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Our economy runs on pie?

January 3, 2009

This was startling news to me.  I was always under the impression that our economy ran on money, but apparently not – according to our great financial minds, it runs on pie.

This, in my opinion, explains a lot.  Consider this: in the 1950’s, our pie-based economy was established.  Also in the 1950’s, people started putting on weight more than they ever had before.  Coincidence, maybe? Read on:

Rather than working to attain their own necessities, Americans were being encouraged to work for pie.  Save pie, the message goes; that way, once you’re too old to work, you’ll have a nice supply in the larder to live on.  Not enough pie for that?  Work more.  Don’t forget your kids!  They need pie too, so you’ll need to save some for them.  What?  You have excess pie?  Well, sit down and enjoy it!  You’ve earned that pie, after all; it’s your right to indulge.

…Wait, what do you mean you’re gaining weight?

We, as Americans, have become obsessed with obtaining “pie” (feh, let’s just call it what it is: money.)  We’ve made it our livelihood.  The government has put it into our heads that is a privelege – nay, a right – to have money.  It’s gotten to where we are expected to have it – the more, the better; we are quite literally judged by how much money we have.  Of course, if you don’t have money, that’s none of my business.  I need this money; otherwise I might not be rich enough, and that would be awful.

The guys at the top are the worst.  They’ve become quite accustomed to having tons and tons of pie/money, and they want to make sure that they keep getting it.  Well, the only way to get all that money is to make profit.  Profit, as we know, is that slice of pie left over after all the guests are done – the money you’ve made after you pay for supplies, pay for electricity, pay upkeep on the machinery and pay the people who are actually producing the merchandise – your employees.  Included nowhere in this is the cost of paying you; instead, that job is filled by the last slice of pie, the one you get to keep after everyone else is finished.

So how are you going to make that pie bigger?  Well, let’s say for the sake of argument that the product you’re making is in fact pie – a bit ironic, but there you have it.  What are these pies made from?  Flour, sugar, probably fruit.  Basic stuff.  So you start cutting whatever corners you can – buying a slightly cheaper grade of flour, getting the less expensive varieties of fruit.  But that’s only going to go so far.  You can’t take the money from shipping costs or electrical bills, and there’s only so much you can cut from the employees’ paychecks before they get fed up and leave.  Clearly, what you’re going to need to do is sell more pie.

Well, you can’t sell pie unless there are people out there eating it.  And guess what?  They’re out there.  You, the great pie magnate, are preying on the people of low income.  You’ve made these pies as cheaply as you can to keep the in-store prices low so that people will want to buy more of pies so you can make more profit and keep more of the pie… er, money, to yourself.  Instead of buying healthier foods, grown by the sort of people who can’t lower costs without completely changing their product, they’re buying your pies.  And they’re eating them.

Still wondering why they’re gaining weight?

Yep, you’ve got it now.  In order to keep profits high, you’ve made the greatest efforts possible to reduce the cost of your product.  You buy only the cheapest flours, and growers are suffering for it.  You pay your employees the lowest possible wages, and they’re suffering for it. You wouldn’t dare do it any differently; you’d have to raise your costs, and then you’d have to raise the cost of your pies to compensate, and fewer people would want to buy them then, so you’d be making less profit.  Never mind that if you actually spent money on decent-quality ingredients, the growers would be making enough money to afford your higher-quality pies, and MAYBE they wouldn’t be so unhealthy.  Nope, that just doesn’t matter.

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