Image: Meme by PopPopPrego

How a Societal Shift to Crypto-as-Currency Might Make Us and the Planet Healthier (and Beat Down the Lobster-Faces!)

By PopPopPrego | The Fascination | 11 Apr 2021

I have suddenly gotten deeply interested in the ultimate "what if" of Cryptoworld. That is, what if cryptocurrency was actually a currency rather than only an investment or store of value? And not only a little currency for buying cartoon lizard warriors and mining tools, but the de facto everyday currency of a country like the USA?

I will be thinking through some of these ideas in a few posts, but as I started writing on other related topics, I could not shake the fact that food policy in the USA (and probably elsewhere given the massive influence of multinational corporations and foreign investment and intervention by governmental superpowers) is so fundamentally destructive and effed up that it really ought to be on everyone's minds. I start off negative, for sure, but I think I get to a hopeful place by the end. And, I introduce the for-sure next big thing in crypto: Proof-of-Not-Being-A-Lobster-Faced-Corporate-Alien-Scum (PoNBALFCAS)

I would very much love to hear your thoughts and analysis whether you agree or disagree with my read on things!

Here are a few of the key roles food policy and practices play in dropping slimy, wormy turds in everyone's pool:

  • A leading source of the spread of invasive species that have decimated wildlife, threatened waterways, and even made traditional crop species go extinct
  • The leading source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria - giving us all the chance to die from a little scratch someday
  • Massive and multi-layered harms to global warming and climate collapse
  • Leading cause of deforestation and biodiversity reduction
  • A leading cause of fresh water contamination and overuse
  • Leading cause of fishery and marine life collapse
  • Leading contributor to most of the Top 10 causes of death in modern industrialized countries
  • Massive contributor to health care costs in modern industrialized countries
  • Destruction of rural communities and traditional ways of life
  • Major beneficiary of illegal immigration and foreign labor exploitation
  • One of the very highest-potential sources of dangerous animal-to-animal-to-human pandemics
  • ...should I go on? I mean, WTF food?!

There are a few common threads here... multinational corporations are in control of most of the global food supply and they are incentivized by profit rather than the good of the planet or its inhabitants; they lobby like crazy at local, regional, and federal levels to increase their profits and advantages; that means it is really hard to mount any challenges to their power, such as Community-Supported Agriculture. 

Incentives are Destiny

Corporations are rumored to be run and populated by actual human beings. That is, honestly, a far-fetched notion to my mind, or it is incredibly sad. I mean, what sane, caring, responsible actual human being would participate in such an effing over of us all, including effing themselves over by making these disastrous decisions??? Either corporations are run by a greedy, hideous subspecies of bloodthirsty alien scum, or we humans suck. A lot. 

If we imagine that actual normal humans are making these decisions to destroy so much of life on Earth in the name of a few bucks and a shitty jet ski, then we have to look at the incentives in place. Almost all decisions that corporate leadership makes seem directed at increasing power, maximizing short-term monetary return to shareholders, and/or making huge salaries and bonuses themselves. Money = Power = Money etc. 

They invest heavily in any advantages they have or can imagine. Advantages translate into less competition, which translates into profit margins, happy shareholders, and "now I can buy a boat and not a stupidass jet ski!" In this sense, corporate scum are just beautiful little people working within the system there were given. That means that is it the greedy, hideous, bloodthirsty alien scum who created these incentives that are actually to blame! Let's get them and make them pay by eating their own weight in chicken nuggets every day until they die!

Wait, the ghoulish creatures that created these incentives also are human? I give up. We really do suck! 

Corporations are murdering the F out of us, and whether they are run by nice people or lobster-face alien scum, they have too much power right now and they are pummeling us nonstop with their murderfists.

...they are pummeling us nonstop with their murderfists.

Little people who would like to stay alive and have their kids live, and who can not afford to buy self-sustaining ranches or super yachts simply lack the power or the coordination to alter these incentives. Corporate power is leveraged further because everyone in the establishment is on board. Banks and lenders, supply chain companies, fat lardy Americans who demand cheap food, scrawny lululemon Americans who demand exotic health foods to boost their wheatgrass and salmon smoothies, and of course the Future Corporate Shills and Sellouts of America (read: elected politicians). 

In a world that truly uses Crypto-as-Currency -- no, not evil corporate monster cash from Facebook or spyware disguised as coin from governments or central banks, but true decentralized crypto -- we can at least cut out some of those subhuman scum who have stacked the incentives against leading a healthy, free life.

What Are The Incentives?

There are so many built-in Food-Production Incentives. This doesn't even touch on land and waterway abuse incentives (e.g., ever wonder why are so many dangerous holding ponds of poisonous industrial byproducts located by waterways?). I won't get into the observation that most leading food multinationals more closely resemble chemical companies these days either. I will only take an amateur's look at what we put in the ground and what we turn it into.

Land is expensive and both governments (in the form of property taxes, which in almost all of the US are the *only* taxes that support education and other vital services) and private actors (property/housing is the largest asset class for the majority of Americans) have a strong incentive to see land/real property prices always go up. And of course there are entire industries (realtors, Bill Gates, Trump, etc.) and investment vehicles (REITs, Private Holding Corps) that need profits and returns for this asset. Homeownership is incentivized through messaging and subsidized through tax policy and the hybrid public/private hydra that is FannieMae/FreddieMac. Or, I should more accurately say that the incurring of debt in the name of homeownership is subsidized. Once you sign on to that debt obligation, no one cares anymore what happens to you or your family.

So, land is expensive. Raw food commodity prices are very low. You cannot pay for your land, or even pay to keep your land, using traditional farming methods that are much better for humans, the planet, the soil, and the next season's planting. Instead, you need to buy high-yield technologies. Some technologies are obvious, like tractors and machinery. Others are less so, like fertilizer and pesticides and herbicides that are wreaking havoc on our water supplies and our pollinators. Or seed technology that make plants resistant to the poisons that are dumped on them to control pests and weeds. That technology is patented and farmers are not allowed to set aside part of last year's crop to seed next year's crops. So, farmers chase smaller and smaller margins that are only obtainable through economies of scale or through expensive technology.

The technology developers are subsidized in direct ways (e.g., R&D tax benefits, scientific and governmental investment into tech) and indirect ways (e.g., a lenient patent process paired with an aggressive regulatory and judicial stance that favors patent-holders at scale). They can sell their tech at huge, subsidized margins knowing that everyone has to pay or lose their land. 

For huge landowners and food tech companies, this is great. Obviously the little guy is effed good and plenty. For food sellers, though, this creates a different problem. Enormous amounts of commodity foods are produced, at subsidized and very low prices for many weird reasons (e.g., US pays billions to turn fuel into corn and then back into ethanol fuel and then subsidizes the price of that ethanol all over again to drive our huge SUVs around the suburbs). You can't make money in consumer corn or soy. So, the incentives are to (a) use corn and soy in lots of stuff and (b) create "value-added" products. You can't sell corn meal for money, but if you shape it like a flat triangle, fry it, and coat it in salty fat bits that stain people's fingers, you can charge tons of money for nacho cheese tortilla chips. You can't sell a soy bean for much, but you can add it as filler to "burgers" and "chicken" nuggets and taco "meat." And, of course feed it to the disease-riddled mutants we raise in feedlots and dank hangars for the meat factories. This magic recipe - grind it, add salt, fat, preservatives, chemicals that taste one way, chemicals that look another way, mush it into a shape, then sell at huge mark-up - seems to be the go-to way to get profitable food into the hands of an American population with rapidly growing guts and quickly shrinking purchasing power. There is enough profit margin to go around that the snack/junk/chemical food segment incentivizes everyone along the supply chain to promote it. Plus, you can keep it on your shelves for months, unlike those pesky, cheap, low-margin vegetables that we actually should be eating.

There is more, of course, but it gets overwhelming fast. Instead of looping in corporate tax laws specific to food industries, federal relief and loan support specific to food producers, disaster relief specific to food producers, workplace safety law waivers specific to food processors, and on and on and on, let's just imagine a cryptocurrency world and ask whether there is any chance we could break free of the 'destroy the land and feed them chemical slurry' hell we live in.

Crypto-as-Currency in the Food Economy

Subsidies - one possibility is that if consumer purchasing moves out of bank and corporate controlled fiat system to cryptocurrency is that it may be harder for governments to track purchases. That makes it harder to tax, which should reduce tax revenues. In turn, less money might mean lower or fewer subsidies. Of course, if you are a cynic about this stuff, which you should be, you would anticipate that the subsidies will stay with the freest-spending lobbies and biggest companies and that we will continue down the path of getting taxed more and receiving less collective benefit to keep the CEOs in their yachts and private golf clubs. I think corporate alien scum win this one.

Purchasing - another possibility is that we consumers might be willing to pay a bit more for good food from good growers knowing that the efficiencies in the payment system would deliver better value to ethical or at least not-evil food growers, and that they would be able to give us better value in food in return. This is like the community supported local farmer market movement on steroids where the financial barriers to entry and operation would be lower. Further, we might be better able to support local food processors and food sellers, such as restaurants, small markets, the local tamale vendor, or the person who makes the mind-blowing kimchi. Maybe without forcing these vendors to give 2% to Mastercard or 3% to American Express from every sale, or 7% to Corporate National Bank of Asshole to borrow money for equipment, they would instead be able to borrow against the crypto we pay them on exchanges. It is a nice thought, right? I see a lot of social theater around how much our newest generations care about voting with their dollars, but that only works when they have dollars and it is reasonably convenient. I think crypto makes this much easier. I think the corporate alien scum get a boot in the crotch here. Score real people!

Production - Land is still hella expensive, seeds are still "intellectual property," and tending to and harvesting crops is still incredibly hard labor. Can crypto-as-currency help with any of this? Well, yes, depending on how purchasing decisions go. If consumers decide not to guzzle toxic Slurm and instead buy actual food from local or trustworthy producers, then producers who are better for us will have more assets to secure land and perhaps to create seed collectives of heirloom and non-patented varieties. But I actually think that labor is where crypto can play a massive role. Right now a huge majority of hands-on farm work in the US is provided by seasonal or migratory workers who face visa challenges, often are forced to pay for dangerous and awful lodging where they work, and who must find a way to either cart around bags of paper dollars or use the predatory money services that have targeted those who can't access banking. You think eating PayPal's 3% fee hurts, how about a 29% fee to wire some money to your family so they can deposit it in a bank account. How nice it would be to scan a QR code and send home some BCH, NANO, ZEC, MON, or something else with negligible fees!! Not only ought this reduce labor costs for producers, but it should have a knock on effect of increasing prosperity in regions that typically send workers to food producing countries. In this sense, it might just be more affordable to eat tomatoes and strawberries someday than Larditos and Scumburgers. Score real people! Suck it corporate alien scum!

Proof-of-Not-Being-A-Lobster-Faced-Corporate-Alien-Scum - The next big thing in crypto after DeFi and NFTs won't be privacy or entertainment streaming, it will be Proof-of-Not-Being-A-Lobster-Faced-Corporate-Alien-Scum (PoNBALFCAS). Numerous tokens are working to assist supply chain tracking and soon, I hope, it will be a mundane thing to scan a code on the next food item you are considering and seeing where it came from. You might have a choice between

(a) Apple - origin: Alice's orchard down the road

(b) Apple - origin: Nameless narcoterrorist and puppy puncher from 5000k away.

Or, even better between

(a) Apple - origin: Alice's orchard down the road

(b) Southern-Fried ChiKn ReKtm Nuggitz - origin: 37 different factories around the world for the rectum and 800 or maybe 900 chemical factories for the "flavor" and preservatives, we're not sure, we lost count, a lot of these places were shut down or exploded so we're not really sure what they put in there but enjoy your ReKtms!

Score real people!

This has been a bit longer than I expected, and probably a lot longer than you hoped for. I appreciate you reading this, and hope there are people out there who are a lot smarter than me trying to understand how crypto can escape the lobster faces and lead to making life more the way it ought to be for all of us. In the end, I think there is huge potential, but it will, as always, rely on regular good people both keeping tabs on the lobster faces and also making a habit of choosing the right thing not the cheaper thing.


If you'd like to support this kind of hard-hitting investigative anti-lobster-face journalism (disclaimer: I don't know how to do journalism), then you can like, follow, and tip. Also, you can check out my other posts, which are largely lobster-free and can show you how to earn free crypto for free. Thanks!

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Curious explorer of Cryptoworld

The Fascination
The Fascination

In this blog I tackle the crypto world from the view of a true beginner, more used to 401ks and index funds than DeFi, DEX, and DOGE. I share reviews and unexpected complications in pursuit of the fascination.

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