Groupon, Google!

Here is a perfect example of the mess our society is in today. Google, the Internet search engine giant, has bid $6 billion to buy Groupon, an Internet business startup. Well, the New York Times called it a startup. The founder of Groupon is all of 30 years old. He stands to become a billionaire by selling a company that doesn’t make anything to another company that also doesn’t make anything.

Groupon’s business strategy is to sell discount coupons! For crying out loud! Yeah, I’m shouting. One out of five Americans who would be in the workforce are either out of work or are seriously underemployed in jobs that do not bring in enough to pay the bills. Although I have written more than once on this blog about the logical folly of an economic system that depends on constant and relentless growth, that does not mean I think no one should work. There is plenty of worthwhile work to be done. Our infrastructure is crumbling to dust, work is required to “green up” our society, and so on. But the biggest and most “successful” corporations in America go out of their way not to make anything, at least not here at home.

Groupon offers discount coupons for various purposes to Internet purchasers. These are the “consumers” who comprise the engine of the American economy. Nearly three quarters of the economy is due to consuming. So the country gets by on buying a lot of junk it does not need, manufactured somewhere else, and since they do not make anything, they have no real money, so it is borrowed from what until relatively recently were “Third World” countries (or at best Second World). We go deeper and deeper in hock, with no thought for the future. One day the one who pays the piper, as they say, will decide to call the tune, and we’ll be up the creek. But the “entrepreneurs” who create this funny money will have become rich beyond the dreams of avarice in the meantime.

Groupon, Google, et. al. don’t even go this far. They sell “services” and amenities such as coupons for restaurants and such. The Google search engine provides a useful research tool for both casual and professional purposes. But they pay for it through advertisements, the mechanism of our folly.

Well, we don’t have to worry about it. It’s our grandchildren who will get the royal shaft, and we’ll probably be long gone, so who cares? “Obladi oblada life goes on bra Lala how the life goes on.”

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