Our Landfill Economy

SUBHEAD: This "maximizing growth and profits is the highest good" mode of production is insane.

By Charles Hugh Smith on 27 October 2016 for Of Two Minds -

Image above: Private waste collection truck enters secured area of Kekaha Landfill on Kauai. The landfill is adjacent to a shrimp farm, also on the coast.  From (http://khon2.com/2015/07/26/kekaha-landfill-worker-killed-while-operating-road-grader/).

Correspondent Bart D. (Australia) captured the entire global economy in three words: The Landfill Economy. Stuff is manufactured, energy is consumed shipping it somewhere, consumers buy it and shortly thereafter it ends up as garbage in the landfill.

This is of course the definition of "economic growth": waste, inefficiency, environmental destruction--none of these matter. Only two things matter: maximize "growth" by any means necessary, and maximize profits by any means necessary.

The Landfill Economy now encompasses the entire planet. The swirling gyre of plastic trash the size of Texas between Hawaii and California: it's just one modest example of the planetary trash dump that "growth" and profit generate as byproducts/blowback.

The planet's oceans are one giant trash dump. Everything from plastic water bottles to abandoned fishing nets to radiation to containers that fell off ships is floating around even the most distant corners of the seas. Seabirds nesting in remote islands die of starvation as their guts fill with plastic bits of "permanent growth."

Globalization has turned the planet's land masses and rivers into trash dumps. Want to make a quick profit along a tropical sea coast? Dig some big holes near the coast, dump in baby prawns, food and chemicals to suppress algae blooms and diseases and then harvest the prawns to ship to the insatiable markets of the developed world.

Once the prawn farms are poisoned wastelands, move on and despoil another coastline elsewhere.

Globalization has greased the slippery slope from factory to landfill by enabling the global distribution of defective parts. Whether they are pirated, designed to fail or just the result of slipshod quality control, the flood of defective parts guarantee that the entire assembly they are installed in--stoves, vacuum cleaners, transmissions, electronics, you name it--will soon fail and be shipped directly to the landfill, as repairing stuff is far costlier than buying a new replacement.

QE/ZIRP Is Crushing the Global Supply Chain, Product Quality and Profits (October 17, 2016)

The Keynesian Cargo Cults that rule global economics love The Landfill Economy because it means more "growth". Never mind the poisoned seas, rivers and land, or the immense waste of energy, commodities and labor that result from the global manufacture and distribution of shoddy products: if it adds to "growth," it's all good in the warped view of the Keynesian Cargo Cults.

We got your "growth" right here.

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