much stuff became completely obsolete in just a few years. Environmental destruction had become a popular topic as the globe got warmer, and yet junk marketing of unneeded stuff marched on, and they kept on buying. 'Free' enterprise's drive for greater sales and profits resulted in continually expanding wasteful consumption.
A big problem: Which corporations would cut back profits for the good of people and the world?
There was increasing interest in bringing more attention to these worldly ailments and to make things better. But the voices for positive change had been extremely week compared to the massively funded corporate promotions, denial campaigns and consumer marketing. Private broadcasting media kept things moving wrongly. Governments were apparently content with the bad ways of business as many wealthy politicians were benefiting in some way. The false prosperity had created a merry-go-round run amok and a degradation of true social well being.
Peace in paradise.
Then much as trends sometimes take hold and spread through a nation and then around the world, so did the desire for peace, simplicity and truer life values. People were saying; "There is a better way!" Conscience and good sense were affecting a new generation as never before as people's main interest became justice and happiness, for themselves and for all others.
The internet was given credit as the tool used to initiate, discuss and bring about real positive change in society. The personal generosity and persistence of a relative few had spread to very many as the idea that good for others was better for you, and that simple was a most satisfying way to live.
And today we are so grateful to all those people who demanded social improvement. They should see democracy now; citizens telling the corporations what they can and cannot do, with government making it work - for the people.
Thank you for bringing us to this garden of enchantment and plenty for all.
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