Why the 21st Century will be the age of self-reliance

I just finished reading an awesome book called ‘Choose Yourself!’ by James Altucher, and I’ve got to say…

It’s true. The economic collapse of 2008 has made it abundantly clear.

We’re not hiring anymore.

why the 21st

Corporations don’t need to hire as much anymore because of technology.  Technology has already replaced paper.  We work in paperless offices now.  I’m glad for that.  But soon, machines will replace human beings across every industry.

Corporations need fewer people to do the same amount of work.  We are moving toward a society without employees.

Don’t believe me?  Read the book.

More and more people are working part-time.  They are filling temp jobs, being part of a staff that continuously moves through a revolving door.  Jobs are paying less.  And even if you have one right now, you’re probably overqualified for it.

What’s more is that a corporation doesn’t care if you are overqualified.  It wants to take your identity away from you.  It wants to make you work so that it can be better than the sum of its employees.

It wants you to be mediocre as an individual so the corporation can shine.

When you’re in a corporation, no one is really responsible for the work.  Employees hide behind a department, team, or even someone else when things go wrong or when they simply don’t get the job done.

We’ve come to rely heavily on the corporation.  It’s a huge part of our way of life.  And we’ve lost our own sense of belonging.

There is no accountability.  As a result, corporate corruption is taking place at a large scale.  Yet, they get all the bailouts, while we as individuals pay for them.

Why do we pay?

We pay for having jobs.  It’s safe to have one.  The 20th Century has created that safety net for employees.  A job makes life easier.  We don’t have to do things on our own.  Big corporations would take care of us in the long run.

We keep paying, while they have abused and lied to us for over 100 years.

Let’s look at power companies for example.  Since the formation of the electrical grid, they have been in a position of privileged monopoly.  They have used this position to act dishonestly and indecently for profit.

Nick Rosen’s book ‘off the grid’ tells the story well.

In 1899 Staten Island, the New York and Staten Island Electric Company sent gangs of men into its customers’ homes to rip out the wiring of anyone who refused to sign a new, unfair agreement.

In 1902 Los Angeles, residents of the San GabrielValley sued an electric company for seizing land it did not own.

In 1904 Brooklyn, the Citizens’ Electric Illuminating Company was caught stealing 66 million gallons of water from the city annually.

This is how it played out. 

The growth of the amoral corporation went together with the growth of the electrical grid.

It all started when Thomas Edison installed the first electricity meter.  In 1882, he charged his Wall Street customers according to the number of lights in their buildings.  With the meter he charged for the electricity rather than the light.  The metered supply became the standard for energizing the U.S.  And an opportunity was lost to make the light bulb more efficient.

Shortly thereafter, General Electric or GE was established by Edison with the help of banker J.P. Morgan.  By 1911, it controlled 70% of the U.S. light bulb market.  It controlled the market by secretly owning another company called National Electric Lamp Company.  It held many patents and bought out its competitors.

GE went on to become one of the world’s best home appliance businesses in the first half of the century with the help of the grid to optimize its profitability.  It spent millions of dollars promoting the electric system as a means to increase the welfare of the people served by it.  GE wanted to sell more and more of its products…

Even if it meant re-writing school textbooks.

In the 1930s, Edison Electrical Institute (EEI), the electrical industry’s lobbying organization was formed.  It focused on how the “electric kitchen” can be used to increase the electrical consumption of our country.  Power companies influenced their consumers to buy more refrigerators and other appliances.

GE happily joined in on increasing the sales of electricity for its own gain.  It thrived on the campaign slogan: “make your house a home”.  It was totally in control.

In the face of the 1970s energy crisis, the EEI continued the propaganda.  It distributed textbooks in response to a new opposition – the environmental activists.

Deregulation occurred in the 1990s.  Legislation was framed so that the market can now determine electricity prices by creating more competition.  But no one entity was responsible for maintaining the grid.

When the 2003 Blackout occurred, the EEI demanded Congress provide “additional incentives” to invest in a better infrastructure.  The power companies wanted the government to pay for it, rather than their shareholders.  This meant we would pay…

The power companies blamed the government for not strengthening the transmission system.  The outage was due to the huge increase in the shipment of power across state lines.  The increase was something that the EEI actually lobbied for, but this went under the radar.

The industry wanted to facilitate the increasing long-distance trade in wholesale electricity between the power companies.  Some claim that the industry had little interest in increasing transmission capacity to better serve the public.

This deregulation had also created Enron…  Need I say more about corporate fraud and corruption?

Today we are in a new phase of history where the corporation will be the big loser. 

We will need to carve out our own path and take advantage as pioneers of a new society.  We will need to “make our own homes” and live free of corporate control.

Consider going off the grid.  You can start by making money outside of the shackles of corporate America.

Work from your own home.  Live the way you want by working with ideas and innovation.  The internet and mobile phones have made this possible.  Don’t cling on to manual labor or managerial services for a living.

Power is now available without the grid.  The latest inverters and renewable energy sources can provide for our needs.  Micro-grids can also offer you the opportunity to separate yourself from the big power companies.

Large outages like the 2003 Blackout can be avoided.  If a micro-grid fails, others will stay in service.  Let’s face it.  Centralized systems don’t necessarily look after our best interests.  Solutions can be found elsewhere.

Big companies don’t solve any problems.  Haven’t you heard of planned obsolescence?  It makes me sick to think that products are built to fail so you can upgrade to the next piece of junk.  We don’t need them.

Don’t we make things that last anymore?  At EnergeticBuilding, we believe in things that last a long time.  One of our core principles is self-reliance.  We believe that to make our homes last requires us to be just that… self-reliant.

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