Corporate Suicide And Anheuser-Busch

There is a new phenomenon sweeping the globe. Lets call it corporate suicide and then explain when it started and how it evolved. 

In economics outside of the fantasy free variety,  consumer and aggregate demand are deemed to originate within the hearts, minds and souls of individual people.  Add all of the numbers together and call that aggregate demand.

Now I am going to play a game of what is wrong with this picture. Let me explain what the issue is. Up through the 1950s Economics was pretty accurate in describing what demand consists of. That changed with the advent of sophisticated advertising. 

Books come and go, have an impact in an immediate time frame. Then they are disguised and all wisdom contained within is as much lost to the world.  During the 1959s John Kenneth Galbraith wrote the Affluent Society. In this insightful book, he explains how, rather than rather than working tirelessly to anticipate what consumers desire in their hearts, corporations, through advertising, had learned how to literally make consumers want  what they wanted to sell to them rather than wait for their potential customers to decide for themselves.  Corporations  had learned how to create demand for their products independently of what consumers wanted.

Although Galbraith’s  remedies for fixing the economy turned out to be misguided, he still turns out to be the greatest economists of the twentieth century. His explanations concerning economic life in the United States are simply extraordinary.  

Advertising became more and more sophisticated.  There is something unique about advertising. It is dishonest. That doesn’t mean there is not an element of truth behind ads. It doesn’t mean there should be laws forbidding advertising. Advertising is here to stay. While it might be illegal to blatantly lie with words about products, the same communication can be delivered with images – as can be with words. Advertising became so sophisticated that mind control techniques became prevalent.

The time rolled around when consumers no longer determined what they were going to buy. Sellers determined that for them.

But that is not all. A greater discovery emerged. Demand became easy to generate politically. Corporations did not just lobby congress. They began writing laws for congress to pass. Today we have laws like the ethanol mandate and the Affordable Care Act.  These are the tip of the iceberg. Citizens did not solicit congress and insist that ethanol be put in gasoline. While a large part of the country wanted state run health care, absolutely no one promoted the notion that Americans be forced to buy healthcare services and the life management services that come with it. These things represent what the healthcare industry and agricultural industry insist that Americans buy. Government makes sure they do.

As of now, a huge portion of GDP consists of production generated by way of manipulating the minds of consumers. Demand is no longer inspired by the organic wants and needs of the population.

Techniques of external demand creation are now so sophisticated that accommodating the population’s self – generated wants and needs is strictly old school. It is open season on buyers in the United States and across the globe. Techniques are so sophisticated that the success experienced in the use of these techniques have producers expecting automatic results. 

Americans  largely accept  agenda – driven censorship. That is changing. Social media companies certainly did not expect censorship initiatives to cut into their profits and plans for the future as much as they have.The mainstream media falls on a sword for the larger corporations which own them. None are getting the results they dreamed of.

And then, along comes Anheuser-Busch with their cute trans – celebrating Bud-Light commercial.  What has succeed almost without bounds, failed and may have done them permanent damage.  Should all of corporate America be concerned? If they have any sense , they are concerned.

Abraham Lincoln said that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. I have said that those who can’t be fooled are statistically insignificant. 

No one has ever said that the masses could be fooled to perpetuity.  I am saying that now and changing my saying. Those who can’t be fooled are in fact are statistically insignificant, only not for ever. 

Perhaps the Anheuser-Busch fiasco marks the end of an era.




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