Deconstructing Capitalism | Jared Worwood | Episode 36

Deconstructing Capitalism | Jared Worwood | Episode 36

Join Kimber for a casual conversation with her little brother (and PHD student) Jared Worwood about:

  1. What is capitalism?
  2. How capitalism can be a system of oppression
  3. Some fun tangents that illustrate the intersectionality of all systems of oppression

Follow Kimber on instagram @justbeyourbadself  or join the JBYBS facebook community here for more interaction!

For guest bios, episode transcripts or to leave a review, please visit:



Kimber: Okay. Well, I'm super excited about my guest today. It's my awesome little brother, Jared. Thanks for being on the podcast today.

Jared: Thanks for having me. Thanks for having

Kimber: We, so I need to give everyone a heads up that I was talking to Jared on the phone yesterday. And I, I made him stop and I wanted to talk about something that is not his like area of expertise, but he's just like one of the smartest people in my life.

And I was like, wait, whatever we talk about, I wanna record it. So in case it's good, it's on the podcast. But even though this isn't necessarily your area of expertise, we're gonna talk about capitalism, I guess I should say that.

Jared: me. wonderful. Yeah. I feel, I, I feel like kind of, there's a, and there's a podcast that. Dak shepherd does called armchair expert.

Kimber: Yeah.

Jared: He'll just talk about whatever, I feel very much like an arm. Well, maybe even less than an arm chair expert on, on cap, especially capitalism. Right. I, I study communication specifically with families and mental health.

So this is very much outside of my realm of expertise in study

Kimber: But I gotta brag a little bit. He's like getting his PhD right now. He's gonna be Dr. Worwood pretty soon. So he's a smart guy. This just isn't necessarily his area of study, so, okay. Jared, tell me you have about capitalism.

Jared: capitalism thoughts. Well, I think giving our background, we we're both raised, I, I I think your listeners know with a pretty conservative background, very rah, like conservative, which tends to. Champion the values of capitalism and free market trade and celebrating the fact that we don't want government regulation of the market.

We think that the competition is what drives prices down and quality up simultaneously. And therefore capitalism is great, right? Because that's what it is basically there for is saying, like, get state regulation out of the market, let it be owned by private citizens and let you know innovation and value be driven by consumers, I think is like the idealized form of, of capitalism.

Kimber: Yeah, so that was way over my head. . So you gotta way dumb it down for your sister

Jared: Okay.

Kimber: because I, my, my brain fuzzed out for a second.

Jared: Yeah, you're

Kimber: again, speak a normal person,

Jared: That's I literally thought I was doing . I was like, this is the, this is the, this is what we grew up believing. And you're like, I didn't believe, I didn't know what that was.

Kimber: don't even know what you're talking about. So what did we grow up? Believing pretend I'm like 10. I can handle 10 year old. Hmm.

Jared: yeah. So I think that every we all have memories of either running a little lemonade shop on the corner or buying stuff from that. And it's that whole idea where we, we get up in arms, Right, If a policeman were to come up and say, Hey, you don't have a permit. To sell that and you know, that kind of state regulation on a bigger level. right. We, we still believe like just given the society, we're in that there's some constraints that the state can put on people who wanna sell, but that essentially the less regulation there is the better. Right. And we wanna say that like consumers and the will kind of give that value or that worth to different places where we say all the time.

Right. If you like, if someone raises their prices too high, right. That will drive you to be like, okay, is there a cheaper alternative that is just as good. So then that would drive you to there, which would make the other person selling lemonade, more expensive price, be like, oh, if I wanna capture consumers, I need to lower my

Kimber: Right.

right. I'm glad that I said speak 10 year old and you immediately went to lemonade stance, which is exactly what I can understand. I'm on board with you now. So like, yeah. If, if I wanna open a lemonade stand. I should be able to open a lemonade stand. I'm doing the work, I'm doing my advertising.

What's wrong with that. I should be able to make the money off that. And, and capitalism is it called free market enterprising? Is that a real thing?

Jared: Sounds sounds right to me, but free, free market is definitely a buzz


Kimber: armchair experts over here.

Jared: Yeah.

Kimber: but like, yeah, the market kind of determines how much money I can make and if I can make more money, then like, that's my right. I figured it out. I figured out how to cater to the market. I did the work to make the money and, and competition. If they wanna beat me out, they gotta figure it out how to beat

Jared: Like sure. Either improve the quality drive down the price, come up with some sort of innovation. Right. That's really like the ethics it's

saying. You know, the you know, we know that this is a, this is something that works because you know, people are motivated by money. And so if people are motivated by money, that means that they're going to want to either create things with better quality you know, come up with new ideas to sell it, right.

You, you very much are like this whole idea of entrepreneur is very much a capitalistic idea of like, anyone could have an idea and sell it. And if you're, if you do it just right, and if you do it strategically following whatever guidelines that are out there, anyone could become a millionaire.

And I think that is like really the driving

Kimber: American dream,

Jared: the American dream,

is based in capitalism, right? If you work hard, if you really buy into this idea that if you just do things the right?

way and work hard, you can become a billionaire millionaire. And that's, that's available to anyone that that's essentially what the promise of capitalism is.

Kimber: So I gotta get my listeners on board of why we're even talking about this. And, and it's because Jared and I talk a lot, he's like one of my favorite phone buddies. And lately, as my listeners know, I've been in this like raging feminist space. And I'm always like

Jared: Yeah.

Kimber: down with the patriarchy and lately every time we have a conversation where I'm thinking down with the patriarchy, Jared keeps saying, that's capitalism for you.

and I haven't felt up to asking him what that even means until like yesterday. And then I decided, oh, this will probably be a good conversation. So that's why we're doing it on the podcast is because maybe it's somehow related. I'm guessing it's gonna somehow go into why capitalism is a system of oppression.

Right. Maybe. Okay. So tell me about that.

Jared: Yeah. So, and, and I, I, wasn't trying to substitute patriarch or for capitalism, but there there's this belief that All, power structures kind of feed into one another and are connected because they feed off of the same principles.

Kimber: all systems of oppression have like all these underlying connections and, and the same themes. And so when I say patriarchy, saying this, this system that I've been oppressed by, right. That the one that I understand the most, but really? Yeah. There's a lot. I'm guessing. I ha I need to study it more, but I I'm on board.

I'm on

Jared: Well, I mean, I think the ties are pretty apparent just on the surface level of you, you think of the wage gap. Right. And, and, and I guess one of the biggest criticisms of capitalism is that it's not necessarily, like, we'd like to think we live in this bias, free world where people who are offering value, we can, we can mark the value of something by people's willingness to buy something.

Kimber: Mm-hmm

Jared: And that really ignores the fact of subtle manipulation, stereotyping, othering. You know, it very much feeds off of this thing where It tells us the valuable individuals are the ones with the good ideas, the ones who are working hard. And if you, and when we get deep enough into that, if you're not making money, if you're not having typical markers of financial success, then it kind of becomes the cyclical thing of like, oh, you must not be working hard enough. Oh,

you must not be having good enough ideas. Right. So


Kimber: and essentially, oh, you are not valuable. Right? I've talked about this on previous podcasts. Money is our value. Marker.

Jared: Yes.

Kimber: lot of money, then you must be you know, Jeff, Jeff Bezos. What's the, what's the car guy's name? I can't even remember

Jared: Elon Musk.

Kimber: Yeah. Thank you. Elon

Jared: That's the mm-hmm.

Kimber: are the most valuable people in our society would.

Maybe it's not that they're valuable. They're just good at, at working the system, right. Or manipulating or advertising or not that they're not valuable, but you get what I'm going. It doesn't necessarily mean the ones that work the hardest. It probably very definitely means they're not the ones that work the hardest.

Cuz they have people that work for them, right?

Jared: Right. And when you look at intersections with feminism, think about motherhood, Right.

Who gets paid to be a mother. And, and, and It's really seen as motherhood is a auxiliary function to Right. So that is where the value is, where that's kind of why we like try to treat it as this Paragon of like, this is great, but in reality you know, I've heard in


Kimber: partnership. It's our money. Right. I go to, I go to work to earn our money and it, it, and you stay home, but it, we share the money. It's ours, but that's not

that's not what it always feels

Jared: but I'm sure several, like you, several of your listeners, like.

we've all heard conversations of in the end people can threaten you with that money. Oh. But I'm the breadwinner. If I didn't work, we wouldn't have money. Right.

So it, so it can be this like really great thing when they want you to take off labor, but the Mo like, but then it is also used as leverage against

specifically women.

Kimber: not to throw my husband outta the bus but I have heard like, well, once you, once you have a job that makes more than me, which as we know with the wage gap is not an easy, not an easy fee, especially if, like, if I decided, all right Elliot, I, if you wanna be the stay at home parent I'll get a job.

But, but if the, if the deal is I have to get a job that makes more than him, I have to find it while I'm still battling, being the, the housekeeper and the, and the mom and, and the wage gap. And. And it's not it sounds logical, right? Like anytime that we've talked about it, I'm like, oh yeah, that makes sense.

Because you have the potential to make more money than me. Therefore, it's my job to, to, to be the one in charge of all the household tasks. And how do you get around that? Like how do you get around that argument? It, it, it is, I guess that's where , that's where the system of oppression comes in. Right? How do you fight

Jared: Will you say that one more time? it?

kind of cut out.

Kimber: Oh, just that, that's where this capitalism as a system of oppression comes in is, is just like sexism, just like racism, just like whatever. How it's, it's so ingrained into our thinking patterns. And sometimes we feed into it ourselves and it's hard to even break past the thought pattern of maybe, maybe there's another way.


Jared: Right? Yeah. Like how do you, I mean, essentially things of oppression or what I call hegemony our value systems And that's how they have their power. Is they color the words that we use with, with what value or what context with the connotation. Right.

Kimber: you're such a language guy, right? You are here is where you're, you're an expert in is, is how we use language because you're a

Jared: Yes

Kimber: guy. And so the system of oppress these systems of oppression are so ingrained into our so that when people say like, I don't even have the words to describe to you.

like, we don't have the words sometimes to think differently. Right?

Jared: right until, yeah. And that's something that very much I research is what happens when people are living lives or, or things happen to them. That aren't what we prescribe is like normal or part of the typical life pattern. And then how do they make sense of themselves? Right. So cuz everyone wants to justify themselves being a good parent, a good person, a hard worker, right?

Because of the society we live in, those are what we ascribe to as our ideals. And so when things in your life happen that would maybe VA like. Violate that right. You have to do a lot of communication, a lot of work to, to justify what's happened and make, and, and you, you use other value systems within your society to legitimize that.


Kimber: Mm-hmm

Jared: And so with capitalism specifically, and, and I, I think we can talk about other things as well in this, this area, but some of the things that you can see is it, it affects everything. And instead of driving up quality and driving down price, what has happened is that by individuals owning these large corporations, they're able to basically erase competition the point where then they can control and make profits that.

Because of our beliefs in, in like non regulation and everyone should be entitled to all the money they make and anti taxes, which I think there is a place for that discourse. But in the end, we are so deeply entrenched in that, that's how we get billionaires and, and in where, what they're doing.

Isn't really we like to say, oh, they have a billion dollar idea. Where in reality, what the billion dollar idea was, how can I have all these people work in ways where they feel like what I am paying them is

Kimber: Gosh,

Jared: So that I can still make billions. Right. And so that's how you have things like people living in poverty.

Kimber: let let's talk about Amazon for a minute, because this is where I'm really experienced. Right? I have a, I currently have a product that I sell on Amazon and I, soon as I can get out of that, , as soon as we sell out of that product, I am so done because everyone's familiar with Amazon. It's this, I don't even know what you call it.

Like a monster, everything Amazon has taken over. Everything

Jared: Mm-hmm I haven't been to either in years, so

Kimber: stores have closed down like big stores, not just like small businesses, which obviously super struggle, but like is JC is Sears, JC Penney, which one just recently closed down. Like

Jared: I

don't go shopping that much though. Right.

Kimber: but like these huge, like what Sears, I don't know if it was Sears that closed down. I always get that and JC Penney confused, but, but I know like they've both gotta be struggling because of Amazon they've been around forever. They do business well, but this online model is convenient and they sell everything.

And so it hurts those businesses. Then let's talk about people like me who are like, oh when I, when I started selling on Amazon, I was told like look how much money Amazon sellers collectively make, which is like millions of dollars collectively. Right. when you think about how many sellers there are, I don't

Jared: It averages out to like 10 people to every

Kimber: And, and

Jared: 3000.

Kimber: even who knows if that's even Oh, show how dumb I am right now. always get gross and net up, which is the one after fees, net profit, I think. So who knows if that's even like gross or net, because they don't calculate in how much advertising's going into that, how much shippingturing is going into that?

How much? So I, I, I went into this like thinking and I was sold this idea. Like, if you have a good idea, it's passive income, you can outsource to China, which I'm even embarrassed to admit on this podcast that I've done, because I know there are ethical issues there too, but they, they talk you through that too.

Like not all the, not all places are unethical and you just have to be careful who you source from and, and they really appreciate our business and whatever. So I get sold this idea that I can just come up with an idea, which anyone knows me, knows I am like queen of idea generating

Jared: Hm, just by your probability alone, you've probably had a few B what would typically be a Billion dollar.

idea just for how many ideas you come up with on a daily

Kimber: if I could, the, the problem is I can't stick with any of them long enough to get there.

Jared: Well, see, and right there, right there. that is a capitalistic discourse. If you would've just worked harder, Kimber, you would have money.

Kimber: Hmm.

Jared: You would've just worked harder. If you would've just stuck with it longer, you'd have money. And probably your listeners were saying, but like, Yeah, you know that, but that is capitalistic discourse.

If you would've just worked harder, if you would've just stuck with it, researched more, done, more labor, you run into the same thing with your parenting. You know, I know that everyone kind of struggles with that. If you would just read the right books, if you

Kimber: Yeah, the

Jared: thing,

if you would just work hard.

Kimber: the right food could feed 'em the right food.

Jared: Yes,

you would've been

Kimber: this is, this is your, this is again your area of expertise, right? Cuz you have, you wrote a whole thesis on, on parenting discourse.

Jared: Yes.

Kimber: And how we value ourselves as parents, based on the outcome of our kids, how our kids turn out equals our value as parents.

And you're saying capitalism is the same way that instead of how our kids turn out, it's how much money we make is how we judge our, our ourselves as people.

Jared: Capitalism is, is so outcome based that it's really hard to, to, to validate processes. Right? If you are, if you are not making money, if money is not the outcome, if success isn't the outcome, then, then the process isn't invalidated, right?

Kimber: Yeah. So, okay. So I wanna finish my Amazon journey cuz then we'll have a lot to talk about. I want, I wanna get to the end of this. So, so I I'm, I'm selling yoga mats. I try to make them eco-friendly blah, blah, blah. But you know, try to stick with my values, but capitalism, it's interesting talking to you. I'm like, oh, maybe capitalism itself.

It's not in my, not in my value system, but so I, we get these, we get these yoga mats, we ship them to Amazon. We we've invested quite a bit of money into this to start, but we we had this idea like, oh, I'm getting taught how to get passive income. And it'll all come back in spades. And then what you find out is Amazon takes a percentage given they're doing a lot of the work with workers that are getting paid crap wages right.

But we pay for that. We pay for about half half of whatever we make off our products goes to Amazon. Then Amazon, you figure out how to like get ranked, but that doesn't necessarily get sales. And so you wanna get more views on your product. So then Amazon comes back and says, oh, we'll advertise for you on our page.

When you see those sponsored ads on Amazon, the sellers are paying Amazon more money to get. More views on Amazon for their product. And that is incredibly expensive. And so, and then, yeah, shipping returns website. I have to pay Amazon a fee to just have my stuff listed on there. There's getting brand registered, getting barcodes.

There's all these things that, I mean, talk about Amazon totally had a billion dollar idea. Is it an ethical one? probably, maybe not, but they make money on every, everything they're making money on. The people buying from them. They're making people, they're making money on the people selling with them.

I would, I'm, I'm paying Amazon so much money to sell my product site. I think that's pretty much it.

Jared: if, if, if, and they're making the deliveries and if there's if something goes missing or if something's damaged, who takes the hit?

Kimber: Oh yeah. I do.

Jared: Exactly.

Kimber: I do. And when you talk about deliveries, here's the other way that Amazon's making more money. Now they're offering ad space on their boxes, their shipping boxes. So people are paying them to put ads on their boxes. I mean, really? It is what, what is it like evil genius when they have like a good idea, what do they call it?

it's like a mastermind evil genius take over the world plan. They're making money on every turn. I've so Elliot and I have been selling on Amazon for, I don't know, two years now, has it been two years now? And we. Maybe just back the money we spent on product, not necessarily the money we've spent on advertising and everything else, but we've, we've finally, I think almost the money two years and this isn't, and it wasn't passive either.

a lot more work and research and, and mental stress than I ever thought I would. And so really, it a good investment for us? I'm gonna say no, I'm gonna say no.

Jared: that, yeah, that's a great example of how we are all so quick to buy in on. If we just work hard enough, we can have the outcomes we want, but we, that is just not the truth. If you look at the statistics of financial mobility over the past decade, over the past 30 years, we have not been living in the American dream.

Like there is not a lot of economic mobility of a lot of people in lower classes, moving up to higher classes.

Kimber: and what's fascinating. And I think you and I have talked about this before that blue collar workers, the ones who honestly are, are suffering at the hands of capitalism, right? The ones who are really putting in a lot of the labor and not getting a lot of the, the pie, so to speak, they will fight tooth and nail for these capitalistic ideas and low, low taxation on millionaire, billionaires or whatever, because the idea is, but what if I get there one day, but what if I get there one day and they just dream their whole lives and they, they can't get there one day because of the system that they keep voting for.


Jared: Yeah. Yeah.

I mean, there's so much media, if this is something that you're like, like, if this is new, there's a lot of media. There's things like the, you know

what is that movie called the island where there's like this lottery system where everyone is doing this very mundane work until they. You know, maybe get drawn for this lottery and there's a whole plot point off of that, but there is a lot of me, I mean, this isn't really new.

I think it's just something that it's hard to be actionable on, on our level and at least to our beliefs. And we just kind of have accepted that a few lucky people can exit this mundane detach the grind as we call it. Right. And, but it's worth it's worth having that chance cuz if you're a million, like a billion dollars, a million a millionaire it's worth it.

And, and we sacrifice everybody to do that, right? Like, so the vast majority of people are. So, if you saw the distribution of wealth in America, it is absurd. It's if you ask people, I I've seen a few things on this and again, armchair expert here, I wish I could give you like numbers and actual articles, but I'm sure these are things you could luck up.

You know, I, it would be an interesting exercise to kind of think all right. Here's, here's where I think the distribution of wealth is the, the upper 1% has this much, the middle class has this much, the people the lower class has this much money in, in the wealth distribution, and then compare that to the real distribution and, and see how well you match up.

And I think you'll find yourself grossly miscalculating. How, how, where it's. Honestly, and I think one of the things you've kind of touched on. Is that, and, and this is something that again, I, I don't know where you are at this, but I, I remember growing up taking history classes and learning about how were hesitant to industrialize and people were against factories and people were skeptical of afford.

And the conveyor belt and people were kind of actively fighting against that. And, and I remember thinking like why that's led to so much progress. We have cars, we have iPhones. We like everyone is living these great lives and everyone has access to a TV or internet. You know, we have all this information and we're living great lives.

And yes, I think the quality of living in some ways has increased. Obviously that depends on what your definition of quality of, of living is, but disparities are worse than they've ever been. And it's this whole term of like separating the worker from the means of production. If you, if you were building cars, right?

If you, if you went think about how much it costs to buy something handmade, right. Either an instrument or if you were if you knew that product's worth because you built every component of it and you knew the work that put into it, you, you would know the worth of that product you would sell.

You know, there would be that whole thing, but what what the conveyor belts the industrialists have done is people go to work and maybe they make one. This is like the example. I think we hear all the time, you make one

Kimber: Hmm.

Jared: on one door of a car. And you're like, okay, I do that for eight hours a day.

And then I go home and I just do this one thing. And that screw really is only worth maybe 20 cents. So I'm actually getting a good deal, cuz I'm getting paid this much money, but because you don't really have an idea of the actual worth of that vehicle, you. You are willing to be paid less for your time and you have no idea what your time is actually worth.

And that is kind of what capitalism has done and, and not necessarily capitalism as much as the people manipulating the system within it to exploit labor and to make people feel like their time is worth is worth less than it actually is.

Kimber: Hmm. That's so fascinating. So you've said to me like,

okay, let me go here. So I've been taking a lot of business classes trying to get into this, like, because, because that's the new buzzword I could become an entrepreneur, we just have experienced what they've termed the great resignation. Right. And I don't know how much of it is part of this, but I know for me, it's like, why would I go back to my public school, teaching job, making $40,000 a year with benefits, but it's exhausting work.

It is exhausting work and it, in a lot of ways, it's. I dunno, it's a very much, I don't wanna go into teaching. Let's not get, let's not get into there, but anyways, why would I go

Jared: nother.

Kimber: that's a whole nother thing. Why would I go back to. Public school for $40,000 a year when I could potentially make a million dollars or a six, a six figure year as an entrepreneur.

And this isn't where I wanna go actually, but we're gonna put that in there anyways. I, first of all, I have not, I have not made even my teacher's wage as an entrepreneur. Let's just put that out there. I've been trying to do this for a few years, and luckily I have a husband that does have a nine to five that supports us.

I have not made the money that I thought I would make as an entrepreneur. And like you're saying, I keep thinking, well, if I could just figure out the right formula, just work the right way. I, it must be something wrong with me. I must be doing something wrong. So that's, that's thought, number one, that's not where I wanted to go though.

in this journey becoming an entrepreneur, I've been taking a lot of classes and this is what they keep saying, because.

One hurdle that a lot of entrepreneurs try to overcome is this is what people term like the money mindset, how you think about money, right? And there's a lot of good and bad connotations surrounding money. You know, money is evil. Money is manipulative or money is good. So in all my entrepreneur classes, they always talk about like, look at all the good that you can do when you have a lot of money.

you don't have a lot of money, the amount of influence you have over the world is like not a, and once again, can't really argue with that. Very much people that have a lot of money do tend to be influential. And so they try to help you overcome like this money mindset with like, yeah, you need to make money.

We know you're goodhearted, good people, but you need to make a lot of money if you really wanna have the effect you wanna have on the world. So just, I wanted to bring that up because you told me other the other day that you can't fight the systems. You say it, cuz I'm gonna mess it up.

Jared: who originally said it, but

Kimber: I'll Google it right now.

Jared: So it's

Kimber: I'll type it in

Jared: you can't dismantle the master's house with the master's tools.

Kimber: it is Audrey Lord, I

Jared: Audrey Lord.



Kimber: So what does that mean? Because I just barely did a post talking about how, if you want to the only way to overcome up these systems of oppression is by partially pleasing the system, it feels like the only way you can do it is by using the master's tools.

Jared: That is correct. So, I think one it's important to note context, she was talking about patriarchy and she was saying that we can't use the tools of patriarchy namely competition different things to dismantle patriarchy. We have to use feminist tools, love, empathy, those sorts of things. Right? So that was the context that was said in, but it's something that I think has been kind of coined in terms, because it is really you might be making a difference with money, you're not dismantling capitalism with money.

You're not doing that, right. It's not saying you can't do good work with the master's tools. It's saying, Hmm, you, mm, you, you, you just, can't take down those things. Cause those are the things


Kimber: of the system. You're

Jared: the reason that money has power is because of capitalism. And if you're trying to use money to take down capitalism, it's a paradox and it, it, it just won't work.

Cuz the only reason that has power is because of the system.

that it gets the power.

Kimber: I'm a little scared to go here, is the next step is okay. So what if capitalism? Isn't it? What?

Jared: Well, I was talking to my girlfriend about not bringing some of these things up. Yeah.

Kimber: you have to bring it up. You have to bring it up, right?

Jared: To a degree you have to

Kimber: socialism is that it.

Jared: Marxism all of the filthy buzzwords.

Um, but.

Kimber: because we are in such a well they're filthy for a lot of reasons, but, but those are the things that would dismantle the capitalist ideals that we swim in. Plus we haven't seen a lot of great models for those.

Jared: Very few. and, and and so I, I would say that we need to take steps to reimagine things outside of those systems of beliefs where we could take the values we like, but just, just like, we don't live in a purely, we don't live in a pure, like we don't live in a pure capitalist society.

Kimber: Hmm.

Jared: We have public school, we have public systems.

And by that alone means that it's not a purely capitalist award, like news. There's a lot of socialist policies that everyone kind of on board with. I mean, obviously you can see people fighting against public schools and

Kimber: Libraries fire stations of these life saving community things. okay. Before, I guess before we even get there, though, let's back up a little bit. What's wrong with capitalism?

Jared: by solely valuing things on money and allowing people to. Exploit the labors of others you begin to have, not only we, we talk, everyone is probably comfortable with the idea of like, if there's gonna be winners, there's gonna be losers. But I think everyone is kind of out of touch with the, the degree to which people are making money and the degree to which people are in poverty and suffering where there is you like to talk about I wanna make money so I can make a difference.

Well, look at the people, making a lot of money. And what portion of that are they actually using to make a difference? And what portion are they actually even using? A lot of the money people make is just sitting in trust. Funds is just gathering more wealth, right? That is what most wealth is used for is to gather more wealth.

And it's not really put this whole idea of trickle down economics is w would be great. if there was anything left over at the top to trickle down, there's not, it's just put right back into the system of making money. And then we do corporate bailouts and these different things.

We put more money cuz we're like, oh no things aren't trickling down. We need to, we the answer must be add more water when reality, there's just, there's these things at the top that are just sucking all of it up and very intentionally making sure that it doesn't trickle down. I don't know. You know, we like to talk about Scrooge and, and how, what made him, so Matt wasn't that his love of money, but his love of money to the degree that he wasn't sharing with other people and putting it to good work.

And that's very much symbolic of people at the top where I, I don't know very many people who make a lot of money who are just like, I want to give it all away.

Kimber: right. And even at the bottom, this is why I, I even brought up this conversation yesterday in the first place is I told jar yesterday. I was like, I had this epiphany, had this huge aha moment yesterday where I have been, I mean, my listeners know, I pretty much talk about everything on this podcast. I've been in some dark places.

Like I've struggled with some depression some anxiety, and I've been trying to work on this

Jared: Yeah.

Kimber: do retreats, do my Amazon thing, do all, this whole entrepreneur thing, working my butt off, not making money, just working my butt off. Thinking one day I'll get the money and then I'll be able to live my life.

One day, I'll get the money. And then I'll have this abundant life full of all the things I wanna spend time on. And, and yesterday, I don't even know why it happened to come to my mind, but I, all of a sudden thought I'm using money as an excuse to block abundance from my life. could spend time with my family for free.

I could go on a high, like this beautiful hike for free. Like most of the things that I value in my life, like really value don't cost money. I mean, past, past what you need to just survive, which I guess is another thing we could talk about actually in this country, what we think we need to survive. But, but, but what the point I'm trying to make is sometimes we get caught in this wheel of like, oh, we have to earn, we have to earn.

Enjoying our life. And the way we earn that is by earning money so that then we can take a vacation or then we can do this one thing. And, and we're taught through social media and advertising. This goes back to my very first podcast episode of like, you're not enough. You're not enough. You're not enough.

You don't have enough money. You don't have the right car. You don't have the fancy vacation. And because we wanna show our families and ourselves or whatever that we are enough, we value them. If we feel like we have to make the money to spend on these things, that the capitalist system is telling us that we should value.

And, and what ends up happening is we work our whole lives away, not making the money that we think we're going to. And then the things that we actually could spend time on that would bring joy and abundance into our life. Don't don't come, which is depressing.

Jared: Yeah, no, you're completely right. I think that It's a, it's a fine line of straddling because this is the belief system, because this is what our society's built in. You do have to participate like it or not as much as I wanna run off to like the woods and live by myself to a degree, that's an option.

But in the end, no, I don't really wanna do that. I like, I like my computer. I like my phone I like these different things. So there is like a fine line of like, okay, what kind of things do you have to kind of compromise on to, to survive the system, but it, and it makes it hard, but you, you do need to kind of like reality check yourself of being like, all Right.

are these actually adding value to my life value to my interactions, with things that I actually care about, or we have this idea that because our work gives us value.

I think it's so interesting when people don't take paid time off or vacation days when in reality that's. You know, one of those things that's motivating them to, to work is that vacation time, but we don't wanna be seen as lazy. We don't want to be seen as like people who aren't contributing to society. right.

We have that whole narrative of like, I wanna raise my children to contribute to society very much entrenched in that. So it's definitely a fine line. You have Toru straddle of, of how much money do you need to survive and live the life you wanna live. But to the degree that you're not sacrificing things of greater value to you.

Kimber: Right. I, I just was thinking of my friend, I, have a friend named Nick day from college. He's a musician and he wrote this song and there's a line in it. That's like something about, I, I, I wish I wish we lived in a third world country and we didn't have any money. And we could just appreciate the little things kind of, and I remember the first time I heard that song, it's a really catchy song.

I'll link to it in the show notes. Cause this is a really catchy song. But I remember hearing that and thinking like, I didn't have the words, speaking of words, we didn't have in our language. I didn't have the words white privilege at the time. but I think that's kind of like the sentiment I had in my mind was like, eh, I don't think you really get what you're saying with that, but.

I went and I lived in Thailand for a few months working at a children's home, which my white privilege is gonna show a little bit here too. But what I'm trying to say is is something to not feeling the pressure of living like the Joneses, right? I, I, I slept on a wood P I, I took a cold shower every day.

I was blessed to even have a shower. And, and what I thought was like a really sketchy shack to live in was actually a nice place that I was living in. And after a few weeks, I totally adjusted to that. there were things I

Jared: Yeah. And you know, economic imperialism is

Kimber: about that we worry about here. When people talk about the third world problems or not third, the first world that, that we struggle with.

It really is a totally different value system. It's more about. Being alive and are your kids healthy? And do you have food on the table at night? And you know, how awesome the weather is and not so much about, oh, I don't have the right paint color on my wall. I mean, I'm one to talk. I'm trying to get Elliot to build me like a little podcast office, you know?

And, and that's like this big thing when it's really like, I don't know. Capitalist values are everywhere. I guess. That's what I'm trying to say.

Jared: Where. like to think the age of like conquering country in the current context, obviously, maybe we're not past the era of conquering countries for land, but very much economic imperialism, as in like, and you know, all sorts of imperialism is very much alive and well of countries, value systems trying to take over

and influence well, take over and influence other countries.

Kimber: So give me gimme an example of that or, or, or even a, just a made up example.

Jared: Well you've lived abroad. We I'm sure. Did people know what America was? What, what were people's responses to you when they found out you were American?

Kimber: Well those, like, I don't know, they always wanted to show off that they could speak English and do the peace sign and

Jared: they know American pop culture?

Kimber: not where I not okay. Let's be honest. Do I know American pop culture they might have? And I would've been the worst person in the world to talk to about it.

Jared: But, but they, but like

I would, by and large you go to a foreign country, they know who Michael Jackson is, Michael. Like they know

like famous people, famous songs, you listen to radio. And although there's some how many, how

Kimber: teaching music and they wanted to, they wanted to learn how to sing. Bad romance by lady Gaga. Yeah.

Jared: exactly Yeah.

Pop culture. Right. So like, think about how many times this year, have you heard a song in Thai or a song from Thailand

Kimber: Zero.

Jared: seen a movie that was made in Thailand?

Kimber: I mean, Ryan, the last dragon was based in

Jared: What was it made in Thailand? Was it was it, did it have people from Thailand maybe of decent maybe adjacent, but the money the marketing, the audience. Not tie people. right, And so that's, that's what imperialism looks like, man, we're getting into a lot of things today, but that is what imperialism looks like in the modern day.

is that

Kimber: sounds like it's very tied in with cultural appropriation, right? Maybe

Jared: yes. Yes. And that's appropriate.

Kimber: let's just talk about

Jared: Yeah. I'm like, well yeah. And it's, and it's almost more than appropriation, cuz I think that's kind of lost to a degree it's it's what's called commodification where we've, where not only are we pumping out our culture, our music, our values to other countries, but we're going out there and we're saying like, oh

Kimber: good idea. Let's

use it to make money.

Jared: Exactly. And

it loses cultural significance, right? Something something that is made in Thailand that is bought by a type person that, that is specific to Thailand probably has a different value than that thing. That same thing made in America bought by an American, even if it's like exactly the same in its makeup, the, the value and the meaning behind that completely changes.

And because America is a city of consumer or a city, a country of consumerism and expression and individualism, a lot of those things become like cheaply made or, or just kind of taken for granted where they are things full of meaning in other countries. You know, I think a lot of your listenership is probably familiar with garments.

Right. Imagine if someone came in and

was like, oh,

Kimber: for those of you who aren't that's the no, I have to explain it.

Jared: I can, I can.

Kimber: thank you. Take it, Jared.

Jared: In the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, there's a very sacred type of clothing referred to as the garments, which goes underneath the clothing and should be worn at all times for protection. It has special symbols and different things like that, that carry a lot of meaning and are protected.

Very, can only be purchased in certain places, by certain people in certain standing within the

religion. Right. Very, very rich with, with meaning. But imagine if someone came in and said, oh, I kind of like these symbols, these are kind of trendy. Oh, like these kind of breathe well. Oh. You know, like for different reasons really enjoy the clothing and they're like, I'm gonna take this back.

I'm gonna I'm going to go and sell garments in Indianapolis as this way of keeping coal or keeping warm in the winter and having these kind of cool trendy symbols, you know

Kimber: but okay.

Jared: Yeah. Obviously, for some reasons that's just not possibility, but you could see how the meaning behind what a garment is completely changes.

And I would say it's to the majority of membership in the church of Jesus Christ. So latter saints, extremely offensive. And not that that happens in every case of commodification, that's something that sacred is, is taken so trivial, but that on a micro scale is happening all the time. Right.

You know, like we, we have all these different things that the only value for us is that they're fun or they're, they're cute. Or they they're comfortable where we, we forget that the cultural value, or we don't even know what the cultural value behind these things are. And that is what capitalism, how that commodification is a very key part of like, oh, like what if I mass produced.

These very these hand, these handmade things that are really pretty that people like, what if I mass produce them? And obviously with mass production quality goes down design all these things, you drive down all the, the importance and then the value of that thing is now driven down.

So it's, it's very much a symptom of capitalism is this a cultural world, this, this world that the only culture is, is consumption and entertainment.

Kimber: How do you, so this is enlightening yet very frustration, frustrating to have, because I mean, you're the perfect person to have it with because you are a straight white, CIS male living in MI living in this capitalistic society. Right? You, you feel on probably even more intense level.

What I feel about like, so what am I , what am I supposed to do? Like, am I just a horrible person? what I do now, because I live in this system, what, what do we do?

Jared: I think it comes back to what you were saying about, I wanna make money so that I can make a difference. Right. And I think because of globalization we wanna think of the only valuable contribution we can make to the world as something that changes the world. Where in reality for the majority, the vast majority of the human existence, people making a difference was on the smallest of scales and, and, and there was nothing wrong with that, right?

Kimber: That's why there's so many of us

Jared: Yeah. Luckily yeah.

Kimber: that we can, you're like, that's a whole nother of conversation.

Jared: very much trying to take on the world here, but no. So I think you just kind of have to as, as trite and as, and as cliche as it sounds really you, you, you just need to, to say I might live in a globalized space where I feel to make a difference or to be known, I have to become viral or be a celebrity or make all this money to have influence.

But in reality, humans were not made to do that. That's not part, I mean, maybe it's part of our social evolution, that feeling that we need to, but, but physically our bodies, aren't probably meant to do that. Energy level. We're probably look at how many celebrities crumble, because it's, they're living this, this wild life where everyone knows them and everyone loves them, but does anyone really know them?

And does anyone really love them? Like. Kind of dicey, right. People come up with all that stuff happens on the world stage where we think that's we, we have that. We even have a job called like influencer, Right.

where it's like, I have 5,000 followers on Instagram. How wild does that?

you know, we consider 5,000 followers on Instagram, probably kind of small, you can in comparison to like the really, truly successful Instagram followers. But think about even even 20 years ago, think about 20 years ago. If you, you could communicate to 5,000 people on a daily basis,

Kimber: Mm-hmm

Jared: how crazy that is.

So I would say that my takeaway is look at what truly has value in your life. Look at. What you truly wanna do? You know, I'm not saying you can't make a difference in the world, but, but understand that the size of the difference that you wanna make in the world comes at a cost

Kimber: Hm.

Jared: of times comes at a cost of the things you value and can be counterproductive and, and, and just make sure that your own personal choices are in line with your value system.

And obviously the people that you probably care most about, whether that be like close friends, family you know, people in your care, whoever that might be. But that I think is humans. I think that is the human condition more than anything is that we have the ability to, to make changes within the people that we care the most about.

And we're not meant to care about the hoards of people

Kimber: Hm.

Jared: that we might have access to.

Kimber: Yeah,

Yeah, it's just one

Jared: I

Kimber: marketing

Jared: thing to realize is that especially in Utah, we have a very condescending or. Funny relationship with, with multilevel marketing where people were like, oh, you you, you, you drank the Kool-Aid, you, you, you were told that you could make all this money from home to give yourself value.

It'd be passive. You would just be doing something you wanted, but you'd still have time to do everything else you wanted. We're all in that system. We're all in that system. That is what capitalism is. And so,

Kimber: system.

Jared: yeah. Right. Think about the same narratives exist, right? Where people say really the only people that make money in multi-level marketing

are like the one person that's the top and maybe the 10 people below them, and everybody else is fighting for scraps. And anything they make is like doubled by the people above them.

And the only way you can like move up is by getting is by duping more people into making less than you

Kimber: Mm.

Jared: we're we're all in that system.

So it's, It's a matter of just

Kimber: It's capitalism is just one giant pyramid

Jared: yeah.

essentially we were, I mean, I hesitate because I just there, there are things that capital capitalism has given us that I'm very grateful for and removed from society that I'm very grateful for. But I also know it comes at a cost that it's also given a separate problems that I'm not grateful for.

And so I think as I've learned more about this, and as it's come more into my sphere, it's about very intentionally being like, okay, we've come this far. It was good for these reasons. need to continue to change it and modify it so that it can continue to serve our needs and address the problems we're seeing.

Right. That's why when you're saying, oh, the only way to Bantle it with socialism or Marxism, those are alternatives. Obviously we've seen some of those crash and burn. Not probably cuz they're any worse than capitalism, but because they were probably less


Kimber: and corruption. No.

Jared: I mean talk to anybody Democrat or Republican, they still think there's corruption in capitalism.


Kimber: Oh yeah,


Jared: it's, it's just a matter of like how much people are willing to buy into the system and capitalism very much weaponizes, people's not weaponizes but utilizes people's greed love of power to, to run the system and that's pretty sustainable. So think at this point, it's just a matter of reimagining alternatives and making changes wherever your sphere of influence is.

And that's nothing new, but hopefully that helps people feel less existential dread about, we need to fix the country. It's like, Yeah.

But how that happens is by. Changing or, or, or identifying what really matters And then voting that way, treating other people that way, having those conversations and, and we do shift and human nature in human society shifts slowly in certain cases.

And this is one of those things that is

that we're gonna.

Kimber: everyone just needs to kind of it's we're, we're going through a huge learning process. All of us, right. That's that's what this podcast is in a nutshell is me deconstructing a lot of stuff that I thought was like the one way, the right way, even now, like, even now with my own Instagram and, and other things that I've put out I'm reevaluating, like, is this actually.

What I wanna be doing is this actually what brings my life value? And it is a long process. You're not gonna come away from this podcast episode being like, oh, like I wanna, I know exactly what I value and how to, to work that in my life. But it should, I'm hoping that this will feel like a relief.

It's I'm, I'm glad I talked to you, Jared, cuz it's like, especially when you started talking about like maybe humans aren't meant to have be communicating with 50,000 people a day. Like makes a lot of sense. And that feels like a huge relief to me because I think part of, well, I know like they have statistics that show how much anxiety these things that we value.

Right, right. Our

Jared: Mm-hmm

Kimber: this social media spheres, and always being public with everything we're doing and it we're getting more depressed, we're getting more anxious. And if we could maybe have the permission that. Hey, maybe there's another way. maybe it's okay to step away from all that. And you're still a good person.

If you don't have over a thousand, 10,000, whatever your number is in your head followers on whatever and what brings your life value. Right? What, okay. I know we're like at an hour, but I have one more thing. I gotta bring into this conversation, even though we've had like 10 takeaways that we've talked about everything.

Jared: Yeah.

Kimber: So I, I have a business coach, of capitalism and all of that, whatever. And,

Jared: people are making money of on you making money

on like, yeah.

Kimber: the money is right now is all of the people that are like, oh, the only way to make money is to tell other people you can help them make money. That that's a whole nother thing. Anyways, I do have a business coach.

She's amazing. I really love her. She actually will be, or already has been, I I've released podcast episodes, whatever I feel like. So she I've recorded an episode with her Al already, just an amazing person, but she was, she was teaching me. I was trying to get help with this podcast because I I've been really overwhelmed with all the steps that go into putting it out.

And we were going we, she taught me something called value stream mapping, where the idea is that doesn't bring direct value to listeners in this case is a waste of my time. Not that some of those, it's not that none of those wastes are, are not necessary. Some things I have to do, but the goal is to eliminate as much as possible.

That is not bringing direct value to, to my customers. And, and after that whole conversation with her, which was really helpful for, for my podcast, also I realized like don't live our lives this way. We do so much in our lives that don't bring us value. There's so much waste there. And it's kind of, and maybe that's where this whole idea of, of money, maybe not being the only source of value in my life came from, is this talk with Tara realizing like everything that I'm spending time on is not bringing me value.

I have a lot of wasted my life right now, and I, I wanna eliminate that and do more things that are bringing my life direct value. And that might not be being on social media or working so hard, doing things I hate to make money so that then I can have value in my life. Right. That's all. That could all be wasted time that you could use doing something you really love singing or getting together with family or, or a phone call or, or whatever.

And I don't know, I don't know if that's related, but I just

felt like I should say it.

Jared: yeah, I think that that's a good takeaway of being like, we need to look outside of money for, for value. There needs to be other things that make us feel like it's worthwhile money because that would probably drive you nuts. But I think also another thing that I would reemphasize is just living in that space where.

Things things don't even necessarily have to have value to be worthwhile. Right. like you know, I mean, maybe that sounds paradoxical to what we've been talking about, but I think it, it would be remiss of me not to talk about our drive for values, our drive, to be to do everything, to make it feel like we're living a worthy life without understanding how sometimes that makes shapes the way we see other people.

Right. And because of that, that can dehumanize other people. If we see them as either a waste of our time or not valuable to whatever goals

so I guess, to nuance or take away yes. You know, very much take a look at your values very


Kimber: This is, the first like half hour takeaway this

Jared: Yeah. I'm just like telling everyone do this. I just I think at the end of the day, my hope is that we can, on one hand know what we value and pursue that. And then on the other hand, be okay with not having that. In ways of where life, life is, is uncertain all the time and things don't make sense.

And so much of our effort is to try to make it make sense and. I would just


Kimber: Buddhist, I, this Buddhist idea of just accept what is right.

Jared: exactly, exactly. So I don't know how we got there from capitalism, but I just wanna

acknowledge that our value system. Isn't perfect. And it's always in refinement.