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    The Story Of Stuff response by Josh6243

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    Joey JoJo Shabadoo

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    The Story Of Stuff response by Josh6243

    Post by Joey JoJo Shabadoo on Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:56 am

    The Story of Stuff is an animation about the “materials economic system” supplemented with a narration by Anne Leonard, which covered all of the flaws within the system. Leonard covered all of her points in an easy-to-understand manner.

    The first flaw Leonard brings up is that the Government pays too much lip service to the corporations. TheUnited States of Americais basically a democracy, which means the people have a right to vote on how the country. However, corporations can spend their money freely and get their voice out before the middle- and poor-class people can even get a chance to say what is on their minds.

    While the first flaw is a big problem, there are flaws within the system itself. Industry uses too many resources, which is considered a flaw because these resources will eventually run out. In particular, the United Statesuses more than its fair share of resources. Their solution to their problem is to walk over to the third-world countries and
    “swipe” their resources for later usage because the third-world citizens do not spend money. Also, these third-world citizens do not have the industry to use those resources.

    While extraction is flawed, production is just as flawed. During Production, toxic chemicals are placed into various products. For instance, industry used a flame retardant to protect various products from burning up. However, this chemical happens to be a neurotoxin, a deadly chemical notorious for damaging nervous systems; industry still uses said chemical even through it is aware of the consequences.

    Chemicals do not affect just the consumers. They also affect the workers; some workers are women because they have no other choice. Over time, women are exposed to these chemicals and then they spread these toxic chemicals into their offspring through breast-feeding. This is seen as a problem because these children are the future of mankind. With toxic pollution cutting some of their lives short, these children may not give mankind the solutions they need for these problems.

    Toxic chemicals are not just in products; they are also in the pollution expelled out of the factories on a daily basis. This is a problem because many people are exposed. They either have to breathe it directly from the air or they have to get it from the food they eat. Industry tried to solve this problem by moving their factories overseas, but this plan backfired because “wind currents” send the pollution right back at them.

    While production has many flaws, distribution is just as flawed. Distribution encourages the practice of “externalized costs”. Externalized costs basically means that people involved in the “materials economic system” have to pay the true cost of making various products: third-country citizens paid the price by having their resources taken away; factory workers paid the price by having to work in non OSHA-friendly conditions; and the people working for the Big-Box Marts paid the price by covering their own health insurance. This is seen as a problem because these “externalized costs” is not covered in the accounting books; which means the industry does not care about the real cost of the products their consumers buy on a day-to-day basis.

    Consumption is just as flawed as production. This practice is encouraged by industries so much; a lot of their products are disposable. This is considered a problem because it increases the usage of resources, which decreases the amount on the planet. Industries also encourage “perceived obsolescence”. “Perceived obsolescence” is basically industries convincing their consumers to toss out their products and buy new ones. This is considered a problem for out-of-date consumers because they are ostracized by their peers over how the out-of-date consumers are not up-to-date.

    Advertisement plays a huge role in “Perceived obsolescence”. Also, it covers up anything other than consumption in “materials economic system”. This is considered a problem because the consumers are unaware of the process that makes their products cheap to buy.

    Even though consumers have all the products they could ever want, they are still unhappy. According to Leonard, national happiness peaked around the time of consumer madness took off; after that, it began to decline. A consumer’s leisure time is spent watching TV, watching advertisements, and shopping. Most of the advertisements insult the consumer and tell them to buy their products. This is seen as a problem because these advertisements encourage consumers to participate in a vicious work cycle: work, leisure-time, shopping, and back to work to get the salary needed to buy these products.

    While the current concept of consumption is flawed in today’s society, the method of disposal is just as flawed. Disposal is a problem because it pollutes the environment with the materials used during Production. Incineration, one form of disposal, is bad because it releases pollution into the air while introducing dioxins into the air. According to science, dioxin is the deadliest man-made toxin on the planet at this moment. By stopping the process of incineration, dioxins can stop entering the atmosphere. An alternative method of disposal involves sending the garbage over to other countries. This is considered a problem because it encourages citizens to move out and participate in “materials economic system”. Leonard brings up recycling during the talk of disposal. She says it does not help out because it does not get to the heart of the problem. Also, much of the garbage cannot be recycled.

    Leonard still remains optimistic and she tells the viewer that there is a solution to this problem. She covers many points of intervention and mentions how people can change “materials economic system” and turn it into a green system.

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