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Monday, March 16, 2009

Free Water (And Why I Hate Warranties)

No painting today. Not that I wouldn't've, it's that I am too stressed out. We returned from Austin Saturday. Our water heater is acting up undiagnosably, our salt pool isn't making chlorine and the pool pump is leaking.

That these are all long-term maintenance issues is why this is so blasted annoying. We're pretty much planning on moving.

Factors - family, environment, business, health- coming together are leading us to move to the Austin area. We're thinking Georgetown right now. The plan is to buy rural land and have a home builder that normally builds in subdivisions build a custom home with a mother-in-law quarters for my in-laws. Georgetown is close to Round Rock where Jenn and the girls live, and it's close to Austin where my art is for sale. And there's SXSW. And there're less allergy issues. And it's green.

So, the thought of replacing a water heater that lasts over 5 years and a salt cell that lasts about the same is obnoxious. The pool pump gasket justs adds that last little jab.

I hate warranties. All 3 things, along with a host of others that aren't as immediately vital, would've been covered by their respective warranties had they gone on the fritz years ago. Warranties either seem not to cover what breaks, or do, but just long enough so that the thing breaks right after the warranty expires. Along with my dad, I just flipping hate insurance.

I think the concept of insurance is what's wrong with capitalism. Free water is what's right. All along the drive to and from Austin, I got the free cup of water from fast food joints. Water. The thing most vital to our physical survival is free. Granted, it's in sometimes tiny quantities, but it's free. It shows humanity and compassion, and desire to help the species survive. Insurance does the opposite.

How disingenuous to offer coverage, offer something supposedly somewhat free, that helps people survive life in capitalism, and have so many policies, so much red tape, so many people employed solely to figure out how to deny you. Deny you. That what it feels like. Like they're denying you are worth it.

So much attention is focussed on wealth and stuff and gains and receiving. Not enough on value and life and supporting and giving. Yes, this could be interpreted if put in practice as socialism, utopian at least. But man, if this current crisis with the poor/lower-middle class struggling with mortgages and those rich/charitable people fucked over by Madoff doesn't reveal the disparities and distrust and disgustingness of capitalism, what would?

Why does getting more stuff matter so damn much to this country, this system? So much that we imagine wealth, fake substance, and borrow against the future to keep going? And everything comes with that damn optional warranty. Worthless. Worth less. Worth is subjective. Wealth is individual.

Value, created value, is what makes humanity amazing. It may be a matter of definition, but you get what I'm saying. People should have to know companies they buy stock in, like Buffett does. You should have to get an actual printed certificate issued in your name for every company and have to keep it for at least 10 years. That's it. No other way to "own" public companies. No options, no trading, no derivatives. Then what the company does will matter, not the bottom line, or the fake bottom line, but what they make, what they provide. Companies still do make goods and provide services, right?

I've talked before about celebrating the individual's contribution to humanity. Everybody who does something has value, creates value, is value. Life is valuable because it's non-transferable, not because it's scarce. From brilliant minds who enlighten souls to factory workers who maintain robots that make birdhouses, we all have value.

Don't deny it.



classicrockforthesoul said...

My grandparents don't live too far from Georgetown (in a small town called Lampasas if you've heard of it -- it's between Georgetown and Copperas Cove/Killeen) - it's such a beautiful part of Texas!!

Have a great day :)

d.edlen said...

We drove through Lampasas I think. That whole area is gorgeous even before the full spring. Do they live on a large property or in a typical subdivision?

classicrockforthesoul said...

Very nice! They've got about 40 acres of land out there -- really a nice piece of property.
Unfortunately, partly due to my grandmother's health, they will be moving to Houston fairly soon.

But that area really is lovely. I know my parents would put their house on the market tomorrow to move out to the hill country if they could.

I see that you want a custom home built on some land? Sounds awesome!