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Bypassing the Man

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by downndirty, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. downndirty

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    As many Americans claim to be, I am anti-corporation. I try to avoid giving them money in any noticeable way.

    I bank at a credit union using a student account. I go to the same ATM twice a week and buy EVERYTHING in cash. I buy stuff used or online (if at all possible both). I buy groceries at a farmer's market as much as I can. I haven't eaten at a chain restaurant or fast food since December and I aim to keep it that way. My phone, cable, and power bills are paid in cash and are not registered to me. Incidentally, or perhaps not, I have managed to save $10k in 7 months.

    How do you reject corporate interference? How do you stay "off the grid"? Any suggestions on how to avoid being a paying customer to evil bastards?
     
  2. DrFrylock

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    That's pretty dedicated. Me, I am too lazy to care. I figure if I stop patronizing corporations, it will be a big huge pain in the ass for me, and about as effective as pissing in the ocean. I just chalk up the occasional corporate clusterfuck (like the extra two weeks it took to get my DSL installed because the guy at the substation marked my work order complete without actually plugging wires into anything and nobody believed me) as a cost of doing business in the modern world.

    But maybe some of you feel differently. Do you consciously boycott Wally World? Do you know how many miles your food has traveled to get to you?
     
  3. Danger Boy

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    Don't you know what you're doing to the world? You're just playing into the corporate game!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. MoreCowbell

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    Did anyone else smirk at the implication that this is a universally shared attitude or goal amongst all of us?

    At the end of the day and on the whole, corporations exist because they are the most efficient and profitable way to meet society's material desires.

    If it weren't for food corporations, we'd all be spending a lot more labor to obtain more expensive food. If it weren't for pharmaceutical corporations, private sector R&D would never take place, because no one would have the type of scale required to finance the process. Etc, etc, etc.

    It's not that I deny that, say, Monsanto or BP have done societally undesirable and potentially immoral things. There's plenty of individual companies that I find distasteful. Obviously they have. On the other hand, most of the comforts that we enjoy in modern lives are the result of "evil" corporations.

    Railing against corporations is really to rail against Western civilization, and to rail against market economies. Two things that, although they have the occasional downside, I'm in favor of on the balance.

    I wouldn't say that I'm pro-corporation so much as I think it's a nonsensical thing to be against. Like being opposed to oxygen.



    It's odd that I'm saying this, as more than one board member have called me a pinko commie in the past without being entirely sarcastic.
     
  5. Kubla Kahn

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    Im pro-corporate. Basically when ever hippies demonize a company I read into them much more than I ever would have otherwise. During the last election cycle The Chamber of Commerce was the devil and I tired my damnedest to get a job or internship at the Shanghai branch (they of coarse wanted people with at least some Chinese language skillz). Im also now interested in Koch Industries and am trying to get a hold of Charles Koch's book on management. They've fought to keep it a private company and invest heavily in oil and cattle, that's just fucking baller.

    What your organic turnip farm is down wind from a Monsanto farm? Good. Fuck you hippy go smoke a joint and cry to Willy Nelson.

    For real though, I refuse to give Pepsi a dime of my money for their low grade blue collar piss drink. I laughed the other week when Diet Coke overtook it at number 2 in soft drink sales.
     
  6. bewildered

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    MoreCowbell said it better than I could. I'm going to agree with him here.

    You mention that you've saved 10k over the past ~year. Perhaps that is money that anyone could save if they were frugal? Fast food is a huge money suck, and a lot of people don't even realize it. Also, it has been proven that buying with cash only is a good deterrent to spending money. Dropping $250 suddenly means a lot more when you have to fork over the greenbacks as opposed to swiping your plastic. Kudos to you for living an apparently better lifestyle, but I wouldn't read more into than that.
     
  7. Binary

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    I agree, I don't see what trying to live "off the grid" has to do with saving a bunch of money. I put away nearly $1k/month and I am pretty "on the grid" - I pay for everything with my debit card, which is from a large international bank, and my not eating at chain restaurants has less to do with my fear of corporations and more to do with the fact that most chain restaurants suck ass.

    The utility bills not registered in your name cracks me up, though. Who the hell cares?
     
  8. effinshenanigans

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    Shhh. He's like Jason Bourne with better vegetables.

    Seriously, though, I live on the grid because it's easy--which, contrary to what was originally said--is what I think many Americans want and appreciate. That mentality may breed large, sometimes unsavory corporations, but it's also why I can buy bananas, ping pong balls, crisco, and Cherry Garcia ice cream at Stop & Shop at two in the morning while using my debit card so I don't have to carry cash. If, heaven forbid, I forgot the hint-of-lime Tostitos, there's a gas station mini-mart on the way home that also happens to sell slim jims--three for a dollar. You know, it's that gas station between the Chili's and Outback Steakhouse, right in front of the Holiday Inn Express.
     
  9. Frank

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    I use my credit card for EVERYTHING, unless I can't, or there's a cash discount, I'm the jackass swiping his card for a $2 purchase at the grocery store. I know for most people forking over cash is "more real" but for me it's the opposite. I have a strict budget I stick to and download my statements into a spreadsheet every month to scrutinize how I'm spending money, I guarantee if you buy all your Starbucks coffees with your credit card, download your statement, sort by payee and add up how much you spent on it, you'd have a much more real perception on how much it costs rather than just using cash. That said, I never carry a balance and get 1-3% back on what I charge, so I'm basically getting paid to take out an interest free loan while you cash and debit suckers implicitly subsidize my purchases... evil corporations indeed.

    As for other stuff, I've stated multiple times that I don't by any cleaning products, I just use combinations of vinegar, borax and baking soda for everything. I also brew my own wine and beer, bake my (well, the gf does this) own bread and make my own butter. We've also started making our own cheese (first attempt didn't go so well) and are starting a garden this month. None of that is to stick it to the man though, it's more sticking it to the corporations trying to sell me products with fancy bottles for $5 a pop when I could make the equivalent at home chemical free for 89 cents.
     
  10. Trakiel

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    Well I'm not subsidizing your questionable purchases because I'm in the same boat as you - Chase has paid me around $1000 dollars over the last 8 years for the privilege of giving me short-term interest free loans. I don't have a strict budget like Frank here but the benefit of using a debit/credit card for everyday purchases is that it's easy to track where every penny you spend goes. I also love the fact that I can pay all my bills online since it saves me the trouble of writing and mailing checks.

    What I do dislike is when corporations or businesses use the influence to affect government policies in order to give themselves advantages over the competitors. And it's not just the stereotypical huge corporations that do this; Businesses at every level engage in this practice, and if an individual business isn't big enough to have influence they'll form trade organizations to create a more effective lobby. For example, my friend is trying to start up a small business selling apple wine but because of the state and local laws he's forced go to through a distributor, which hugely diminishes his profit potential. I don't understand the details but the way he explained it is that these laws have been on the books since the end of prohibition and were more or less put into effect at the behest of the distributors.

    Regardless of how you might individually feel about "corporations" I think we can all agree that we'd all be a lot better off if they were prevented from sticking their fingers into politics.
     
  11. Bogan

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    Big corporations are like people: some are dodgy, unethical or downright reprehensible, yet there are also those that for the most part do more good than bad. Bitch all you want about drug companies - without them a lot of you and your friends would be dead. Without big tech companies, you wouldn't be reading this as all the infrastructure letting us talk shit here wouldn't exist.

    If you don't like what a partcular corporation does, it's simple - don't buy their shit. Raise awareness if you really strongly disagree with something they do. I never knew that palm oil comes from plantations that are on land that used to be Orangutan habitat until recently. I happen to like Orangutans, so now I won't buy anything with palm oil in it if I can help it (no instant noodles for me). Disagree with battery hen farms? Buy your eggs certified free-range, or better yet get some chickens.

    I buy locally made goods as much as possible, and try to support small businesses when I can. If I buy takeaway, I generally go with the small privately owned business rather than a McD's or Pizza Hut. However, I do work for one of our large retail companies (albeit casually), and thanks in part to that same big corporation I just enjoyed a nice Californian orange in Melbourne, Australia.

    That being said, I would regard much of the off the grid/anti-corporation advice as simple common sense. It just takes a little effort to put into practice.

    *As I was typing this 'Greed' by Pennywise started playing on my iTunes. Awesome.
     
  12. LatinGroove

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    Personally I buy only things I absolutely have to. I've joined a local community garden to grow my own vegetables and also contribute back to the local needy families. I've also joined two local coops where we buy stuff locally/organically.

    Making your own food is WAAAAYYYY cheaper than buying the premade shit loaded with preservatives and additives, not to mention better tasting and healthier for you. The time aspect is almost the same when you factor in driving to the store, waiting in line, etc. Also fresh baked home made bread is delicious.





    I try to avoid purchasing from there whenever I can. Unfortunately, it is unavoidable for many things. I avoid purchasing almost everything except food because it's all made in China. Nothing against the Chinese folks, but their products are horrible massed produced goods.


    Though I understand the necessity of corporations for some purposes, the vast majority of corporations do not run business in an ethical way.

    I don't know if you're being facetious about the Monsanto comment or not. If you're not that's a pretty dangerous attitude to take regarding the situation.


    You sound like a man who appreciates a DIY approach to things. Although two of these sites have a few crazies, I wouldn't trade the information there for a roomful of gold. The very last link is an example of why I keep going back.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.thesimpledollar.com</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.survivalistboards.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.survivalistboards.com</a>
    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.whenshtf.com/showthread.php?13309-My-Science-Project-%28Aquaponics%29" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.whenshtf.com/showthread.php? ... aponics%29</a>
     
  13. Kubla Kahn

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    It's funny because if you really wanted to live off the grid you'd be selling weed for a living and not getting taxed by the man. Or at least that's how one of my old bosses' weed dealer saw it. He wanted off the grid so he rented his place off his landlord under the table and sold enough pot to get by. Never paid taxes as far as claimed. I don't know how the guy managed it or if it was all a bunch of bullshit. He was a raging fucking hippy though.
     
  14. Danger Boy

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    That's a pretty bold statement to make without citing some sort of proof, or at least a reason behind why you came to such a conclusion.
    What exactly do you think is unethical about the business that the "vast majority of corporations" do?
     
  15. kuhjäger

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    I usually know that I can dismiss someone as being a moron if they start throwing around terms like:
    Big oil
    Big Pharma
    Big X
    Because Mom and Pop Pharma has given us so many breakthroughs, and Old Jed Clampett is running around shooting at the ground finding our oil.

    I know people who rail against Wal-Mart, how it destroys local businesses, the standard union bullshit, and all that crap, but meanwhile their house is full of stuff they bought on Amazon, rather than a local store. Because "amazon is totally different".

    Anyway:

    The only thing I have bought that wasn't food or Booze since the start of the year was one purchase while drunk and on ebay, and a couple of sabiki rigs for fishing. Oh, and a cheap bird feeder. All told, 55 bucks or so.

    I don't live off the grid, I just realize that there is no need for anything really. Americans are automatic consumers.We buy with out thinking, and end up surrounded by tons of material possessions that they really don't need. I may be biased because I have moved so much, and have honed my life down to a few possessions that I like/need, or I just don't like spending money, but I don't like to acquire goods.

    I am also a compulsive saver. In the past year I have put enough just into my savings accounts (not including CDs or 401k) to buy a really nice new car. But I never would do that, because if I weren't looking to head out of this country and thus sell my car, I would drive it until it died.
     
  16. vex

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    I'm so confused. Do you have a car? Do you grow your own food?

    I mean... what the fuck does it mean to be anti-corporation? As far as I can tell, you might as well be anti sunlight.

    What interest do you have in being "off the grid"? Do you own a cell phone? Really, I cannot understand your position in the slightest. Off the grid means off the grid to me. That means no bank account, cell phone etc... How are you off the grid?

    If you're going to tell me that all corporations are evil like your buddy LatinGroove, please provide me with the proof.

    Even if I was able to understand the "Why" behind this post, I would still be confused as to "how" you fit the bill. You strike me as a believer in spirit but not in practice.
     
  17. Sherwood

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    You've already been called out for this shit, but it bears repeating. Not only is this amazingly unfounded, it's absolutely false. Actually, it's the complete opposite of true. Large corporations are far more ethical than small businesses in a lot of practices. Small businesses need to turn some kind of a profit, and will violate ethical and moral standards in order to stay in business. It happens all the time, especially from their marketing departments, believe me I've worked in marketing in small biz before.

    But corporations? There is such a thing as corporate social responsibility, if you're a public company it's generally not worth risking your stockholders fleeing in a mass panic when it becomes public that you fired a woman for getting pregnant. It IS a good idea to establish charities, donate money, and help with community improvements, as these things look good in your annual report when a mutual fund is looking for a new company to add to their portfolio. These corporations that you hold as evil do far more social good than your stupid ass does. All you fucking anti-government anti-corporation types do is suck from the teat of the society that you claim to be so against.
     
  18. Noland

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    I will wholeheartedly agree with the whole buying food locally or growing any food you can. We have two orange trees, a lemon tree, and a satsuma tree in our backyard. For the summer we just planted onions, peppers, and tomatoes. We also grow most of our own herbs. This is because they taste better and it's also fun and at least sort of educational for the children to help plant and watch them grow and then harvest them.

    The rest of this is nonsense. I don't raise chickens, although I will occasionally buy them at our local farmer's market. (Believe it or not the City of New Orleans does allow the keeping of chickens within the city limits provided they don't make too much noise.) I can't raise cattle or pigs.

    Paying your bills in cash is so inefficient I can't even figure it out. Do you drive around to the local offices of your power company, water company, and cable company, wait in line, present your bill, and then pay in cash?

    By the way, whatever "evil bastards" are in charge of your electricity, cable, and water companies are still getting your money, cash or not. What halfwit decided he/she would agree to put their name on those accounts for you instead of yours?
     
  19. dewercs

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    Some of you need to have a Coke and a smile and shut the fuck up, but you probably wouldn't because coca-cola is such an evil Corporation out to screw over the public as much as they can.

    Walmart, Costco and Sam's Club make my life a lot easier, they sell just about everything I need for day to day life, in addition to that Lowes, Home Depot and Fry's Electronics are all within 5 minutes of my house. Aside from specialized fishing stuff and bulk ammo I can get just about anything I need, including gas at a discounted rate at those stores. I pay with amex at everyone of those except Sams who takes Discover. The price and quality of merchandise, return policy and customer service at these stores is very good so why would I not shop at these places?
     
  20. Crown Royal

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    I will run out of gas and fucking walk before I give Shell gas stations one goddamn cent. They hire goons to murder and commit mass exodus on natives where they refine their shit. These are facts. Then, they have the balls to advertise warm, caring commercials about what humantarians they are and how the care for the earth. YEah, you rape the land than cuddle it afterwards. Burn in hell and boil in liquid shit, you fucking pigs.