US Flag - Distress

Evidence of Cultural Decay in the Marketplace

Since I began working for myself, I’ve noticed a trend in the development industry. A lot of people who need someone else to create their website or application built for them begin their communications by dictating the cost of the project, and stating that their terms are non-negotiable.

These people are confused.

When you need something, and you are unable to create it yourself, you have the ability to reach out to talented artists and professionals to have the thing you need created for you. You can have your product customized to meet your exacting specifications. This is amazing! It’s a luxury that we enjoy in our modern world. Anything you can dream up can be realized, for a price. That price is a decent salary for the person who sacrifices time from their life to create your dream. This is a luxury, and not an entitlement.

When you hire an artist to create a work of art for you, you pay what the artist wants. If you don’t want to pay what the artist wants, then you better pick up a brush and learn to paint for yourself. These people who seem to think the artistic world owes them something appear spoiled rotten. If you go into any company which sells a product, and try to demand they sell their product to you on your terms, you’re going to be escorted out, and they’re going to talk nasty about you behind your back.

These people are not inherently bad. They’ve had bad guidance growing up. Corporate culture has taught them that workers are slaves who’s time is not their own. They believe the workers exist to provide for the people with the money. This is 180 degrees from reality. Money exists for people with needs to compensate people with talent or skills for their time and effort. That is the only reality, and it will ever be the only reality in a capitalist society.

This is a growing problem in the minds of human beings. The rich and powerful became rich and powerful by exploiting the desperation and fear of the workforce. They tell talented workers “You will accept $10/hr for your pay, or else you’ll be homeless and hungry, because there’s 100 immigrants or college students who will do the same job for $7/hr.” What they don’t mention is that those immigrants and students could not possibly provide them the quality of product that they desire. Else they would hire them, and they’d never waste their time talking to the talented worker at all. Many of us are aware that people exist in life who will take advantage of us if given a chance, but the problem is larger than that.

Because this abuse of human trust and kindness has been going on for generations, we are seeing a change in cultural awareness. There are people growing up who are good natured, but they are completely unaware that any other system of work exists. If this trend continues, talented individuals will see less incentive to offer their services for pay. The quality of craftsmanship will be reduced, and eventually it will be impossible to buy products which are well made, or art which realizes our vision. Quality of life will suffer as a result. All will not be lost, all is never lost, but as a species we’ll have slipped several feet down the hill, and we’ll have to climb back up on ground we’ve already tread. This breaks the spirit of man. You can see from this, how such a small aspect of our cultural behavior can have devastating effects on the human world at large.

The lesson here is simple. Pay what the artist demands for their art. Stop trying to rip people off who’s talents you desire. If you don’t want to pay what they’re asking for, then learn how to do the work yourself. But keep in mind, it takes many years of dedication and passion to develop any skill to the point of being able to call one’s self a professional.

Check cart items for specific item & apply discount (WooCommerce)

I was working on a WordPress + Woocommerce store and there are special membership items, similar to a book store chain. If you buy a membership, you get a 10% discount on your purchases, including the current purchase, but only if you buy additional items.

So here is some PHP which checks your cart for the item in question, checks if there are other items in the cart, and applies the discount. If the special item is removed from the cart, the discount is removed as well.

Here is a modified version, using an array for the special items, in case you have different membership levels: