Juan Ayala photograph

Advice for America

June 2, 2002

On Sept. 11, 2001 a heinous and deadly attack was brought upon our soil that will forever change the way we think, work, live and spend our hard earned money. We can make this a positive change if we let it empower us to no longer rely on our employer, our government, or the many corporate law dogs that sit on top of the world and tell us how we should live our lives. It is time for us to decide how to live our lives and help make the necessary changes that will help our economy to prosper in this new era we are embarking into.

The first substantial change I see is a slow exodus from major cities that will cause growth in population of these areas to come to a standstill or even go negative. Our cities have become too crowded. It is time to stop giving into the fact that a job is needed so badly as to force us to live in boxes with hardly a hint of green grass or animals around and waste 2 extra hours a day battling traffic. This new era of terror we have been thrown into has dictated that our population be more spread out to avoid the massive destruction we saw in New York City. The people of this nation must realize that the large companies will follow the people. If a bunch of good, educated people move to that small town in Indiana, then I guarantee that companies will locate branches offices in that town. The result of this is that many smaller areas will grow into medium sized cities. Smaller towns will start getting large companies, more entertainment and all the other benefits that cities offer. There is also going to be a speed up of the entrepreneurial spirit that has overtaken this nation the past few years. With all the new technology introduced the past few years the playing field has become more level than it ever has. It is time for people to take advantage of this by opening up their own business and making money for themselves rather t an a man with a whip bellowing orders. Corporate America has driven a stake into the fact that they do not care about people, they care about money. When the profits dry up they get rid of people who worked hard and trusted the company they worked for. In the coming years it will be more important for people to have the peace of mind that comes with living in a less populated area. Many smaller companies will be formed that can and will make money and provide an income for the founders, but also new jobs for their neighbors.

The next change that is needed in the coming years is for the people of this nation to put some real effort into bettering our natural world. The reason the United States is the greatest nation in the world is not politics. It is because we have the most beautiful landscape in the entire world, and the hardest working people. Our country is surrounded by beaches, and filled with lakes, mountains and many man made wonders. We need to take care of these things by lowering pollution, planting more trees, and taking better care of what we have. There is no doubt that our need for energy will force us to drill in many places we do not want to damage. The secret to nature is not to simply waste energy complaining about what is being done, but do things that make nature better as a whole despite the bad things that may have to be done in the short term. The solution therefore is to save our energy protesting and plant some crops, conserve energy and clean up our bodies of water. Technology will play a huge roll in saving our environment as we have been relying on fossil fuels for way to long. Instead of continuing to line the pockets of the fat cat oil companies, we need to find new, more efficient energy sources with which to run our country.

With biotechnology we can also learn how to grow more efficient crops that can grow in any environment, and trees that can produce double or triple the amount of oxygen currently produced by trees. Technology can virtually eliminate pollution if we would only put more of our resources here rather than fighting each other over what should be done. Our biggest need may be within our water supply. We need to find a way to synthetically create drinking water and also develop better ways to clean and filter what we have. These terror attacks have shown us that nothing is safe and our water supply can be contaminated, so we need the means to be able to produce more water, and clean what we have. We also need corporate American to start doing more things to save our ecosystem, such as buying land with government subsidiaries. History has shown us that nobody cares about government owned land is much cleaner because the owner has a stake in protecting the land. Government land is not as clean or protected because, as stupid as it sounds, people do not come to the conclusion that it is owned by everybody, so therefore the thought by the normal person is that it will be cleaned up by someone else if they litter. We have been shown over the course of our nation that government's waste. The more we rely on the government the more disappointed we will be, it is time that we all lend a hand. Another thing is a huge rise in the technology of how we fight fires. I am appalled that with all this new technology we are still fighting 5000-acre fires with hoses and manpower. Will someone please find a better way before all our forests burn to dust! We have the intellectual ability within our people to do these things if we would only apply it. I urge the people of this country to take up these initiatives and skip trying to develop new consumer technologies, create and develop something that will truly help our world.

Another thing that must be changed is the way we spend money. Has anyone looked at what athletes and other entertainers are paid these days? Alex Rodriquez signed a contract last summer for $250 million dollars over 10 yrs. Are you fucking kidding me? The bad thing is, he is not nearly the only overpaid athlete. Many, many players throughout various sports now make over $10 million a year. Don't the owners who pay them this kind of money realize that only one team can win the championship? What do the teams do to pay these players? They raise the price of tickets, and concessions and everything else in their stadiums to suck every dollar out of your wallet. Don't get me wrong, I love sports as much as anyone reading this and more than most. I watch it religiously on TV and when I get the chance in person, but until they stop putting so much money in these players' wallets and stop taking more of the normal person's money I urge you to not go to as many games until the prices come down. It now costs the average family of four over $100 to attend a sporting contest, and it is simply no longer worth it. On the other side of the coin I do applaud the athletes who take less than market value to go where they love such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Mark Maguire. I want to see it go a step further though. When are we going to see the star athlete who says, "I will take this significantly lower salary if you lower the ticket prices to give something back to the fans?" We will probably never see this, but we will see less and less people going to the games until we do. The same goes for high-end retailers such as The Gap, Sam Goody, Foot Lo ker, and Hallmark. For years now we have watched our TV's like monkeys while these companies tell us what we should buy, and we go buy it. This has to stop. Why is it worth it to buy a $40 shirt from the Gap when you can get virtually the same shirt from a discount store such as Ross for 1/3 the price? The truth is it's not. We need to stop paying these high prices and start spending more frugally. Go to Ross, Wall-Mart, The Dollar Store and all the rest of the discounters and skip out on the high-end stuff. Many people may be reading this article thinking this type of thinking will cripple our economy. Well, my reply to that is our economy is already crippled and we need to start repairing it. I am not saying save money rather than spend it; I'm saying get your moneys' worth for what you spend.

This same thinking has to do with technology as well. Until a substantial upgrade in the technology cycle occurs, the cheapest prices will rule. It is no longer feasible in this economy for Microsoft to make billions of dollars on a couple color and logistic changes and call it an upgrade. Give me something for my money!! It's no longer feasible to buy the top of the line computer, because right now the top of the line is not that much better than the one you bought three yrs ago. Handhelds will not be bought on a large level, at least not at their retail value, until everything you could possibly need is combined into one handheld. Someday soon, a company will come up with the new technology to combine telephone, planner, database, MP3, credit card, PC, and anything else imaginable. When that day comes, I will spend my hard-earned money. The same thing goes for automobiles. The technology in our cars has grown at a snails pace since the first automobile was invented, but the prices keep rising and rising. This will change in the near future. New cars will be cheaper and used cars will be much cheaper until the technology catches up to the price. Cars have become a necessity appliance, but unlike other necessity appliances, the price has gone up and not down. We watch every year as TV's, computers, telephones and everything else becomes cheaper the more widely it is used, but cars have not. The next revolution in automobiles will consider this. For one, they will become more fuel-efficient and for another, they will become much cheaper. Price wars are going to be vicious in all areas of our economy and the winners will be the ones that can deliver value on what we spend.

Lastly, there will be a fundamental change in how we invest our money. Corporations have been charging high prices and snowballing their earnings on top of that and soon we will find out the true value of these companies. Some will not make it. A new age of personal investing is upon us as we have seen that the so-called "Experts" really have no understanding of the economy. We will see many good economists who do make money for their clients. They will survive, but many will lose their income to personal investing. I believe that every person should take control of their own financial future quite simply because they are the only ones it really matters to. It is time for empowerment, and as every revolutionary knows, empowering the money is empowering the people who control the money. It is time to take control of your own money.

Over the next few years our economy is going to change drastically, but I believe this change is for the better. A strong economy is one that gives value for money spent and not effectively having people scam each other out of their money through advertising and fancy packaging. So I urge you, continue to spend money and help our economy grow, but do not reward lies by giving them money. No that Gap shirt is not going to get you laid after dancing to swing music, and no that $16 CD does not sound better than the one you can buy in a month for $10, and no those $100 shoes will not help you against the better player with $40 shoes. So please, skip out on that professional baseball game, take that $100 and your family and buy some trees to plant in your backyard. We can no longer rely on corporate America or our government. I urge you once more; take responsibility for your money and your environment to help make this a better country.

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