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The World Economic Forum and the West's Next Act? - J.B. Shurk - The Gatestone Institute - 22.03.23

Economic writer Charles Hugh Smith has repeatedly warned about the "crapification" of the U.S. economy.... customers with scant other buying options are forced to accept that few purchases will last.

Politicians seem to be heading in a similar direction.... Western governments are filled to the brim with people entirely lacking in real-world experience or specialized knowledge.

In recent decades, a noticeable trend in the West has been to elevate politicians, as young and inexperienced as possible, into offices as high as possible.... Such a system -- in which those who have proven themselves the least are given responsibilities that would test even those who have proven themselves time and again -- hardly looks ideal.

If Western politicians seem just as second-rate these days as what customers all too often find in stores, there may be a simple reason why: International financial titans make, sell, and own both... and may be planning to own you, too.

If you are a consumer today, inflation is only one of the problems harming you. As prices go up, quality continues to go down. What most stores have to offer you might crassly be called "cheap crap."

In fact, economic writer Charles Hugh Smith has repeatedly warned that the "crapification" of the U.S. economy is the natural result of a "neoliberal-hyper-financialization-hyper-globalization model," in which quasi-monopolist manufacturers mass-produce goods with the cheapest possible components, while customers with scant other buying options are forced to accept that few purchases will last.

"Planned obsolescence," combined with a free market "in name only," creates a rigged system in which downstream consumers are forced to pay more over time, while owning little that will maintain value for long. Appliances that used to work for decades now barely make it through legally required warranty periods. Metal tools that could be passed from one generation to the next now tend to rust before they can be used on more than a handful of jobs.

When expensive electronic devices survive more than two years, cash-strapped households breathe a sigh of relief. Just about anybody who is old enough to remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks can tell a story about some product that was so much cheaper, yet so much more reliable, when it was purchased long ago.

Likewise, customer service is more pitiful than it has ever been. Try to speak with a real human on the phone. It is nearly impossible. Automated assistance has eliminated personal interaction from most buying experiences. Gas stations, fast-food restaurants, and convenience stores have replaced human cashiers with camera-equipped machines designed for self-service. Even a visit to a grocery or home goods store now routinely requires the use of a self-checkout kiosk when making purchases.

It has become entirely normal to witness people struggling through the routine of lifting everything out of their shopping carts, scanning each item, and placing the load into bags, before throwing everything back onto carts, paying, and shuffling away. It is somewhat perplexing to consider that not so long ago, helpful, smiling employees worked hard to take care of all those services as part of the ordinary relationship maintained between a business and its customers.

For the full article in pdf, please click here:

The World Economic Forum and the West's Next Act - by J.B
. Shurk - for The Gatestone Insti

JB Shurk writes about politics and society.

© 2023 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

Pictured: National leaders, including US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau strike a deep, contemplative pose at the G20 summit on November 16, 2022 in Nusa Dua, Indonesia. (Photo by Hebestreit/Bundesregierung via Getty Images)

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