Economy • 04.06.2021 • Reading time ~ 11 min.
"Give me your money!", it sounds menacingly from all corners. "Stop the thieves!", one is inclined to shout back. However, there are no robberies taking place; people reach into someone else's pockets in a completely legal manner. But the perpetrators have as little respect for the property of others as classic robbers. While thieves break in and take away what they consider valuable, the new generation of crooks is more subtle and infamous. They constantly generate new needs, for which they then uncontrollably ask for cash. There is no question of asking and this is due to the idiom. Rigorously they proceed according to the simple method Eat or Die. On the surface, no laws are broken, and then they try to keep the victims off their backs. Hypocritical, as it is their nature, they mimic the best buddy to the outside world and then sharpen their knives behind the facade.
This expanding trend is far from new. However, it's occupied by unfamiliar fields of activity and undergoes an unexpected renaissance. To the chagrin of all consumers, because winners always face losers. Disastrously, this form of cashing out spreads explosively. In the past, the daily newspaper came into the house this way, but now the subscription label is emblazoned on all kinds of consumer goods and services. Which in turn led to the debtors making a previously outlawed income option socially acceptable. Under a different name and a new coat of paint, of course, so as not to be associated with the dingy origin. After all, only those on the street do begging, but not the fine Internet society.
The current situation, which is constantly developing and worsening, is kind of cute. On the one hand, the economy stinks to pay wages, but want to be paid for every finger swipe. Far from reality, they assume that consumers' wallets are filled to the bursting and are just waiting to be pulled out at every corner. The greed maws are not interested in where this money comes from. One of many paradoxes, which still open up in the course.
Consumers are naturally hungry to satisfy their appetite. But a second or third job is no longer enough. There are hardly enough returnable bottles for everyone in the rubbish bins, and that's not really appropriate for this clientele. Resourceful greed necks recognized this need gap fast and transformed the collecting can of street artists into an Internet platform. Here users are now offering their hobby horses for sale and hope to earn a small monthly fee from others. In order to be able to afford something from the numerous subscription offers. In their desire, the negative consequences are not considered. As a result the internet will continue to bleed, because those who are vying for a few cents have mostly operated their own blogs or similar before, which are now dying out. On the other hand, only the platform operators who shamelessly avail themselves of the cans for the superfluous diversion of money will become rich. Quite paradoxically, the web is becoming more and more concentrated and is degenerating into a commercial distribution platform. Except for profit, the Internet seems to have any use for the masses. The part of the angry citizens scum excluded.
The influent to the begging platforms reveals another paradox. It shows that there isn't enough money to service all of the tempting subscriptions. But if the majority of users solicit support, they basically do so from their own kind. They want to pull themselves out of the swamp by their own hair. According to Münchhausen, this should work and physicists are not asked.
For a long time, newspaper publishers were mocked and ridiculed for clinging to traditional subscribers. Oddly enough, this attitude has hardly changed, but their subscription model is receiving popular advocacy. Although this assessment is not entirely correct. Rather, more and more industries are annexing this type of consumer debt. Make customers dependent in order to be able to rip them off for own idleness. A profiteers' wet dream is coming true. To this extent, of course, only made possible by the Internet.
The subscription plague is rampant beyond basic requirements. Even app developers are increasingly turning to this lucrative and convenient source of income. But it is very likely that we have not yet reached the end. When it comes to profits, the economy is quite resourceful. Not innovative, mind you, because subscriptions are really old hat. But it will come in new forms that we consumers cannot imagine in our worst nightmares.
The coffee machine with an included coffee subscription? Will certainly come, but that alone would be mundane. Advertising is shown on the integrated display, which can reduce the subscription price. Thanks to tracking with the integrated camera, the machine naturally also knows when it needs to be activated independently and who in the household is consuming how much coffee and when. Not only does the order automatically triggered by the machine depend on this, but the collected data is shared with advertising partners, who can adjust their actions accordingly. Ultimately, it's all about the real deal … from an economic point of view, of course: squeezing the last penny out of our pockets in the best possible way.
In addition to the more or less direct connections between supplier and buyer, however, a parasitic intermediate layer has established itself. Another paradox, because if its existence is completely superfluous, its users no longer want to do without it. You can rely on the laziness of consumers and it's a carefree guarantor. If a detour is now inserted between the previously direct relationship between customer and contractor, the flow of money is also reorganized. Absurdly, the useless intermediary ultimately benefits the most. Additional costs are shared between customer and contractor. The former has to dig deeper into its pockets and the latter has to give up some of its profits. Attempts are made to compensate for this by reducing quality of the goods used. Consumers are doubly greased: pay a higher price and receive reduced quality. Why consumers support this crackbrained nonsense and don't flip the bird when they're the foolish ones is the next paradox.
In this context, it is also absurd that the intermediary dictates and that the most affected contractors submit to him. Possibly grudgingly, they then always claim that they have no choice. What pathetic bullshit.
All things considered a shockingly negative balance comes about. Consumers are flooded with offers. Only a few can comfortably hold on to the surface. The crowd, on the other hand, struggles not to sink and gasps desperately for air. Nobody can or will admit to being unable to cope with the temptation. But where should the buoyancy, i.e. the money, come from?
Ideally, money should circulate in a circuit like water. But it doesn't. Instead, it accumulates in a few reservoirs. From there, just as much is let through as cannot be avoided even with the greatest effort. Therefore, central banks feel eager to print massive amounts of new money so that the inflows do not dry up. Not to fill the reservoirs further, but to keep everything in front of them alive. The actors ignore the fact that this madness cannot work in long term. Even those who have a clue about the matter blank out the truth. They know that otherwise they would set off a catastrophe, whose effects will be devastating and they are too cowardly to take responsibility for.
Where to take from and not steal? In addition to numerous streaming services, many offers have a bold subscription label. Even mundane apps are overbearingly paying for fixing bugs or simply doing nothing. Beyond that, more and more basic software is being transferred to the subscription model. Office, for example, or a widespread creative suite for media professionals. Dependencies are unscrupulously remodeled by the providers into a steady flow of money. They don't have to expect emigration and they smile wearily at loud protests. Without a serious alternative, they can allow themselves this arrogant attitude.
But there is no end to this. Internet services in particular are increasingly relying on the subscription horse. Simple RSS readers charge disproportionate prices and elsewhere only grabbing the wallet opens up a useful scope of use. And then there are associations and organizations that are committed to fair, social, societal and/or ecological issues. Which, despite importance of their mission, often don't get the required level of awareness. In all of this, of course, basic needs must not be forgotten: Internet connection, mobile communications, radio fee.
What comes next? Individual purchases are converted to subscription and generate a steady flow of money. But capitalist megalomania dictates permanent growth. Increasing subscription prices is one thing, but it has its limits. And after that? Where should all the money come from that economy demands but doesn't want to give? Will the majority of people finally realize that the vow of growth is a deceitful lie and that they have been lured onto the wrong path?
All in all, the new compulsion to subscribe exceeds available funds among consumers. Loans are needed, which is why we are taught everywhere that this is the only way economy can work. However, a society that lives on credit is not a free one. People are controlled and put in chains through constantly increasing dependencies on the profiteers. No matter how feudal it may feel, we let ourselves be lured into prison. An animal falls into a trap because it follows instincts and does not have the intelligence to recognize the danger.
Panting after every ball and devouring every treat greedily is the behavior of a dog, not of a reflected human. Economy pulls on all leashes to train us to be devoted dogs. We could show them the middle finger and put a stop to their ambitions. If profit gets into trouble, it becomes short of breath. Only under duress is it ready to recognize that it is going overboard. But here we come to the next and final paradox in this unspeakable story: We insist on our unique intelligence, but act without it. Thinking causes no pain and yet it is avoided like a blemish. Sad.
Translated with the help of Deepl and Google. If passages are unfortunate translated or sentences are incorrectly worded so that they may even make a different sense, I am pleased to receive suitable hints. Thanks.