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21/09/2009

Adbusters : une lettre

J'ai acheté et lu bord en bord le dernier numéro de Adbusters : Thought Control in Economics qui parle des théories en vogue en économie de leurs limites et des théories alternatives le tout sous forme de courts articles très accessibles. Je ne peux que vous en recomander l'achat et ou la lecture puisque le numéro est disponible en ligne - ou du moins en grande partie.

Voici une lettre que je leur ai écris èa la suite de ma lecture.

Dear Adbusters,

I’ve been this close to buy your magazine a few times, but last month number on Economics was the one. I bought it, read it thoroughly and like it very much. It was insightfull and made me discover new autors and ideas.

Surprisingly though, two important ideas were missing from your overview of current economic thought and revolutionnary ideas.

On the current economic side, one of the most impressive contradiction of the current model sits in the very heart of transnational companies. The very ones that want us to belive that the free market it the way to go and that everyting should be included in it are mostly working outside of it!

Big corporations are all about integration, both vertical and horizontal. That means, in the case of vertical integration, that instead of buying parts from subcontractants they will absorb the subcontractant so that they don’t have to work with the instabilities of the market anymore. Horizontal integration is aslo about getting out of the market but this time instead of integration the production chain, big companys will build another company in another country instead of using subcontractants over there. Think of automakers...

Now we may think that new developpement in high-tech production where subcontracting is closer to the norm than intergration is going to change that. But we have to keep in mind that high-tech is, even if it get a lot of mediatic attention, still a very small part of the overall industrial production where the integration model rules.

On the revolutionnary ideas side, one of the most promising proposition, a least in my point of view, has been left out. It’s called cradle to cradle and in short, the idea is to pass regulations that will force manufacturers to be responsible for whole life of the product. Meaning that the company who produced it and sels it should also have the resposability to recycle it after it’s usefull time is done. Aside from generating much less garbage this would be a very high insentive for companys to make products that can be upgraded, that can be easily repaired and that contain a very high level of reclyclable materials.

For sure we would pay the price of these improvements, but this approche is much more efficient than the true cost which you presented, simply because true cost will raise all prices without fondamentally changing what is being produced whereas cradle to cradle has to power to do so and it’s much easyer to put in place as a system than true cost.

Thanks for this great number!

Jean-Philippe Martin,
Québec City

Bonne lecture !

.jpm

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