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Volker Pispers: Capitalism + . . .     07.02.2011

[Example auto industry]

VW said: We need 7% yearly productivity growth in order to maintain our industrial location here. VW alone. 7% yearly productivity growth - how do you achieve that? You could, for example, yearly produce the same number of cars but with 7% fewer workers. How often can you lay off 7% of the workforce until no-one is left? ☺ Not really future-proof, or...? In 20 years from now you will want to have your equity-based pension secured with your VW shares. Until then you have to sit it through. The other variant would be: produce with the same number of workers but pay them 7% less every year. Until they can't come to work any longer - That doesn't work either. The only viable possibility is: with the same number of workers and the same pay produce 7% more cars. That's how VW manages it. But this is not really the problem. The problem is selling these things. In Europe we already produce 20% more cars than can be sold. And on top of this VW wants 7% gain in productivity - annually! That's exponential growth. Already your grandchildren will have to buy a new car every second month. ☺

[Example mobile phones]

With mobile phones we have already reached this point. ☺ For years now we have more mobile phones than Germans. Above all, more mobile phones than Germans who know how to use them. ☺☺ But aren't mobile phones the growth market per se? Incessantly new mobile phone corner shops are opening up everywhere. I have the impression that in pedestrian precincts only two kinds of businesses open up: tanning salons and mobile phone shops. That's the climax of Western civilization. You let your brain be fried as preparation for your next mobile phone purchase. ☺☺ And with a trained eye you can judge from a person's skin tan how many mobile phones he has in his pockets. ☺☺ And you have to play along, you have to keep buying, buying, buying ... Especially mobile phones, it's a growth market - you have to keep pace, and buy a mobile phone every month. And don't come up with the that old excuse - you only have two ears. That's absolutely no argument. You possess 20 pairs of shoes and yet only have two feet. There you got the message. ☺ Yes, in that area women at least have a natural capitalistic intelligence. ☺

[The driving force]

Capitalism is like the fairy-tale of the fisher and his wife. Still remember that old story? The fisherman was at sea and caught a flounder, and the flounder fulfilled a wish for him. He comes home and his wife says: where did you get that? That's a present I got from a flounder. His wife says: not bad, but go back out, because I could do with this and that. He goes to sea once more and tells the flounder: flounder, I'm very sorry, it's quite unpleasant for me, but my wife isn't satisfied yet - she also wants such-and-such. OK, no problem, you will also get that. The fisher comes home. His wife says: it's working fine. Listen, I also need this and that. And she sends him back out to sea. And always the same story, on and on -
   “Flounder, flounder in the sea,
    Come, I pray thee, here to me;
    For my wife, good Ilsabil,
    Wills not as I’d have her will . . .”

She sends him out again and again, the woman just can't get enough. She is never satisfied or happy, she wants still more, more, ever more. Eventually the flounder says: As far as I'm concerned, you two can stuff it - I'll take everything back. That's the fairy-tale of the fisherman and his wife, and the fairy-tale of capitalism. We have ever more, more, more, more, more. And no-one reaches satisfaction, and everything breaks down. And the driving force in the system just happens to be the women. Look, I didn't write the tale, ☺☺ I'm only the bringer of the bad news. Well, [towards the audience] when does your husband buy a new pair of trousers? It's when you say: you can't wear those pants any longer. ☺☺ We men replace things unwillingly when they're so out of order that they have become physically impossible to wear. That's what you call sustainable economy. If women were to only buy those trousers they need, our industry would go broke. If women were to buy only those clothes and the stuff they really need, then Karl Lagerfeld6 would starve. And he isn't looking all that good right now ... ☺☺

6) Fashion designer, artist and photographer

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