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Subtleties of Depression: Fast Food

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As far as I can tell everything begins with sustenance and sitting down to eat.  There is no thought or act that is not fueled with food and there is no better time to discuss and improve thoughts or actions than while eating with others.  Whether it is an evening dinner with family or lunch with associates, eating together is productive on multiple levels.  As far as I can tell eating healthy leads to being healthy and health opens doors to opportunity and happiness.

Eating is a primary daily concern for most animals.  Humanity has surpassed the primordial concern for fresh food and water, people need to eat and it is a daily need, however it is not the most important matter to many people.  Eating at all and eating healthy is not the foremost concern for most people or among top concerns at all.  Money is normally a much more important subject than diet.  Mortgages on property, payments on vehicles and spending and saving in general, is more important to most people than a healthy diet.

Keeping money in one's pocket is more important than investing it on wholesome and nutritious food.  Eating well might be more time consuming (time is money) and often is more expensive than eating quickly.  As the U.S.A. and the world sinks deeper into recession and similarities between now and the Great Depression arise, fast food restaurants create menu options priced at one dollar (plus tax) and miniature portions to make their products more available and appealing.  Quick and cheap, what could be more appealing when gathering money is the number one concern?

Concerns for time and money often override basic and primordial dietary needs.  Many people prefer franchise fast food over alternatives.  McDonald's for instance is experiencing growth during the current global economic decline.  Fast food franchise restaurants offer convenience, value and variety, but not much nutrition, energy or opportunity to exchange ideas.  Fast food franchise restaurants do well when there is a global recession, in part because they participated in manifesting the global recession.     

Fast food franchises are a key aspect of globalization, both the successes and failures.  Activity based on ideas of globalization eliminates and degrades localization, whether successful or not successful.  Some communities experience development while others become dependents when concentration of efforts is based in globalization and not localization.  Global integration instead of local development has manifested the global recession.

Although business has its benefit no matter, even fast food franchises, business also has backlash.  Fast food franchise restaurants provide limited opportunity and commodity, however typically they eliminate opportunity as well.  Locals are less able to come together to build and supply a competitive restaurant themselves.  Fast food franchises develop globally, unconcerned for localism or locals.

People are less inclined to feed themselves through growing or even preparing their own food when inexpensive alternatives exist.  Fast food franchises directly supply inexpensive food, but there are other indirect costs.  The only way that people have developed and surpassed the toil of daily hunting and gathering is through cooperative agriculture and permaculture.  Trade only works when one manifest something to trade.  Cheap and fast food eliminates most notions to plant and grow food.

It used to be when times were tough and commodities were needed, people would grow them.  Today when hard times arrive more money is printed and distributed.  In order to create and manufacture, things must be created and manufactured, but simply printing money won't cut it.  Production of real goods is the only way to increase GDP and boost the economy.
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Of course fast food restaurants or any restaurant would not exist if food was not grown and raised somewhere.  The fast food factor that might contribute to a shrinking economy is not in food gathering and preparation necessarily, but in business formulation.  The franchise business model is based on globalization and not localization.  Corporate franchises seek expansion for their business and eliminate other local business options around the world.

Franchise fast food instigated acceptance of globalization by presenting cheap and fast meals that enable people to spend more time accomplishing more complicated pursuits other than food gathering and preparation.  Fast food franchises are good for business, but that might be all they are good for.  The first McDonald's restaurant opened in Moscow in 1990.

In order to successfully expand globally, fast food franchises must incorporate packaging and food products from far and wide.  Their business model is pyramidal with intents on global growth to the point of global monopolization.  

Fast food franchises have changed the diets of nations.  Fast food franchises have also changed the notion of food gathering and preparation altogether.  They have changed the diet of the world, the trade of the world, and also perhaps, much of world's perspective on food.  Are tastes learned or acquired?

In the same way that the U.S.A. Government, first headed by the "lame duck" George Bush and then continued by Barack Obama, prefers to borrow and create money rather than grow or build actual usable goods, people would rather have inexpensive food quickly and easily.  Franchise fast food is structured for globalization and benefit of institutions.  It is a successful business model in any economic climate as long as somewhere in the world some agriculture continues, as long as someone is growing.
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One Keynesian economic theory being put into practice by the 2009 stimulus is the notion that when there is no work available, the government should pay people to dig holes and if necessary, pay others to fill them.  The theory assumes that one has the actual money and does not simply print it, but even then it is hardly, and only temporarily, sensible for the majority of individuals.  While people are being paid to dig holes, why not pay others to put something in it that will grow and bear fruit?  The stimulus does build anew, but mostly money is for simple maintenance.

Chinese proverb: the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago, the second best time is now.  Franchise fast food eliminates the notion that one should bother planting trees in order to have food rooted locally.  Franchise fast food makes the ridiculous seem acceptable and the sensible seem impractical.  If you could have one tree, what would it be?

Oligarchical collectivism is a term employed by George Orwell in "1984", his most well known work.  An oligarchy is a rigid institution of many controlled by the few, best displayed as a pyramid.  Oligarchical collectivism is an arrangement of pyramidal oligarchies into another complicated pyramid.  Franchise fast food restaurants are designed in such pyramidal institutional partnerships.

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About Ethan Indigo Smith:

Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity, Ethan's work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humor.

The events of September 11, 2001 inspired him to write his first book, The Complete Patriot's Guide to Oligarchical Collectivism, an insightful exploration of history, philosophy and contemporary politics. His more recent publications include:

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

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