Write This Off

Its Christmas Day and everyone has gone back home. I was hounded into a post.
I pulled this out of a paper so its a fragment, but its some text I wanted up here. I guess it will be sooner than later.

Write This Off

The people to come will assign meaningfulness to something. The desire to find meaning continues to push the species along. It becomes self-defense to care about something. What that something will ultimately be for a population mediated away from choices and with out accountability will look much less substantial. Commerce and value are no longer linked.

Every major retail corporation finds themselves with inventory rendered unsellable by circumstance. Either the original shipment full of multiple sizes has dwindled to just one item or the fad has too quickly faded. If it ever existed in the first place. And the retail store moves these lone objects to their kill rack. A rack of items in the back usually set aside for the employees to shop from. The cost deeply discounted. Often the employees are required to wear examples of the companies merchandise while at work, but their minimum wage pay checks barely afford them the necessities of living and they find themselves relegated to their store discounts or the kill rack. A pair of socks which may have originally sold for twenty dollars now is marked to two dollars. This discount seems a gift from the corporation.

Two evaluations of this event can be divined. One: if the corporation can afford to sell them for two dollars, why then was the product originally marked at twenty? Is it because the original price accommodated an expectation that not all would be sold? So the original price included the elements of, product production, shipment to outlet, payroll, facility bills, rent, lighting insurance, the necessity to mark down a small portion of unsold inventory, and marketing along with a portion designated for profit to the shareholders. Because a corporations primary function is to generate revenue for its shareholders.

Or two: the product can be listed in that list of loss. Which means that each shipment of merchandise is laced with an algorithm accommodating several individual pieces as loss leaders. Merchandise, which can be sold for a loss. The corporation anticipates using these loss leaders as an option to write off the loss on their federal corporate taxes. Revenue that can then be recuperated from the moneys they would otherwise be paying to the federal government in taxes. Taxes, which would go to support the infrastructure, which allows them to stay in business. The street in front of their stores, the roads leading from the docks of delivery from foreign manufacture to the loading bays of the individual outlets. And the security of the police, fire, and rescue services who facilitate the community surrounding the store of commerce.

This loss in revenue from the corporation is then made up by the individuals of the community the business resides in. More specifically by the sales tax levied on the employee purchasing the merchandise required of them by the employer to keep their job. So the employee is purchasing the merchandise sending revenue to the corporation, the corporation is writing off this merchandise being sold at an arbitrary loss as they set the price high enough to accommodate this loss and still find profit in the sale and they are free of the burden of paying the taxes to support the very sale of their merchandise.

The corporation is free to function with no risk. Providing endless streams of profit to the shareholders who invest based on the strength of the brand which is artificially supported by its employees and local and Federal municipalities. How did this brand achieve such success and unabated practice, is it because the idea of their success is linked with the success of our society? If the business leaves town than the perception is a lack of culture and success of the very community it is benefiting from. The community benefits from the jobs and perception of success the business’s presence provides. With the business in place the community may assure themselves of achievement. Marking their success with the brands presence, absorbing the brands success as their own. They matter because of the attention laid on them by the corporation.

The corporation stamping its approval on the community instead of the other way around. But of course it is the other way around. If the community chooses to instead buy from their neighbors. The small mom and pop stores run by locals then the major corporation up and moves taking its prestige. Like a town skipped by the railroad stop they evaporate. A delicate dance between a community and their perception of identity. The town needs commerce in modern society to exist.

Many ideas and sentiments were codified while in conversation with Samantha Fretwell.


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