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Mon, Mar. 27th, 2006, 12:56 am

Coca-Cola wages war against choice - and tap water

In this age of branding, even plain old milk needs a big ad campaign and celebrity endorsements. But another popular beverage, tap water, has no such support — a tactical misstep that has left it vulnerable to aggressive competitors like the Coca-Cola Company.

The Associated Press
Coca-Cola's entry in the bottled-water sweepstakes.
Coca-Cola offered a glimpse of its battle plan against tap water in an article on one of its Web sites headlined "The Olive Garden Targets Tap Water & WINS."Aimed at restaurants selling the company's fountain drinks, the article laid out Coke's antiwater program for the Olive Garden chain as a"success story" for others to emulate.

The article was posted three years ago but went unnoticed until this summer, when Rob Cockerham, a graphic designer in Sacramento, Calif., stumbled across it. It then spread through Internet circles until Coca-Cola started fielding questions about it and took the entire site down. A spokeswoman said the company was concerned that the site, which was due to be dismantled anyway, might be misinterpreted by consumers.

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Wed, Mar. 29th, 2006 11:46 am (UTC)

Response to paragraph 1. Subsistence farmers need not be forced into prostitution. That doesn't need to be the default occupation for people. Same goes with drug dealer and factory worker. The latter doesn't even need to be a bad thing. Governments have made it necessary to merge into Capitalist systems, yes. But this is a good thing.

2. If that's how you ran your family, you'd have rough time economically. You wouldn't have easy access to healthcare, food, communications, etc. See my initial argument against subsistence farming above. You're not adding anything new here. Universal subsistence farming is inefficient and would be retroactive in today's age. We would be worse off than we are now in that situation.

The west is not the only population with food. Western countries are not the only feed countries. Presently there is enough food to go around. However, resources, time, and willingness to distribute that food are not available.

Food is not the only resource the world is lacking. People are without education, healthcare, dental care, heating, sanitation services, etc. These are not niceties. They are necessaries. People would not live as long or with as high a quality of life if we were all subsistence farmers. Agricultural, communications, and medical technology have increased length of life, infant survival rate, and quality of life, historically. Not decreased.

3. I disagree with you. It is healthier for land to be worked by a single farmer and for the land. The earth does not shriek in pain when humans mine it. Metals are good, useful, and allow for more efficient production (even of farming). I agree that fossil fuels are not great to be burning. I'd like it if we could avoid using these too. I also agree that hired hands on farms are inefficient. These people could be contributing to society in other ways. Machines are better for their jobs anyway. They could become scientists, or small business owners. That would be great!

Wed, Mar. 29th, 2006 11:47 am (UTC)
1tophi: Part II

4. Click on the link I posted. It disagrees with you right out. There is a net benefit of technology, Capitalism, and (arguably) globalization afforded to people. What I'm saying here is that, yes, some people have suffered some hardships due to Capitalism and globalization. Sure, this is uncontroversial. However, more people are benefiting overall. People sure lived shorter lives and were prone to more pains, illnesses, and injuries back in the hunter-gatherer days. It's becoming easier to be poor every year. There are more social programs that help people today than in any governmentless society.

Speak for yourself. The world does not seem all well and good to me. I strive to help that Ecuadorian farmer. And I use my computer to do so. Very efficiently, I might add.

If you want to get specific about it, it's unfair to say that America forced Ecuador into anything. The Ecuadorian government has been screwing its people over for years to its benefit. They've had close dealings with the US, its companies, and the IMF. The US and IMF have acted as opportunists and the Ecuadorian government have taken their loans and seen its economic gap widen. Blame the Ecuadorian government for being to quick to industrialize, not America. Sure, if not for globalization Ecuador wouldn't feel a need to industrialize but it could be better off if its government had been smarter about who it took money from. Now it's stuck on our dollar and is still trying to pay back loans it will not repay any time in the foreseeable future.

5. That is how Capitalism works. Competition requires that people fail while others do not. It's fair and anyone could be the failing party. That doesn't mean other opportunities won't be offered later. There's not necessarily a limited amount of capital. Today there's a widely expanding services market, and information market. Technology more and more is allowing us to do more with less. I can cite examples if you can't think of any upon request. I'm sure that if you think about it, you'll come up with several right off the top of your head. There's only so much stuff to go around, sure. This doesn't mean that everyone can't or won't eventually have access to a minimum amount of it.

6. The point of giving corporations a chance is that some of them have provided some very important goods, and opportunities to people. They've provided better, cheaper foods and services that wouldn't be available to people (especially the poor) without them. More people have access to cheap fruit and health services with them, for example. They produce public goods more efficiently than small, private businesses. They require less sustainable capital to maintain operations. They don't all act unethically.

7. Sure, and you'll notice how there are exponentially larger populations living on those continents now with net exponentially greater quality of health.

The economic supersystem the world operates under isn't non-functional. It's just somewhat dysfunctional.