February 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm #256541ClarafloMember
As the big age of corporatisation draws to a close I’m drawn to this thought. Nearly everything in life has been patented franchised and branded. But not necessarily for the better. Economies of scale take no account of quality of life, and there are definately some industries that are better served on a small and local basis.
Has the corporatisation of bread for instance really benefited anyone? Bread now bears no resemblance to what our grandparents ate because making our loaves 1000km away from where they are sold necessitates things like shelf life, plastic packaging, accomodating the taste and texture preferences of the majority and wringing a profit out of a massive factory, tonnes of wheat flour, and a distribution system. And to rub salt into the wound bread is alarmingly expensive these days tipping almost $5 per loaf in the supermarket for anything other than homebrand white.
Bread, a great example, is a product that should never have left the domain of your local baker. His smaller and simpler kitchen produced better bread, varied recipes and it was always fresh because he would throw out day old bread at close of business. Economies of scale changed the landscape of bread for all of us for the worse. No local variation, loss of a skilled member of our community and loss of a livelihood.
Computers on the other hand are better off being made by a smarty pants corporation with big development budgets, distribution channels and uniformity in product. So the big corporatisation experiment has taught us it’s only suitable for some industries even though yes, technically, anything can be franchised.
I think what will happen is that corporate downsizing will force many out of comfortable careers. But I also think necessity will actually bring back the local, skilled entrepreneur too as people once again value the handcrafted in certain items and leave the corporates for the things they are best at. Office workers made redundant may find new life in pursuing their passions on a small scale adding culture and humanity back into the community. I’m looking forward to this renaissance in the local community.
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