We live in a modern society based on consumerism. That’s what the evolutionary path of the ego and the System of Programming and Control really are. A society based on consumerism — consumers and corporations — greed and profit. People are preoccupied with consumption for the sake of consumption — materialism and possessions. Consumerism is the Modern Religion. Corporations are the Gods. Salespeople are the Priests and Priestesses. And they will sell you anything and everything you want — all for a bargain, a really good deal at a really great price. And they will smile in your face. And you’ll worship them for a Great Value.
But let me tell you something. Great Value is an Illusion.
What does “Great Value” even mean?
Production Value is the production “Cost” that it takes to design, manufacture, package, and distribute a product. It takes time and money to manufacture things in this world — so every little product has a monetary cost of some kind — even if it doesn’t have any real useful value or actual intrinsic worth. Cost and Useful Worth are two different things.
Market Value is the “Price” that a product will actually “Sell For” within a given market. Market Value has absolutely nothing to do with Production Value. Market Value has to do with whether or not anyone will actually pay for the product and what they are willing to pay for it. And this is why some products flop. Nothing has any real monetary value, until the very moment that it actually sells. And if a product’s not selling — production stops. Market Value is also why some products are marked up way above the actual production costs that it actually takes to make them. People will pay more for something that they regard to be important or useful. And this leads us into understanding the perception of the individual and demographic groups.
Perceived Value is relative and subjective to the feelings and perception of the individual. And if a product is beneficial, helpful, or useful to that individual — it will have Value to them. The problem is that Perceived Value can be easily swayed. All you need is a rock star or supermodel endorsing a brand, and people will feel and perceive the product as being more important than it actually is. So people embrace the brand and make it part of their personal identity, and the Market Value goes up. Because when something has a personal value to someone, its value to them is above and beyond the Market Value — especially if they feel it’s essential.
Intrinsic Value is something a person finds essential to their life. It’s something they feel they can’t live without. Products with Intrinsic Value are usually something that is life changing and that people become dependent on to maintain their lifestyle. There are certain things that you need to live and function in this world. And those things have Intrinsic Value. The problem is that Intrinsic Value is also relative and subjective to the individual. You know, like kids growing up today believing that smart phones are natural and essential to their life. Of course it’s all an illusion. Life is and was possible before smart phones ever came around. But that is how the evolution of technology affects human consciousness and the perception of people. Synthetics become essential, and the natural becomes disregarded and forgotten.
But What is Great Value?
I find it funny and sad when you see people rushing off to church on weekends. You know, like the shopping mall. And they will spend all day collecting bags full of things they don’t really need. And at the end of the day, they don’t tell you how much they spent. They tell you how much they saved. And even a number of stores avoid telling you the amount you spent, while focussing on how much you saved, and their receipts show your savings in big bold print. The preoccupation of consumption and materialism becomes justified with discounts and sales.
So, you go to the shopping mall, and you buy a shirt that says, “50% OFF”. The original tag is marked, “$110”, so you pay $55 plus tax. And you “think” you just saved $55. But did you? No.
The original price tag was a hyper-inflated figure. The original price was a hypothetical market value — an assumption that the retail store believed that the product would sell for, based on analyzing the perceived value of the market. And when the product doesn’t sell at the hyper-inflated hypothetical market price — they lower the price to a level that people will actually pay for the product — the true market value. They call it a “Sale”. And you “think” you’ve just saved tons of money, but the shirt doesn’t have any more value than whatever a person is actually willing to pay for it. So, the reality is that the shirt was only worth $55 in the first place, Made in China for five bucks, but you believe you got it for a really Great Value. It’s an illusion.
Great Value is an Illusion. Great means a large amount or quality above average. Value is the worth of something compared to the price you actually paid for it. How can you possibly know if that Price is Fair, unless you know the Production Cost? You Can’t. How can a product be a Great Value, unless it was made with Quality and Improves the Quality of your life? It can’t.
Great Value is a marketing and sales strategy designed to make you think you’re saving a large amount of money — regardless of the actual production cost and quality of the product — of which you can’t possibly even know. So, all Great Value really means is that you were happy with the price you paid. And the illusion perpetuates the preoccupation of consumption.
Products have to be marked up, because you have to make a profit. And products have to be marked up to cover your hidden costs and expenses. When you sell a product, you’re not just covering the production costs of the product. You also have to cover the operation costs of your employees, advertising, rent, utilities, and other things, etc. etc. That’s just business.
But Great Value is an Illusion, because we live in a world where Production Quality is Degrading, while Market Prices are Rising, and Perceived Value can be Manipulated with Programming.
And I’m not talking about Inflation. Inflation is one thing. All inflation really means is that the value of a currency has dropped, therefore causing prices to rise. A Quality Product is a Quality Product — Regardless of Inflation. I’m talking about the corporate strategies of enforcing lower Production Costs, in order to maintain a Market Price. Enforcing lower Production Costs means to cheapen and degrade the Quality of the product. Degrading Quality — Degrades the Value. Degrading Production Quality means that the Market Price should go down — Regardless of Inflation. But Degrading Production Quality is something that people can’t see, so corporations get away with it — because the majority of consumers are only focussed on the Market Price. So, the Market Price may remain the same, but you’re getting a lower grade quality of garbage.
Degrading Production Quality to maintain the Illusion of Great Value is a deceitful trick.
When my kids were little, we fell for the Illusion of Great Value. We were buying the cheaper store brand for certain foods. Well, the kids broke out with rashes and got sick. We didn’t know what the problem was, until we realized the only thing we’d really changed was the brand of food we were buying. So, we stopped buying it and went back to the more expensive brands. And the kids miraculously stopped being sick. Where’s the Great Value in buying food that makes your children sick? There is none. Zero. You learn as you go.
Recently, my daughter got a new bull dog puppy for her kids. The dog became sick, its immune system wasn’t working properly, it had skin rashes, and it couldn’t hold its bladder. She took it to the vet, and the veterinarian said that the dog was dying and didn’t have long to live. He couldn’t figure it out. Then he suggested changing the dog food they were using. The dog got better and is fine now. The dog food was killing the dog. Where’s the Great Value in buying dog food that is killing your dog? There is none. Zip.
You can buy a coffee maker for around $25. I bought one, when I was eighteen. And it worked, for awhile. I had to buy a new one, about every six months, and I tried several different brands all at around that same price. Then one day, I said screw it and bought a $150 stainless steel Cuisinart. And that thing lasted ten years. So, when it broke, I bought the exact same model.
If you buy a $25 coffee maker every six months for ten years, it costs you $500. Where’s the Great Value in that? It’s not a Great Value. It’s a Huge Rip-Off. You “think” you’re saving money with low prices, but cheap quality actually costs you more money long term, and it generates more and more waste in the consumption of disposable products. It’s all a corporate strategy in perpetuating consumerism for the sake of consumerism — greed and profit.
Buying the more expensive quality coffee maker saved me $350. That’s a Great Value.
The Value of a Product is not about Low Price. The Value of a Product is about its Quality.
Pay attention to the groceries you’re buying. You’ve probably noticed that prices are continually rising. But don’t just pay attention to the price. Pay attention to the volume that you are getting for the price. Over time, you should be able to notice that prices maintain or rise, while volume decreases. It fluctuates bit by bit in an attempt to go unnoticed. Sometimes the price will rise, while the volume remains the same. And then all of a sudden, the volume goes down, while the price remains the same. It’s a marketing and sales strategy in countering inflation.
But it’s not countering inflation. It’s countering Your Reaction to inflation. It’s a trick. It’s just another strategy in maintaining a Market Price that people are willing to pay for the product, while cutting Production Costs by decreasing volume. And the big bold print on the packaging says you’re getting 16 to 22 Shrimp per Pound, but the small white print at the bottom of the package says the net weight is 12 ounces. And you don’t understand why, because the exact same package said the net weight was 16 ounces two weeks ago. But all of a sudden, you’re 4 ounces short from the pound of shrimp your recipe calls for, and there’s more air in the bag.
The Illusion of Great Value is Everywhere in This World. The Illusion of Great Value is How the System of Programming and Control Sustains Consumerism to Maintain Profit. The Illusion of Great Value is designed to make you think you’re saving money — therefore seducing you into spending more and more of it. It’s a Deceitful Trick. And the real harm is the amount of waste it’s generating in the world. But it’s all justified with discounts, sales, and profits. Greed.
© 2016 — Khris Krepcik
The Hooded Sage. All Rights Reserved.