Rate

short stories collection - a compilation of my short stories.

Summary

America needed help. The rise of China, Japan, Germany and various other nations was fast making it an irrelevant player on the international scene. Resurgent Russia and climbing India looked to give America a run for its money, in both domestic and foreign markets. And so on to the scene came Rate, to save America, to preserve and spread truth, justice, and the America way.

A campy story about the demonization of capitalism in the media.

America needed help. The rise of China, Japan, Germany and various other nations was fast making it an irrelevant player on the international scene. Resurgent Russia and climbing India looked to give America a run for its money, in both domestic and foreign markets. And so on to the scene came Rate, to save America, to preserve and spread truth, justice, and the America way.

Rate was a great man, no two cents about it. He had created the Iconic 7, a septuplet of companies that had acquired such market share in their respective industries as to be declared monopolies in all but practice. They offered ever lower prices, ever better cost cutting methods, ever better quality; in short, they were the emblem of the business world. Info Corp., an information distributor with a majestic infrastructure for supplying fast, searchable news for the entire world. Inhaj, the shining example of food production and distribution, reducing its carbon footprint, water and other natural resource use at every level while supplying the world with ever better, more environmentally friendly food. SinC, the preeminent company for the coinage of private money, the distribution of said money, and the insurance that coined money complied with all standards and that fraud was not committed. Envision, the model software/hardware company, integrating its vast cloud network with reliable and user-friendly hardware to allow for ‘access anywhere’ of crucial and non-crucial information. HI2U, the legendary toy company known for such marvels as GIK and C401 For Kids! RateOrbit, the forward looking propulsion company that had landed the first privately funded astronaut on the moon. And finally, S7V, the quintessential venture capital firm that had been initial investors in such world shattering discoveries as Selucon (a partial cure for Alzheimer’s disease) and Vik (the next generation of artificial hearts). These were the Iconic 7, the renowned titans of American economic might. The legendary tale of their formation can wait another day; the depressing fall is a more enlightening story to be told.

Rate became very wealthy from the success of these companies, he achieved the peak of what an entrepreneur dreams of. But this inherently brought him enemies. From the left came those too lazy to take the risk or work hard enough to achieve the success he had. But they deplored his success and cried that it was based solely on luck and that he was receiving more than his ‘fair share’ of the nation’s wealth. From the right came cries that his companies were destroying mom-and-pop shops, was outsourcing jobs (of no relevance since he created a net plus in jobs created compared to jobs ‘destroyed’, but how people will twist the facts to suite them), and destroying the idealized ‘rugged individual’. So from the left, they set about taxing him to the ground and from the right they began bringing antitrust suits against him, contrary to evidence of his companies beating the competition by reducing prices, providing the best price to quality for his customers, and providing its workers with the best wages and benefits. But this wasn’t about protecting the customers; he soon came to find out, it was about protecting the interest of a select few in the name of the ‘public good’. So Rate fought back. He raised prices across the board, causing consumer outrage and claims that he was price gouging. So he asked, which was it, unfair competition from prices ‘too low’ or price gouging from prices raised ‘too high’? Who was to determine this?

“Do the bureaucrats, who seek to determine the correct price for my products, believe that have the mental capacity to determine the wants and needs of all my customers? Do they know the intricacies of the businesses I run? Do they claim to have infinite knowledge or believe themselves gods? It is a fool who believes himself a substitute for the market.” So Rate began his assault, using the vast network created by HI2U and Info Corp. to spread ads and other informational articles. And they fought back.

“Who is Rate to believe that his MONOPOLIES, which OUTSOURCE jobs are good for this country?! Where is Rate’s soul? He takes from this country and gives back what? Would you rather have a JOB or cheap goods? Our fathers always told us, ‘if you have no work, you’ll have no food’. Rate thinks he can refute this immortal advice through manipulation of the system, through clever word choice and deceptive business practices. Rate is one ‘p’ from RAPE, which is what he is doing to this country.”

Rate was the greatest man. He knew that battles did not win wars, that wars did not win ideological battles, that ideological battles subverted the truth. So he did what the entrepreneurs of the past, present, and the future do. He surrendered, in hopes that he would make it out with something left, from which he could rebuild. They attacked his savings, they split up the Iconic 7, and they jailed him for ‘tax evasion’ and ‘egregious accumulation of wealth’ – all this because he was great. Rate understood jealously, he understood greed, he understood human nature, so Rate never complained when the media asked him how he would respond once he was released from jail. He told them, “I will do what I have done and will always do. Provide my customers with the best products, my workers with the best wages, and the environment with the cleanest production facilities. The government can impose laws to prevent me from doing so, but it can’t prevent me from innovating ways around them.”

So is the story of Rate.

-biafra
bahanonu [at] alum.mit.edu

other entires to explore:

setting the record straight
02 june 2012 | short story

The sun beat down and I raised my hand to cover my eyes. It had been days, weeks, maybe even years. Who knew? I surely didn’t. Th[...]e dry sands whipped our faces, blurring our vision and making us believe we saw things. Water, chief among them. Haha, it’s funny how that most abundant always seems to be the end of us. You either drown in it or die from not having it. No one wins. Someone told me that they’d managed to survive a month without water. I don’t believe it, but guess I’m about to find out. We’d seen other things. Silver buildings that rose into the sky, it blinded us and as we got close, a sandstorm would appear and when it was gone, so was the house. It is incredible what you imagine when under stress…

A return to writing short stories, this one focuses on the surreal memories of two hapless 'heroes' and the mystery of whether they are reliving real memories or just someone's simulation.

stanford bing concert hall: first impressions
15 december 2012 | stanford

Designed by architect Richard Olcott (Ennead Architects) and sound designer Dr. Yasuhisa T[...]oyota (Nagata Acoustics), the Bing Concert Hall is stunning. Robert Campbell (Fisher Dachs Associates) was on hand during the second sound check (along with Richard and Dr. Toyota) to discuss the philosophy behind the building, a bit of history, and where they hope it will be in the future. This post is my impressions of the place along with notes from their interview.

filugori: the long tale
11 december 2011 | short story

This was originally called "Human War" and was written mostly during high school. It focused on Bi and several of his crew as the[...]y journeyed across a galaxy filled with alien races, adventure and glory. It was fun-loving, energetic and a bit schizophrenic. While I loved writing it, there were too many borrowed influences for it to be a viable story in the long term and I did a 180 when creating Filugori, which is influenced by this but is much darker.

Thick Skin
22 March 2012 | designs

People whine way too much. This poster is a response, but desguised as an advertisment for military armor. Some people didn't quite get the[...] joke.

©2006-2017 | biafra ahanonu | updated 12 december 2017
biafra ahanonu