Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"Income Inequality" Isn't What You Might Think

Chances are, you have never heard about "market communication", and you won't from a government official.

There are activists out there, some in office and some out, who wish to convince you that an evil conspiracy is afoot – that some coalition of big corporations is conspiring to keep you poor.

That's not the case.

If you can think for a few minutes about the nature of trade, you can realize that no hourly wage can bring you serious money – no matter how big that number is.
Sales, through a distribution network, is how seriously large money is generated. This network is "the market", and the means by which you advertise and distribute your product is "communication".

Consider two cases, the circumstances of which you can investigate for yourself:
The pet rock was a novelty. An ordinary rock was decorated with rudimentary facial features, packaged in a box with a few funny sayings about how you could interact with it, and it was advertised for sale in the days before the Internet. Millions of people bought a pet rock, and the profits from each sale went to the manufacturer and idea man.
Madonna is a singer – the richest female artist in history. She established and maintained control over the production and distribution of her art by legal means in executing contracts with record companies. These companies have the means to promote her work worldwide, and so tens of thousands of radio stations and record stores featured her work.

If the builder of the pet rock had not advertised, he would have made a few for his friends, and that is all. If Madonna had not been recognized as a potential talent by record companies and not had the wit to maintain control over her work, she would have been singing for family and friends only, without a penny to her name.

Each person who bought a pet rock or Madonna song decided for themselves that it was worth their money -- but there are those who demonstrate that they think you cannot and should not be allowed to make that decision. They use wealth envy - your admiration of the big houses and yachts and cars  of "the rich" - to take self-determination away from you.

This is easiest to do when speaking of the next class of producer: the promoter. The inventor of the pet rock, and singer, Madonna, both went to others familiar with the operation of the marketplace to promote their work. This person or agency does real work in advertising and production, and even advises artists and other content generators as to how to increase their sales and output - because everyone is better off when they do so.
Bill Gates is worth a bunch of money. It's not only because ~91% of personal computers use his company's software -- he also invested wisely, something everyone can do. Is it really fair to squeal about the money he controls - especially using his company's software, de facto proof of his worth in bringing product to you?

Every person who uses a corporation's product says with their wallet that they approve of that product. Yet somehow, the people who run that corporation are not to be compensated in proportion to their success?

Wealth envy is a powerful emotion. It behooves you to determine just why those in power bring this up.

Why? Because every method to limit individual wealth makes it harder for YOU to earn and keep the fruits of your labor.

It may be an unpleasant thought - that the market will determine in competition what you are worth, in proportion to your intelligence and work ethic - but that's the case.

The price of awareness is always some measure of discontent. You shouldn't be happy when some talking head leaves this part of the story untold.