If there is anything in life that you can count on, it’s people doing harm to themselves. In fact, it seems the world economy might just collapse if it weren’t for consumers acting outside of their own best interests.
Businesses around the globe invest in your potential for self-sabotage routinely and to the tune of trillions of dollars. Why? There is only one reason: It’s a secure investment.
If it weren’t such a safe bet, the world’s business landscape would look very different indeed.
Here are some examples of how businesses bank on self-sabotage:
1. Fitness centers oversell memberships because they know most of their clients will stop coming to the gym very soon. In fact, one gym manager once told me, “If all of our members showed up consistently, we’d have to close our doors because we could never accommodate everyone. We actually count on people not showing up.”
You buy a gym membership and your fitness center will encourage you to get in shape, but still counts on your potential to sabotage your goals by staying home.
Annual revenue generated by fitness centers in 2012: 21.8 Billion (IHRSA)
2. Donut shops, ice cream parlors, liquor stores, tobacco shops and fast food restaurants, on the other hand, invest in your potential to ruin your health by frequenting their establishments regularly. If you didn’t sabotage your health at all, their business might decline 90%.
Annual revenue of fast food industry in the United States: 110 Billion (StatisticBrain)
For every $100 the average American spends, $1 goes to alcohol to the tune of $153 Billion annually (Time Mag)
Sugar industry annual revenue: 20 Billion (SugarAlliance)
3. Car dealerships. How many of them count on you making a bad decision? Do they really care that you get the car you want, need and can comfortably afford? Do they give you the space to make a solid decision based on your best judgment? Or are they invested in making a sale regardless of your real needs?
Many of their sales tactics suggest that they don’t have your highest interests in mind and would prefer to make the sale – right now – regardless of what’s best for you. How many sales would they lose otherwise?
US auto industry revenue: 220 Billion annually (FirstResearch)
4. Giant food corporations COUNT on you not caring what goes into your body. Deadly chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, GMO’s, sugar, trans fats and empty calories save them the work and expense of creating truly healthy, organic food – and they bank on you eating their junk anyway, to your own detriment.
Annual U.S. pesticide sales: 12.5 Billion, with 1.1 Billion pounds used (EPA)
5. Credit card companies love it when you are in debt. They count on you failing to pay for what you buy up front so that you can pay them many times the value over time. They seduce you with lies – visions of how powerful and successful you will be once you are carrying their card, overspending and forking over the interest.
Nothing better for a bank than for you to never stop owing them and never get ahead.
Total American credit card debt: 856 Billion
Total American consumer debt: 11.4 Trillion (NerdWallet)
6. Attorneys. There are many legitimate and helpful attorneys out there. And there are those who make their living by convincing you of your victimhood. They see you coming, hoping to stir you up in anger and blame – promising to get you justice when the only thing they are interested in is their own billing.
Some lawyers want to you feel like a helpless victim that the world owes. They prey upon this, build it up within you and fill their pockets with your powerlessness and inability to accept life on its own terms and take responsibility for yourself.
AmLaw 100 Annual Revenue: 67.4 Billion annually (New York Times)
I could go on. Suffice it to say that the world economy as it currently exists depends on you making bad decisions with your money, health and happiness. They are wholly committed to YOU desiring what you don’t need. And not only what you don’t need…they want you to want what will harm you.
And most people strangely desire just that, as if fulfilling some deeply unconscious destiny.
Without you harming yourself, the world economy as we know it wouldn’t exist! Trillions of dollars in revenue would simply disappear. And we’ve barely scratched the surface with these examples.
How much money have you spent on self-sabotage?
Can you estimate your contribution to the economy of self-sabotage? How much have you spent on unnecessary consumer items, junk food, credit cards, car loans, weight loss programs you didn’t use, and all manner of ill-fated decisions?
What if you had EVERY dime of that money right now, safely tucked away in a good investment? How different would your life be? Would it be worth having? Now, multiply your savings by every income-earner on earth and you can get an idea of the price we are paying for self-sabotage.
And that’s just the financial aspect, which is the least important. The emotional benefits of abstaining from self-sabotage dwarf the financial.
The biggest problem in overcoming self-sabotage
The most difficult aspect of self-sabotage involves seeing it for what it is. Most often, we disguise it from ourselves and are lucky if we notice it in hindsight. The key is to see it coming and practice prevention, as with most health issues.
daily alternative | alternative news – Economics of self-sabotage: The safest trillion dollar investment EVER
Microsoft Admits Windows 10 Automatic Spying Cannot Be Stopped
Last week changes to the Windows 10 upgrade path mean it is going to become increasingly difficult for any non-techy users to avoid being pushed to Microsoft MSFT +0.00%’s new operating system. But given Windows 10 is better than Windows 7 and Windows 8, why would that be a problem? Because of policies like this…
Speaking to PC World, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore explained that Windows 10 is constantly tracking how it operates and how you are using it and sending that information back to Microsoft by default. More importantly he also confirmed that, despite offering some options to turn elements of tracking off, core data collection simply cannot be stopped:
“In the cases where we’ve not provided options, we feel that those things have to do with the health of the system,” he said. “In the case of knowing that our system that we’ve created is crashing, or is having serious performance problems, we view that as so helpful to the ecosystem and so not an issue of personal privacy, that today we collect that data so that we make that experience better for everyone.”
This backs up detailed data that some had chosen to dismiss as conspiracy theories.
Windows 10 has great potential, but aggressive update and user tracking policies. Image credit: Microsoft
Still, whether or not you agree with Belfiore’s standpoint that this doesn’t invade user privacy, it does seem strange that it has taken Microsoft so long to come clean and admit core Windows 10 background data collection processes cannot be stopped. Instead it gave the impression that turning off all user accessible spying options in Windows 10 settings would provide owners with full privacy – that’s tantamount to spying.
To his credit, Belfiore does recognise the controversial nature of this decision and stresses that:
“We’re going to continue to listen to what the broad public says about these decisions, and ultimately our goal is to balance the right thing happening for the most people – really, for everyone – with complexity that comes with putting in a whole lot of control.”
Interestingly Belfiore himself won’t be around to oversee this as he is about to take a year long sabbatical. When he comes back, however, I suspect this issue will still be raging as Windows and Devices Group head Terry Myerson recently confirmed Windows 10 Enterprise users will be able to disable every single aspect of Microsoft data collection.
This comes in combination with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users’ ability to permanently disable automatic updates which are forced upon consumers and shows the growing divide between how Microsoft is treating consumers versus corporations.
So how concerned should users be about Windows 10’s default data collection policies? I would say very.
By default Windows 10 Home is allowed to control your bandwidth usage, install any software it wants whenever it wants (without providing detailed information on what these updates do), display ads in the Start Menu (currently it has been limited to app advertisements), send your hardware details and any changes you make to Microsoft and even log your browser history and keystrokes which the Windows End User Licence Agreement (EULA) states you allow Microsoft to use for analysis.
The good news: even if Belfiore states you cannot switch off everything, editing your privacy settings will disable the worst of these. To find them open the Start menu > Settings > Privacy.
daily alternative | alternative news – Microsoft Admits Windows 10 Automatic Spying Cannot Be Stopped
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