REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

Corporations are Evil

POSTED BY: WULFENSTAR
UPDATED: Sunday, April 29, 2012 08:37
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012 11:44 AM

WULFENSTAR

http://youtu.be/VUnGTXRxGHg


or not.

The idea that a man, or a woman, can find a job which secures their financial future is not dead.

Its just been hijacked by the idea that everyone DESERVES a job, wealth, healthcare, a house, all debts paid...

But the belief that you have to actually have some sort of ability to secure these things still lives on.

Because in the end, nothing is free. The best car is the one you worked hard for, and earned. The best life is the one you worked hard for, and earned.

Yes, there are many (oh so many, especially on the internet...) who fall to the left of the scale. But, for the rest, you MUST leave open the chance to get ahead. If not, why bother?


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012 1:23 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Corporations are generally founded around the idea of keeping others (corporations AND people) from having any chance to get ahead. They must, by necessity, grow, keep growing, devour any possible competitors, and keep striving to become monopolies, squashing any dissent or competition, because that's how "success" is measured for a corporation.

If you think for a second that your Mom-n-Pop shop is allowed to play by the same rules as WalMart, you're sadly mistaken, woefully uninformed, stupid, or outright lying, both to yourself and to others.



"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012 3:52 PM

CHRISISALL


Mike, nothing changes for some. Look how the social, economic, military & climatic changes do nothing to renew a mindset. Wulf means well, most peeps here do. But the middle is neglected for the fringes. Extremes only freeze or burn you. Trick of it is makin' an extreme seem like a comfort. A trick political pundits have mastered, clearly.

Chrisisall, wearing a frilly Mal thing on his head, and ready to shoot unarmed, full-body armoured Operatives

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Thursday, April 19, 2012 4:14 AM

FREMDFIRMA



Ya know that little "Humans are a Virus" speech in The Matrix right ?
Well, right sentiment, wrong target - humans can and have lived in harmony with nature before, so have their cultures, have and will again, mind I didn't say it was too common, but there it is.

You know what behaves even MORE like a Virus ?
A Corporation.
And even then they're more a symptom than a cause, due to a philosophy that's essentially a giant scam, based on a lie - Capitalism.

Because Capitalism rests on the foundation of the idea that you can put ten marbles into a box, and get eleven back out - and you can, sort of, IF THEY DON"T HAVE TO BE *YOUR* MARBLES.
Ponzi writ large, three card monte on a grand scale - and all the rest, ALL of the rest, fractional reserve banking, fiat money, tax loopholes, what have you, is all just window dressing, the magicians hand-fake and patter so you don't notice their other hand taking value out of your pocket and putting it in theirs... and sure, they let a few slip away with more than they came, to keep up the show, in the same fashion a panhandler "primes the pump" by throwing a handful of change into the bowl themselves to keep the illusion going.

And it *IS* an illusion, even more so in the form of a Corporation because the intent behind one is to TAKE value, without GIVING value - sorry, I don't buy that someone who figures out new ways to fuck people over, to lie to them, to weasel out of offering anything while taking everything, has VALUE.
If anything, it's the other way around.

And worse, they and their theory do not add value, they destroy it, cause where does that stolen value GO ?
Worthless things, wars, politics, exploitation and means to steal more value!
Sure, a little bit for so-called "charity" but shit that's just moving it around, cut it out of the pittance of taxes they pay and move it into the pockets of a corporate "charity" where most of the 'expenses' are the posh parties and high salaries of other corporate motherfuckers with a different mask on, is all.

Just like how a bank arbitrarily "creates" the money for a mortage loan on their balance sheet out of thin air, any "value" these pricks offer is purely illusory, a nice chunk of electroplated lead for your silver coins - sure it LOOKS like a fair exchange and a benefit, but when you realize the truth, you've gotten screwed, yes ?

The Story of the 11th Round
http://www.lietaer.com/2010/09/the-story-of-the-11th-round/

Billions for Bankers--Debts for the People
http://liberty-tree.ca/research/Billions.for.the.Bankers

And Reposted in full with express and explicit permission.

THE ELEVENTH MARBLE
Quote:

THE ELEVENTH MARBLE

by Michael Rivero

Any five-year old child knows that if you put ten marbles into a tin can, you can only take ten marbles back out. No amount of wishful thinking, dreaming, or praying, will yield that eleventh marble from inside that can. That eleventh marble does not exist. It never did, and it never will. All discussions about the eleventh marble are the product of imagination. The eleventh marble is a fantasy.

Private central bankers issuing the public currency as interest-bearing loans operate on the belief that they can put ten marbles (dollars) into a tin can (the world) and magically get 11 marbles back out. Thus, we may conclude that the bankers are dumber than five-year old children! But unlike five-year old children, the bankers will take your home, your business, and your nation when they don't get that eleventh marble! The spoiled child may cry and throw a tantrum, but that will be the end of their upset. The spoiled banker, however, in his or her arrogant rage that they cannot have the eleventh marble their imagination says must still be in that tin can, may start a war before they will admit that eleventh marble was never really there.

Economies are like tin cans. Before you can take a marble out, you must have put a marble in. Nobody can give you a marble that does not exist, yet this simple reality is lost to the priests of that fantastic religion called banking in that unholiest of temples called the IMF. Their religious doctrine seems to be that there must always be an eleventh marble inside the tin can, and that the tin can unfairly withholds that eleventh marble, indeed cheats them of their right to the eleventh marble, purely out of spite. That faith in the existence of the eleventh marble, unseen and improvable, is the article of faith the religion of banking rests on. It is far easier to burn the heretics than to question the dogma.

Today we see the bankers, having already retrieved their ten marbles from the tin can, flogging the world for that missing eleventh marble. Greece does not have that eleventh marble, so they turn to Germany and ask, "Do you have an eleventh marble", and Germany replies, "Sorry, but the bankers already took the ten marbles they put in our tin can, and we are searching for an eleventh marble ourselves. Try the Americans." The Americans, of course, have only just surrendered the last of their ten marbles back to the bankers and are looking under seat cushions for that missing eleventh marble nobody seems able to find.

But the eleventh marble will never be found. After all that mayhem brought down on the tin can there still will be no eleventh marble. It does not exist. It never did, and it never will.

The problem with all modern reserve banking systems is that the moment the first bank note goes into circulation as the proceed of a loan at interest, more money is owed to the banks than actually exists. Ten marbles have been put into the tin can, but the bankers see 11 marbles owed back to them. Sooner or later the non-existence of that eleventh marble will create a crisis of faith. People will stop believing in the religion called private central banking, and that crisis of faith will bring the system crashing down, as did the Temple of Baal in ancient times when the Syrians saw through the priests' trickery. This evil magic of creating money out of debt was a fraud all along, as fraudulent and silly as the idea that one can put ten marbles into a tin can, and take out eleven.

In ages to come economists will look back at this failed experiment in debt-based currency, and dump it into the same category of human folly as Tulip mania, The Nation of Poyais, Credit Mobilier, the Great South Seas Company, and Mortgage-Backed Securities.



Essentially, Usury is the root of this evil.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usury

And that is ANOTHER reason, besides the dickheaded behavior, lack of a sense of humor, and religious intolerance of fanatic Islam, that the western Capitalists want them dead.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_banking
One reason WHY my preferred Credit Union isn't rapacious, exploitive or untrustworthy is their connection to U-Bank aka University Bank over in Ann Arbor, which is run on those very principles, and services their mortgage dept, as well as many other Credit Unions - they don't go lookin for eleven marbles, and bank their hopes (pun intended) on stupid ass, proven-wrong fantasies.

Anyhow, it's all a scam and a sham, from the instant more value is owed than actually exists, they didn't CREATE any value, but they sure as hell destroy it - cancer on society, a virus plaguing humanity.

-Frem

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Thursday, April 19, 2012 9:39 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Corporations reflect the people whom run them. Some are good and look to help and some are not and only look for profits. To lump all corporations into a single group is naive at best, at worst it is dishonest. Corporations come in all shapes and sizes. Those Mom and Pop stores that people like to talk about may very well be small corporations.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012 2:25 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by FREMDFIRMA:
it's all a scam and a sham, from the instant more value is owed than actually exists, they didn't CREATE any value, but they sure as hell destroy it - cancer on society, a virus plaguing humanity.


Never seen this problem framed more perfectly. Thanks, Frem.

Chrisisall, wearing a frilly Mal thing on his head, and ready to shoot unarmed, full-body armoured Operatives

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Thursday, April 19, 2012 4:52 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Corporation do NOT reflect "the people who run them". They reflect the laws and political realities of the day. A corporate owner who likes to reduce pollution, pay his workers more, and build quality products will soon find himself out of market share, and vulnerable to being eaten... er, bought up... by more ruthless competitors. In the laws as we have set up, the system rewards sociopathy and nice guys really do finish last. Has nothing at all to do with personal ethics or personality. Please, get that into your mind-set.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012 5:31 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
the system rewards sociopathy and nice guys really do finish last.

"Take what you can, give nothin' back!" - a pirate thing...

Chrisisall, wearing a frilly Mal thing on his head, and ready to shoot unarmed, full-body armoured Operatives

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Friday, April 20, 2012 2:00 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Corporation do NOT reflect "the people who run them". They reflect the laws and political realities of the day. A corporate owner who likes to reduce pollution, pay his workers more, and build quality products will soon find himself out of market share, and vulnerable to being eaten... er, bought up... by more ruthless competitors. In the laws as we have set up, the system rewards sociopathy and nice guys really do finish last. Has nothing at all to do with personal ethics or personality. Please, get that into your mind-set.



Ben & Jerry's, Google, Adobe all do those things and are still in the markets. Many top corporations do very well while treating their employees very well and looking to help the communities they are in. So I don't what to get what you are saying into my mind-set, because it is simply not true.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Friday, April 20, 2012 5:23 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Not to mention Lucas (yeah, him again, but he's a specific example I know about). From a "Lucasfilm Employee Review":
Quote:

Pros

-Engaging and encouraging work environment
-What you do will be viewed/played by millions of people
-Your job actually makes a huge impact in the world
-Fantastic co-workers
-Access to coolest parties

Cons

-Highly challenging tasks, working in the top of the line company in the entertainment industry, your work has to be of best quality possible, and sometimes that can be very challenging when there's a huge time limit.

Advice to Senior Management

Nothing much, I received timely feedback and very constructive criticism, I felt like part of the team and they recognize me for the work I've done. I had a fantastic time working there/ http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-Lucasfilm-RVW1453367.
htm
it comes to the environment, he's done a great job of keeping his Lucas Valley development land-friendly. I mentioned the recent hassles when he wanted to expand and add Gracy Ranch--well, they've decided not to, and the whole county is up in arms. From a local newspaper:
Quote:

County supervisors want the billionaire filmmaker to reconsider his decision to abandon plans for a digital movie-making complex at Grady Ranch, with one elected leader saying the county could join with him to repel any lawsuit filed by neighbors, and another saying she is willing to approve the project without restrictions.

The extraordinary pledges from Supervisors Steve Kinsey and Judy Arnold came as an emotional firestorm of shock and outrage erupted across Marin after Lucas announced he was pulling the plug despite years of effort. Many blamed neighborhood "not in my backyard" foes rallied by the Lucas Valley Estates Homeowners Association.
Quote:

"We plan to sell the Grady property, expecting that the land will revert back to its original use for residential housing," Lucasfilm said in an announcement. "We hope we will be able to find a developer who will be interested in low-income housing since it is scarce in Marin. If everyone feels that housing is less impactful on the land, then we are hoping that people who need it the most will benefit."
Kinsey, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, dispatched a letter to Lucasfilm representatives expressing "shock and sadness" at the abrupt decision to abandon the project in light of fierce neighborhood opposition and regulatory delays.
.....
Kinsey told the Independent Journal that the county board remains ready to approve the project. "If we cannot get the project back on track, future proposals for this property will never achieve the environmental or economic contributions of the Lucasfilm project," he said. "While affordable housing is needed throughout the county, the best use of this land remains the Lucasfilm proposal."

The IJ received emails from people across the county -- and the nation -- expressing dismay at the turn of events.

San Anselmo contractor Bill Lehrke called the situation "a very sad and dark day for Marin" since the project represented a "brilliant use of the land" that would provide hundreds of jobs and create a low carbon footprint. "This is the worst example of NIMBYism I have ever witnessed. Instead of this wonderful and thoughtfully designed project, let's develop this space into a few hundred low-income homes," Lehrke said. "And think of the new shopping center that could be built on the St. Vincent property nearby, with big box stores to service their needs." http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_20381002/marin-rallies-rev
ive-lucasfilm-movie-studio-plans
] Board members universally praised Lucasfilm's strong track record of environmental stewardship, excellent design, quality jobs, and civic generosity. http://sananselmofairfax.patch.com/articles/supervisors-issue-statemen
t-over-lucasfilm-withdrawal
the NIMBYs are getting their way, which is a shame. Lucas has done a lot in Marin which has enhanced the environment, setting aside a large portion of his Skywalker facility to protected open space, hiking trails and environmental restoration. Now we'll lose that (and worse, possibly see it replaced with more development, traffic, etc.:
Quote:

He wanted to build a striking 260,000-square-foot mission-style building that was designed to be mostly hidden from view of passersby on Lucas Valley Road and his neighbors. He proposed setting aside most of the acreage as open space and spending more than $50 million to restore the creeks that run through the old dairy ranch. Those environmental benefits are now in jeopardy. http://www.marinij.com/opinion/ci_20427835/editorial-furor-over-george
-lucas-grady-ranch-project
also made many contributions to the community and nation at large. Through his educational foundation:
Quote:

The George Lucas Educational Foundation is dedicated to improving the K-12 learning process by using digital media to document, disseminate, and advocate for innovative, replicable strategies that prepare students to thrive in their future education, careers, and adult lives.
He also supports many charities, including

Artists for a New South Africa
BID 2 BEAT AIDS
Edutopia - The George Lucas Educational Foundation
Film Foundation
Make-A-Wish Foundation
Racing for Kids
Stand Up to Cancer

Admittedly Lucas is the guiding hand for anything his corporations do, but nonetheless, there ARE corporations who are environmentally-friendly, treat their employees well and contribute to the community. So I'd say it's also up to the community what corporations they support or whether they'd rather have a tax base and the jobs, regardless of the conscience or lack thereof of the corporation.

I think good corporations are possible, but it relies on the ethics of those who run them. Sadly, a corporation with good ethics is more the exception than the rule; profit drives most corporations, especially big ones.



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Friday, April 20, 2012 5:51 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Ben & Jerry's, Google, Adobe all do those things and are still in the markets.


Ben & Jerry's was bought up by by Unilever in 2000. Some of the things they tout in their "social responsibility" statement, such as cage-free eggs, were mandated by governments (EU) first before they became corporate policy, so altho they they do some good things voluntarily (and with caveats) some of their other policies were forced on them.

Google. Yeesh. Ever since their IPO, they have gone from a force for good to a force for evil. Have you read their "privacy* policy" yet? (*That's Orwell-speak for "intrusion policy". Don't bother. What it says it that they will collect all the information they can on you from any platform available - Android, google search, gmail, youtube etc), even if you're not logged into their system. So your gmail content will effect your google search results and your Android experience. A google search, for example, will be identified by geographic location, operating system, and browser). See how that works HERE

http://donttrack.us/

Adobe. Not much info on Adobe. I know they've worked hard to build a monopoly by giving away their reader for free, but charging for the writer. I'll look into it.
Adobe.

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Friday, April 20, 2012 7:06 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:

Ben & Jerry's was bought up by by Unilever in 2000. Some of the things they tout in their "social responsibility" statement, such as cage-free eggs, were mandated by governments (EU) first before they became corporate policy, so altho they they do some good things voluntarily (and with caveats) some of their other policies were forced on them.



So they have done some good things, including paying all their employees at minimum a living wage.

Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Google. Yeesh. Ever since their IPO, they have gone from a force for good to a force for evil. Have you read their "privacy* policy" yet? (*That's Orwell-speak for "intrusion policy". Don't bother. What it says it that they will collect all the information they can on you from any platform available - Android, google search, gmail, youtube etc), even if you're not logged into their system. So your gmail content will effect your google search results and your Android experience. A google search, for example, will be identified by geographic location, operating system, and browser). See how that works HERE



Collecting information is a big part of how the company makes money. If you don't like what is in their privacy policy don't use their services. Even with this they still treat their employees remarkably well.

Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Adobe. Not much info on Adobe. I know they've worked hard to build a monopoly by giving away their reader for free, but charging for the writer. I'll look into it.
Adobe.



Yes they charge for the writer, not all companies can give all their products away for free, infact most can't. Abobe, like the others, treats their employees very well.

I just want you to understand that corporations can in fact treat their employees well and do good works and still be profitable.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Friday, April 20, 2012 7:28 AM

STORYMARK


I think I see an SAT analogy coming on.

Sig is to Corporations what Frem is to _______

(answer: schools)

"Goram it kid, let's frak this thing and go home! Engage!"

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Friday, April 20, 2012 7:35 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

including paying all their employees at minimum a living wage.
So they pay the minimum (mandated) wage? How is different from... say... any other corporation?

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Friday, April 20, 2012 8:20 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

including paying all their employees at minimum a living wage.
So they pay the minimum (mandated) wage? How is different from... say... any other corporation?



No, they don't pay the minimum wage they pay the living wage.

"Living wage and minimum wage are two different things. Living wage is defined by the wage that needs to be met that can meet the basic needs to maintain a safe decent standard of living the their community and have the ability to save for future needs and goals."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_wage

"Ben & Jerry’s commitment to economic justice starts with our employees. That’s why we are committed to paying all of our full-time manufacturing workers a livable wage – enough to allow for a quality of life that includes decent housing, health care, transportation, food, recreation, savings, and miscellaneous expenses.

Every year, we recalculate the livable wage to make sure it’s keeping up with the actual cost of living in Vermont. In recent years, Ben & Jerry’s livable wage has been nearly twice the national minimum wage, landing at $13.94 in 2009."

http://www.benjerry.com/activism/peace-and-justice/livable-wage/

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Friday, April 20, 2012 8:26 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Good.

Nonetheless, the usual corporate drive is toward higher profit, lower wages and/or more automation and/or oversees production, cheaper products with shorter lifespans, and maximum market share (monopolism). Ben & Jerry's will never be more than a niche player in a Walmart world.

The game, overall, is rigged. All you have to do is read the business section to figure that out.

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Friday, April 20, 2012 8:52 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


I agree, Story. ;o)

Then again, I'm not that hot on them myself, given ALEC and how many (most?) of our large corporations behave...



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Friday, April 20, 2012 8:53 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Good.

Nonetheless, the usual corporate drive is toward higher profit, lower wages and/or more automation and/or oversees production, cheaper products with shorter lifespans, and maximum market share (monopolism). Ben & Jerry's will never be more than a niche player in a Walmart world.

The game, overall, is rigged. All you have to do is read the business section to figure that out.



You are doing very much what Rappy and Wolf do all the time, throw out facts and simply restate your belief.

Ben & Jerry's will remain a niche player, that is bad how? If nothing else it shows that not all corporations are going to look to maximize profits and dominate the market as you believe.

Then you have Google, and Adobe. I'm not saying they are perfect, but they are not evil corporations by any stretch. They do treat their employees well and do so because they want to.

Reading the business section you should also see that many large corporations are moving back to the US because they are figuring out that using lower wage workers and turning out lower quality products is not working. Yes that is about the bottom line for them, but it shows that sometimes you can get farther ahead if you treat you employees well.

In the end it is greed and shortsightedness on the part of some corporations far more then the rules of the game. It is only some corporations, because not all corporations are created equal.


I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Friday, April 20, 2012 9:05 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:
many large corporations are moving back to the US because they are figuring out that using lower wage workers and turning out lower quality products is not working.

Can you name a few...? Really- not being sarcastic here.

Chrisisall, wearing a frilly Mal thing on his head, and ready to shoot unarmed, full-body armoured Operatives

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Friday, April 20, 2012 9:44 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:
many large corporations are moving back to the US because they are figuring out that using lower wage workers and turning out lower quality products is not working.

Can you name a few...? Really- not being sarcastic here.

Chrisisall, wearing a frilly Mal thing on his head, and ready to shoot unarmed, full-body armoured Operatives



Not a problem, here are some links.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2012/01/29/u-s--manuf
acturing-making-comeback.html


http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/06/29/why-we-left-our-factories-in
-china
/

http://www.qualitydigest.com/inside/quality-insider-article/new-chines
e-export-jobs.html
#

Companies in Catipillar, GE, NCR and others.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Friday, April 20, 2012 10:25 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:

Not a problem, here are some links.


Thanks dude. Good news is good to read! 2 - 3 million jobs is nothing to sneeze at.

Chrisisall, wearing a frilly Mal thing on his head, and ready to shoot unarmed, full-body armoured Operatives

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Saturday, April 21, 2012 3:11 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by m52nickerson:
Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Corporation do NOT reflect "the people who run them". They reflect the laws and political realities of the day. A corporate owner who likes to reduce pollution, pay his workers more, and build quality products will soon find himself out of market share, and vulnerable to being eaten... er, bought up... by more ruthless competitors. In the laws as we have set up, the system rewards sociopathy and nice guys really do finish last. Has nothing at all to do with personal ethics or personality. Please, get that into your mind-set.



Ben & Jerry's, Google, Adobe all do those things and are still in the markets. Many top corporations do very well while treating their employees very well and looking to help the communities they are in. So I don't what to get what you are saying into my mind-set, because it is simply not true.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.



Having gone down this road with SignyM many times, I think it's time to sit back with the popcorn and watch.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012 6:02 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Having gone down this road with SignyM many times, I think it's time to sit back with the popcorn and watch.
A wise decision. As I recall, your point was somewhat different; we were discussing the inherent trend of capitalism to monopolism, and you brought up about five thriving businesses which were doing well: Ben & Jerry's, Burt's Bees, and others I don't remember now, as examples of how medium-sized businesses can do well and maintain their place in the economic ecology. So I looked them up, and lo and behold they had ALL been bought up by bigger corporations. As I recall, you pretty much got your ass handed to you. Better stick with the popcorn.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012 6:27 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Nick, I've been pretty busy lately, so I may not be able to answer right away, but I do think your point deserves an answer.

WHY does it matter that nice corporations will only ever maintain a niche presence? Because that means that most people most of the time will experience a Walmart existence: where you can work for less than a living wage and buy cheap goods which even poorer people made. And since only the relatively well-off can avail themselves of socially responsible products, the middle class and down have almost no choice at all.

I'm not saying there are "no" nice businesses. But "nice" businesses are like charity... they do not represent the driving force of capitalism. They exist DESPITE capitalism, not because of it. There is only one legal duty that a corporation has towards its stockholders: a fiduciary duty. In other words, a corporation is only LEGALLY obligated to derive the highest possible return to its investors. Every activity which reduces profit- from reducing pollution to producing wholesome products to paying workers "more"- is imposed by government regulation. Americans went through this already in the late 1800s and early 1900s; read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (unregulated meatpacking). You can even see this is China today where tainted milk and contaminated products are common.

Looking at this another way, since you seem to think that corporations can be "nice", let me propose a question: How do you think that (over time) "nice" corporations will become more common? Do you believe there is a mechanism in the market which encourages "nice" corporations?

-------------

One more point: You said that top corporations can be nice to both their workers and the community they live in, and named Ben & Jerry's, Google and Adobe. Ben & Jerry's is not a "top" corporation, it's a subsidiary of Unilever. So look up Unilever- that would be more representative. Google USED TO be nice, before their IPO. They've since turned into the evil empire; their new privacy policy is an example of how they've changed (long story, but I'll detail that if you want). Facebook, BTW, has bought into the latest internet privacy intrusion CISPA.
www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/after-denouncing-sopa-and-pipa-how-can-fac
ebook-support-cispa/11700



I still need to look up Adobe. As for jobs coming back home, they are not the jobs that left. These new jobs are highly automated, and will re-employ less than half of the previous job losses, and at lower wages. This is NOT an example of "niceness" at work- you didn't even read your links, as they say so right in the articles.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012 8:15 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Don't confuse corporations with publicly traded companies. Not all corporations are publicly traded and have to answer to stockholder or can be bought by larger companies. Even publicly traded corporations can prevent takeovers and stockholder interference if they choose to. Some even have business plans which state how they will treat employees and handle salaries so investors know this ahead of time.

Yes Ben & Jerry's are now a subsidiary of Unilever, but they maintain their own board of directors and continue to operate as they have in the past.

Google is not an evil empire. They put out a very clear privacy policy. If people don't like how they collect and use information people do not have to use their products and services. Plus that has nothing to do with how Google treats it's employees.



I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012 9:33 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Well, your point was that a corporation could do well by its employees AND its community. (AND it's customers too?) One out of two (or three) doesn't make your point.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012 9:38 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


I don't think a corporation has to do all three or even two of them to be good. That is not saying that doing just one will get you in that category. Obviously if a corporation treats its employees well but screws over customers I would not consider them good.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012 1:03 PM

HKCAVALIER


Hey, what's a Wolfenstar thread without a video to watch???

There's here's another look at the "11th Marble" principle.



HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012 5:41 PM

FREMDFIRMA



Well yeah, it's like playing high stakes poker, and whenever you lose, you get to take your money back from the other players, essentially - and cause of the way the laws on this shit are written, the other players (that bein us) aren't ALLOWED to bid against you, just each other.

Seriously, hangin is too good for em.

-F

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Saturday, April 21, 2012 6:03 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


So Mack, it seems that your statement is that some corporations do some good things for some people. In other words, most screw people over. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, is it?

Also, what Frem said.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012 12:45 PM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
So Mack, it seems that your statement is that some corporations do some good things for some people. In other words, most screw people over. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, is it?

Also, what Frem said.



No, not "most screw people over". It not like a corporations is good or bad and no where in between.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Monday, April 23, 2012 10:27 AM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


I'd say some corporations are evil, its easier to be an evil corporation than to be a good one, but even in this there are some shades of gray, some are kind of good and some are kind of evil.

Also how are we defining a corporation, for instance how many locations does a family business have to have before its considered a corporation in this thread?

I assume you're my pal until you let me know otherwise.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya.

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Monday, April 23, 2012 10:56 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


MAC: Corporations are evil. Name three for-profit corporations that manage to produce low-cost reliable products while paying decent wages to a large workforce and giving back to the community at large (in other words, not screwing over Guatemalan workers). I dare you. But I guarantee you will not find any.

Corporations exist to make a profit. In other words, people with money (investors) put ten marbles into the box and expect to get back 11. That extra marble has to come from SOMEWHERE. It it either winkled out of the pockets of customers (ever seen the markup on Apple products?), or gets inveigled out of foreign countries, or is taken out of the hide of workers or the unemployed, or it comes from the government, or (even worse) it comes from banks who themselves are looking for that 11th marble. SOME corporations manage to do well by their current employees because they have automated heavily and shifted the cost of their operations onto the unemployment rolls, and SOME manage to strip the skin offa foreign workers, but by their very nature there is NO corporation that doesn't attempt to raise revenues and cut costs one way or another.

None.

If you don't understand that, then you don't understand capitalism, and you don't understand how profit works. All economic theory since Marx has been trying to figure out how to keep capitalism from regularly crashing and burning because of that 11th marble problem. So far, they haven't done a very good job figuring it out.

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Monday, April 23, 2012 6:19 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


This is a very long but very careful analysis of banking.

TONY, when I saw this I thought of you! You too FREM!


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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 1:44 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
MAC: Corporations are evil. Name three for-profit corporations that manage to produce low-cost reliable products while paying decent wages to a large workforce and giving back to the community at large (in other words, not screwing over Guatemalan workers). I dare you. But I guarantee you will not find any.

Corporations exist to make a profit. In other words, people with money (investors) put ten marbles into the box and expect to get back 11. That extra marble has to come from SOMEWHERE. It it either winkled out of the pockets of customers (ever seen the markup on Apple products?), or gets inveigled out of foreign countries, or is taken out of the hide of workers or the unemployed, or it comes from the government, or (even worse) it comes from banks who themselves are looking for that 11th marble. SOME corporations manage to do well by their current employees because they have automated heavily and shifted the cost of their operations onto the unemployment rolls, and SOME manage to strip the skin offa foreign workers, but by their very nature there is NO corporation that doesn't attempt to raise revenues and cut costs one way or another.

None.

If you don't understand that, then you don't understand capitalism, and you don't understand how profit works. All economic theory since Marx has been trying to figure out how to keep capitalism from regularly crashing and burning because of that 11th marble problem. So far, they haven't done a very good job figuring it out.



Toyota, Procter & Gamble, Burt's bees.

Oh, and the 11th marble problem has to do with banks and interest, not buisness profits. Yes, investors expect a return. There is nothing wrong with that. I'm pretty sure those investors know that such a return will come from people buying products or services from the company they invested in, and that money will be more then the buisness spent to make the product or provide the service.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 2:26 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
As I recall, you pretty much got your ass handed to you.



Yeah. Your recall does always seem to have a good editor.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 4:17 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Quote:

I'm not saying there are "no" nice businesses. But "nice" businesses are like charity... they do not represent the driving force of capitalism. They exist DESPITE capitalism, not because of it. There is only one legal duty that a corporation has towards its stockholders: a fiduciary duty. In other words, a corporation is only LEGALLY obligated to derive the highest possible return to its investors. Every activity which reduces profit- from reducing pollution to producing wholesome products to paying workers "more"- is imposed by government regulation. Americans went through this already in the late 1800s and early 1900s; read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (unregulated meatpacking). You can even see this is China today where tainted milk and contaminated products are common.
I'm afraid, sadly, that I believe that is the rule more than the exception, too. Also that it's gotten worse over the course of our history, and that legislators have made it EASIER for it to get worse, too. Tho' I'm not as rabid as Sig on the subject of corporations, I'm very sad to admit I'm not far behind her.



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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 5:15 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Toyota, Procter & Gamble, Burt's bees
Burt's Bees is not a corporation. Burt's Bees was bought out by Clorox. The inception of Burt's Bees as part of Clorox started out dirty
Quote:

But not even Clorox can sanitize the details of a fallout between Mr. Shavitz and Ms. Quimby that began in the late 1990s — when Ms. Quimby managed to buy out the bee-man for a low, six-figure sum. She has been paid more than $300 million for her stake in Burt’s Bees, and she spends her time traveling, refurbishing fancy homes in Florida and preserving large tracts of land in Maine. Burt himself, now 72, makes his home again in the converted turkey coop — expanded but without running water or electricity — but with $4 million or so to his name.
The founder of the company- Burt- was cheated out of what was rightfully his.
www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/business/06bees.html?pagewanted=all

Now, I can tell you a thing or two about Clorox... they are not nearly as green as they pretend to be. In their guise as Kingsford-Clorox, they took an air pollution regulatory agency through a $25 million lawsuit, hoping to bury it in litigation, over their charcoal lighter fluid.

Toyota. It's labor practices are not so squeaky clean. Toyota imports a large number of immigrant laborers and does the whole captive-labor-force thing of low wages and abusive practices. I started hearing about this almost 10 years ago, and I'm sure it was going on even before then.

Quote:

The National Labor Committee on Wednesday issued a 65-page report, "The Toyota You Don't Know," which accuses the Japanese automaker of using "low-wage temps" to build the popular Toyota Prius. The report also alleged that Toyota has "ties to Burmese dictators" through the Toyota Tsusho Corporation. "Toyota's much admired 'Just in Time' auto parts supply chain is riddled with sweatshop abuse, including the trafficking of foreign guest workers, mostly from China and Vietnam to Japan, who are stripped of their passports and often forced to work — including at subcontract plants supplying Toyota — 16 hours a day, seven days a week, while being paid less than half the legal minimum wage," the group said in a statement.

www.insideline.com/toyota/toyota-looking-into-allegations-of-human-tra
fficking-and-sweatshop-abuses.html


Proctor & Gamble does all the usual corporate stuff too.

The only thing you can say about these corporations is that they have GREAT PR!
--------------------
Quote:

Oh, and the 11th marble problem has to do with banks and interest, not buisness profits.
As far as the 11th marble problem, that's not restricted to banks. "Bank interest" is merely a subset of the larger phenomenon of "corporate profit". In both cases, 10 marbles are fronted by investors who want to get 11 marbles out. The only difference between "profit" and "interest" is that banks can legally create money. In other words, "money" is the bank's product, as opposed to "soap" or "automobiles". Other than that, sequestering money into fewer and fewer hands has the same corrosive effect on the broad economy, no matter if it's called "profit" or "interest".

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 6:06 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Yeah. Your recall does always seem to have a good editor.
You sure you want to go down this road? 'Cause we done this before too (RE: our numerous "interventions" around the world, in service to dictators everywhere) and you didn't come out looking so great there either. Let me know if you really want to me to dig up those quotes on all of those medium-sized businesses that turned out to be subsidiaries. But, if you want a refresher, just look at the info I posted (above) about Burt's Bees, because that was one of your examples (as well as Ben & Jerry's) and I gave you the same info then as I did now. Funny how you forgot.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 6:42 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Burt's Bees is not a corporation. Burt's Bees was bought out by Clorox. The inception of Burt's Bees as part of Clorox started out dirty
Quote:

But not even Clorox can sanitize the details of a fallout between Mr. Shavitz and Ms. Quimby that began in the late 1990s — when Ms. Quimby managed to buy out the bee-man for a low, six-figure sum. She has been paid more than $300 million for her stake in Burt’s Bees, and she spends her time traveling, refurbishing fancy homes in Florida and preserving large tracts of land in Maine. Burt himself, now 72, makes his home again in the converted turkey coop — expanded but without running water or electricity — but with $4 million or so to his name.
The founder of the company- Burt- was cheated out of what was rightfully his.
www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/business/06bees.html?pagewanted=all

Now, I can tell you a thing or two about Clorox... they are not nearly as green as they pretend to be. In their guise as Kingsford-Clorox, they took an air pollution regulatory agency through a $25 million lawsuit, hoping to bury it in litigation, over their charcoal lighter fluid.



Burt's Bees was incorporated in 1991. Ms. Quimby bought Shavitz's third of the corporation from him. She did not force him out or anything. That was a bad decision by the man, nothing else.

Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Toyota. It's labor practices are not so squeaky clean. Toyota imports a large number of immigrant laborers and does the whole captive-labor-force thing of low wages and abusive practices. I started hearing about this almost 10 years ago, and I'm sure it was going on even before then.



Subcontracted plants and suppliers, if you want to look at these depts it will appear that everyone company and person is evil as we can find things they buy that are not made ethicly.

Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Proctor & Gamble does all the usual corporate stuff too.

The only thing you can say about these corporations is that they have GREAT PR!



You say that like corporate stuff is bad. Remember even a mon and pop courner store can be incorporated. Now I'm sure you can find some report or claim for any company I put up, but that is a far shift from all corporations are evil. By that definition all people are evil as well because you can always find some transgressions.


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
As far as the 11th marble problem, that's not restricted to banks. "Bank interest" is merely a subset of the larger phenomenon of "corporate profit". In both cases, 10 marbles are fronted by investors who want to get 11 marbles out. The only difference between "profit" and "interest" is that banks can legally create money. In other words, "money" is the bank's product, as opposed to "soap" or "automobiles". Other than that the sequestering of money from the broad economy into fewer hands has the same corrosive effect on the broad economy.



Leaning money, producing soap or automobiles all make money, or more apply produce a profit. The whole problem with the 11th marbel argument is that unlike the argument the world can produce more marbels. That is how any economy works. Even if you take away profits, a company still makes products that are worth more the the sum of their parts. That extra value comes from labor. Also when banks loan to people they do so because more often then not the 11th marbel will be there in the end. People work and get paid and add those extra mabels.

In the end it is not that the banks take the 11th mabel, or even the 12th. The problem is that they then keep them and begin horde them.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 6:45 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

Yeah. Your recall does always seem to have a good editor.
You sure you want to go down this road? 'Cause we done this before too (RE: our numerous "interventions" around the world, in service to dictators everywhere) and you didn't come out looking so great there either. Let me know if you really want to me to dig up those quotes on all of those medium-sized businesses that turned out to be subsidiaries. But, if you want a refresher, just look at the info I posted (above) about Burt's Bees, because that was one of your examples (as well as Ben & Jerry's) and I gave you the same info then as I did now. Funny how you forgot.



Thing is neither of those companies being bought by larger ones support your claim that they coudl not survive. Neither company was struggling or bought out in a take over. In both cases that ownership saw an oppritunity to make a truck load of money and took it. Not all companies have gone down that road.

Oh, and for a mediunm size corporation that is not owned by a larger one try Racetrac. They don't even have shareholders because they are not a publicly tradded company.

Also here is a nice place to find a number of privatly owned corporations that might fit the medium and small bill.

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/21/biz_privates07_Americas-Largest-Pr
ivate-Companies-Grocery-Stores_4Rank.html


I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 7:47 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Burt's Bees was incorporated in 1991. Ms. Quimby bought Shavitz's third of the corporation from him. She did not force him out or anything. That was a bad decision by the man, nothing else.
And no response to.... "Now, I can tell you a thing or two about Clorox... they are not nearly as green as they pretend to be. In their guise as Kingsford-Clorox, they took an air pollution regulatory agency through a $25 million lawsuit, hoping to bury it in litigation, over their charcoal lighter fluid."

Quote:

Subcontracted plants and suppliers, if you want to look at these depts it will appear that everyone company and person is evil as we can find things they buy that are not made ethicly.
That kinda was my point. Perhaps you didn't see it? It went like this: ...It it either winkled out of the pockets of customers (ever seen the markup on Apple products?), or gets inveigled out of foreign countries, or is taken out of the hide of workers or the unemployed, or it comes from the government, or (even worse) it comes from banks who themselves are looking for that 11th marble. SOME corporations manage to do well by their current employees because they have automated heavily and shifted the cost of their operations onto the unemployment rolls, and SOME manage to strip the skin offa foreign workers, but by their very nature there is NO corporation that doesn't attempt to raise revenues and cut costs one way or another. None."

Quote:

You say that like corporate stuff is bad. Remember even a mon and pop courner store can be incorporated. Now I'm sure you can find some report or claim for any company I put up, but that is a far shift from all corporations are evil. By that definition all people are evil as well because you can always find some transgressions.
I am saying that corporations which have investors MUST create a profit for their money-men one way or another and are, by their nature, evil.

Quote:

Leaning money, producing soap or automobiles all make money, or more apply produce a profit. The whole problem with the 11th marbel argument is that unlike the argument the world can produce more marbels. That is how any economy works. Even if you take away profits, a company still makes products that are worth more the the sum of their parts. That extra value comes from labor.
Indeed. And the workers are not paid for the FULL value that they add to a product. Hmmm.... I think I said that already. ...It it either winkled out of the pockets of customers (ever seen the markup on Apple products?), or gets inveigled out of foreign countries, or is taken out of the hide of workers or the unemployed.

I think the difference between you and me, MAC, is that you think that ripping people off is OK.
--------------

ANd as for stepping in for GEEZER:
Quote:

Thing is neither of those companies being bought by larger ones support your claim that they coudl not survive. Neither company was struggling or bought out in a take over. In both cases that ownership saw an oppritunity to make a truck load of money and took it. Not all companies have gone down that road.
This was part of a larger argument of which you have no knowledge. I got to that point through a discussion with Geezer where I said that moderate-sized businesses which do well are vulnerable to being bought up once they get market share.


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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 9:09 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
And no response to.... "Now, I can tell you a thing or two about Clorox... they are not nearly as green as they pretend to be. In their guise as Kingsford-Clorox, they took an air pollution regulatory agency through a $25 million lawsuit, hoping to bury it in litigation, over their charcoal lighter fluid."



That makes them evil how? Regulations and regulators are not perfect. Plus I was not talking about Kingsford-Clorox.


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
That kinda was my point. Perhaps you didn't see it? It went like this: ...It it either winkled out of the pockets of customers (ever seen the markup on Apple products?), or gets inveigled out of foreign countries, or is taken out of the hide of workers or the unemployed, or it comes from the government, or (even worse) it comes from banks who themselves are looking for that 11th marble. SOME corporations manage to do well by their current employees because they have automated heavily and shifted the cost of their operations onto the unemployment rolls, and SOME manage to strip the skin offa foreign workers, but by their very nature there is NO corporation that doesn't attempt to raise revenues and cut costs one way or another. None."



Yes, businesses try and cut cost and raise revenues...all businesses. If just doing that makes them evil in your eyes then you are correct, and being totally absurd. Customers choose to pay to get certain products. If apple can make have a huge mark up and still sell things good for them. It does not make them evil. Some corporations have in fact done the things you claim, but not all of them. You still ignore my Google example thinking they are evil because they are honest about how they collect information. I gave links about business that are moving back to the US and increasing their costs to make better quality products. Plus still have not heard anything regarding Adobe.

Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
I am saying that corporations which have investors MUST create a profit for their money-men one way or another and are, by their nature, evil.



So why is it just public companies since all businesses must create profits to stay in business?

Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Indeed. And the workers are not paid for the FULL value that they add to a product. Hmmm.... I think I said that already. ...It it either winkled out of the pockets of customers (ever seen the markup on Apple products?), or gets inveigled out of foreign countries, or is taken out of the hide of workers or the unemployed.

I think the difference between you and me, MAC, is that you think that ripping people off is OK.



Are the workers getting full value that they are adding to the product, that depends on the product and what they are making. If a product's materials are valued at X but the assembled product is valued at 10X it does not mean that the person who assembled it added 9X by himself, there is more to the business then that.

Now the difference between you and I, kid, is that I have at least some idea about how the real world works, for the good and the bad. If someone chooses to buy an Apple Product at a 300% markup and is happy with that purchase, and the device does as promised he did not get ripped off. If a person is lent money and honestly explained how much it will cost them and how the interest works, they are not getting ripped off. If a person is offered a job at a fair rate of pay and chooses to accept that job, again they are not being ripped off.
--------------

Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
ANd as for stepping in for GEEZER: This was part of a larger argument of which you have no knowledge. I got to that point through a discussion with Geezer where I said that moderate-sized businesses which do well are vulnerable to being bought up once they get market share.



It seems that your premise is wrong; I just gave you a list that shows that.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 7:14 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


MAC, this discussion seems to have strayed into triviality, so to recap:

Your initial point was that corporate behavior reflects the ethics of the people at the top. That some corporations do nice things.

So I turn around and say... not so. Every for-profit corporation has to return a profit to its investors, which involves screwing somebody over somehow.

Now, in the process of disagreeing with me, you AGREE with me. You said
Quote:

Yes, businesses try and cut cost and raise revenues...all businesses. If just doing that makes them evil in your eyes then you are correct... since all businesses must create profits to stay in business
In essence, what you have just said is that the ethics of the owners really DON'T MATTER MUCH, since ALL businesses have to return a profit.

It seems to me that you don't know what you're saying because you've contradicted yourself on this point (and others)within your own posts. So maybe you'd like to clarify what you're trying to say. For example, if all corporations have to return a profit, exactly WHAT ethics do you think a CEO or President can impose on corporate behavior?






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Wednesday, April 25, 2012 9:24 AM

M52NICKERSON

DALEK!


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
MAC, this discussion seems to have strayed into triviality, so to recap:

Your initial point was that corporate behavior reflects the ethics of the people at the top. That some corporations do nice things.

So I turn around and say... not so. Every for-profit corporation has to return a profit to its investors, which involves screwing somebody over somehow.

Now, in the process of disagreeing with me, you AGREE with me. You said
Quote:

Yes, businesses try and cut cost and raise revenues...all businesses. If just doing that makes them evil in your eyes then you are correct... since all businesses must create profits to stay in business
In essence, what you have just said is that the ethics of the owners really DON'T MATTER MUCH, since ALL businesses have to return a profit.

It seems to me that you don't know what you're saying because you've contradicted yourself on this point (and others)within your own posts. So maybe you'd like to clarify what you're trying to say. For example, if all corporations have to return a profit, exactly WHAT ethics do you think a CEO or President can impose on corporate behavior?




Simple that you can make a profit and still be ethical. Some companies could boost profits by cutting employee benifits, by not doing thing environmental friedly, ect. Others choose to do those thing, to try and be ethical and good and forgo making as much profit as they could.

Not to mention that profits are what corporations use to give back in the way of charitable donations and projects.

You seem to think that a corporation can't be ethical and make a profit, that is simply wrong. So there is no contridiction in what I'm saying.

I do not fear God, I fear the ignorance of man.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012 5:02 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Sorry for the long delay. I've been busy at work and my PC went on the fritz.

You said:
Quote:

...you can make a profit and still be ethical. Some companies could boost profits by cutting employee benifits, by not doing thing environmental friedly, ect. Others choose to do those thing, to try and be ethical and good and forgo making as much profit as they could.
What I get out of that is it's OK to make a profit, but at some point- I'm not sure where- it's no longer ethical it's evil.

Where is that line between ethical and unethical profit? Apparently you don't mind companies marking up their products 600%, as they do at Microsoft, Apple and Nike.
Quote:

Customers choose to pay to get certain products. If apple can make have a huge mark up and still sell things good for them.
What if the company has a monopoly, or companies enter into a cartel arrangement, and the price is not limited by competition? What happens if you are selling a necessity, like food, and those who can't pay your price will die? Are high markups ethical at that point?

Quote:

Are the workers getting full value that they are adding to the product, that depends on the product and what they are making. If a product's materials are valued at X but the assembled product is valued at 10X it does not mean that the person who assembled it added 9X by himself, there is more to the business then that.
This is a silly argument. Yes, there is more than production. There is shipping, warehousing, and retailing. But all of those expenses entail paying people for their labor... you pay the captain and the crew, you pay for the ship (built by people), you pay for the ship's fuel (drilled, pumped and refined by people), the electricity for the store (ditto), crane operators and truck drivers, forklift drivers and delivery guys, sales clerks, accountants, web designers, schedulers, and so forth. But if you sum up ALL the labor combined into a product, "profit" necessarily is the difference between what you pay your workers and what you sell your product for. In aggregate, workers cannot buy back everything they have made. That deficiency, repeated with each production and sale, is what eliminates demand and drives the economy down.

But, we were talking about ethics, and not the genesis of the business cycle. So getting back to the ethics of how much you pay your workforce... I recall that you made an argument that if the labor contract was entered into "freely" it was ethical. But what would you say if a manufacturer got people to sign onto starvation wages... wages on which people would literally starve to death (altho more slowly than they would starve to death on the street), just because it could? Would you say that was ethical? Or evil?

I'm just trying to find out where YOUR line is between ethical profits and evil profits.

Quote:

Not to mention that profits are what corporations use to give back in the way of charitable donations and projects.
Those donations are tax deductions, and MOST of those charities and projects are disguised business promotions or investments. For example, when you give your product away "for free" to schools, you get kids acclimatized to your products.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012 5:58 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Quote:

What I get out of that is it's OK to make a profit, but at some point- I'm not sure where- it's no longer ethical it's evil.
I don't get that, for me it's more "it's OK to make a profit, but at some point you have to decide how MUCH profit is ethical if you make a huge profit by screwing your employees and the country". There's profit and then there's profit. How much does a company have to make, if it means doing bad things?
Quote:

What if the company has a monopoly, or companies enter into a cartel arrangement, and the price is not limited by competition? What happens if you are selling a necessity , like food, and those who can't pay your price will die? Are high markups ethical at that point?
A valid point, and that's part of where we are today.
Quote:

I'm just trying to find out where YOUR line is between ethical profits and evil profits.
Speaking for myself, the line is where enormous profits are made by delibeartely screwing over the employees who make the profit and the country which makes the profits possible in the first place. A company, if it provides a good product, can make a profit; when the company gets greedy enough to ignore ethics, they're making too much. Simplistic, I know, but it's my opinion. The point where it becomes evil is, for me, when the desireto make just as much profit as possible through unethical means outweighs any consideration of everything else.

I suppose mostly I agree with you, maybe I just don't see it as all black or white. Time was there were more shades of grey; that's become less and less so, and the government has been as much an enabler in that as anything else.



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Saturday, April 28, 2012 6:43 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


I don't know that much about Alcoa in other respects, I'm sure there are bad things about it too, but here's one example of ethical behavior enhancing profit:
Quote:

In the 1880s, Charles Martin Hall, Alcoa’s founder, invented the smelting of aluminum, a lightweight and highly conductive material that is easy to work with. A century later, neither the process nor the company had changed all that much. Take 4 tons of bauxite-rich dirt, refine it into 2 tons of alumina powder, smelt that down into a ton of aluminum ingots, then on to can sheets. From these, you can make 60,000 Pepsi cans, or seven Audi car frames, or planes or boats -- whatever the customer wants.

The most recent major aluminum product innovation -- the beverage can -- came back in the 1960s. By the 1980s, the aluminum business was in decline, thanks partly to trade barriers, the growth of manufacturing in developing countries, volatile ore prices and new synthetic substitutes like laminates and composites. Supply was up, demand was down. Aluminum was a mature industry with a poor outlook.

In the early 1980s, Alcoa tried diversifying, buying companies that specialized in ceramics and composites, not aluminum. But it didn’t work.

So in 1987, the board of directors brought in a new chief executive officer, Paul O’Neill. It was an odd choice. O’Neill had grown up in government, not industry, rising in the Nixon and Ford administrations to deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. O’Neill had then served as an executive at International Paper Co. Having been on the Alcoa board for only a year and knowing little about aluminum, he was the first Alcoa CEO ever to be chosen from outside the company’s ranks.

Like a new sheriff in town, O’Neill rode in alone: He brought no new executives with him. Nor did he fire any veterans.

O’Neill wanted to achieve growth by improving the way the company used its assets -- the speed of machines, the amount of energy used, the number of people needed per task, waste material generated, and length of time on processes.

“By taking care of those nonfinancial indicators,” O’Neill said, “I had a really strong feeling that the financial result would take care of itself.”

He sent teams to compare Alcoa with competitors such as Reynolds Metals, Co. and Alcan Inc., and companies such as DuPont Co., Xerox Corp. and Florida Power & Light Co. He identified 450 measures of productivity, safety and quality. How good were the other companies? How did they do it?

How high should Alcoa aim? To O’Neill the answer was obvious: perfection.

“We could have been as good as, say, DuPont, and stopped there,” he said. “But they weren’t perfect, so who wants to be like that?”

Only an all-hands-on-deck collaboration could take Alcoa to performance at this level. He needed a rallying point that would propel Alcoa into the “perfection” business.

The day laborer, the forge supervisor and the plant manager wouldn’t be swayed by cheerleading. The one shared truth that bound all was the incredible complexity and danger of the Alcoa workplace.

Safety, O’Neill said, “was a good place to drive a stake into the ground.” It was an appeal to the heart of every employee, a message that every one of them mattered.

The company already had an impressive safety record, standing in the top third of all U.S. companies in days lost to injury. But O’Neill wanted to bring the number to zero.

“People should not be hurt who work for Alcoa,” O’Neill told a group of union and management executives at the company’s huge Knoxville, Tennessee, plant. “It’s not a priority. It’s a precondition.”

Turning to management, O’Neill said, “From this day forward, we will not budget things that need to be done to improve safety conditions. If you have identified something that needs to be done, you should go and do it -- not put it into next year’s budget and in the meantime hope that no one gets hurt.”

Turning to the labor chiefs, O’Neill said, “If management doesn’t follow up on what I just said to them, here’s my home phone number.”

If a manager was told not to worry about money, what argument was left against a perfect injury-free work environment, against striving for zero workdays lost to injury? As emotional fuel for high performance, a rallying cry for collaboration, nothing was more potent than safety,

The whole enterprise ramped up. O’Neill gave his business- unit presidents pagers and orders to call him directly within 24 hours of a workplace injury. That meant the presidents needed to hear from vice presidents fast. Vice presidents had to hear from plant managers even faster.

Plant managers created new safety positions, and ran multiple audits of all safety incidents, past and present. Safety-training programs were retooled. With all eyes on them, safety managers addressed obvious problems that had been long ignored.

After a worker’s fatal fall down a darkened pit in Davenport, Iowa, Alcoa spent $3 million to build protection against a danger that people had been walking by for 30 or 40 years.

A new real-time safety information system soon gave Alcoa employees at 340 locations in 43 countries access to incident reports from near misses to injuries within 24 hours. This was in 1991, when few companies even knew what the Internet was.

Six months after O’Neill became CEO, an 18- year-old worker died on the job in Arizona. O’Neill summoned everyone in the line of authority to Pittsburgh. “We killed him,” O’Neill told the roomful of executives.

Alcoa was still learning. But shifting the mindset would take patience.

O’Neill felt he needed to shift the mindset of the rank and file, too. Work at an Alcoa plant is tough, and workers come from generations of Alcoans, and pride themselves on being tough.

“Burns, cuts, smashed fingers just come with the territory,” an employee explained. “They make you part of the crew. Danger is like a rite of passage.”

“You have to convince your people that that kind of behavior is not in their own interest,” O’Neill said.

The gains came swiftly. By 1991, Alcoa had reduced its injury rate by 50 percent. The search for perfection in all its processes rippled through Alcoa. Two employees at its troubled Rockdale, Texas, plant invented a new smelting process that reduced variation in a key stage by 80 percent, achieving the best “pot controls” in the plant’s history. That idea added $80,000 of value to the Rockdale operation.

Alcoa’s Addy, Washington, plant had dodged closure on a turnaround but still faced 100 layoffs. An hourly worker stepped forward: His team had figured out how to reduce furnace downtime by 50 percent. The new process saved Alcoa $10 million more than the layoffs had promised -- and preserved the jobs.

Texas workers found system fixes that clipped $400,000 off annual power costs. Brazilian employees devised new shipping containers that saved $150,000. Workers at a Tennessee plant reduced processing times by 40 percent for aluminum coils.

For the first time, Alcoa was seriously listening to its employees, both salaried and hourly.

O’Neill added financial incentives -- a broad move to share perks beyond the usual elite ranks and shareholders. He brought half of Alcoa’s wage-earning workforce onto a profit-sharing plan, up from 5 percent when he began. That put $1,500 into their pockets in 1989 -- serious money for workers with base- wage rates of $12 to $15 per hour.

As for safety, Alcoa’s lost-workday rate dropped by 50 percent. So did its rate of serious injury. The number of disabling injuries fell by more than half.

All in O’Neill’s first five years. By the end of O’Neill’s 12-year tenure, Alcoa’s lost-workday rate had dropped to a 20th of the U.S. average. Not zero, but Alcoa was still learning. Along the way, the company had gobbled up competitors, including Reynolds, and now controlled one-sixth of global aluminum output and almost half of U.S. output, and posted record profits of $1.5 billion on sales of $23 billion.

Trade safety for profits? Many firms will. But O’Neill showed the opposite strategy worked better. He brought his employees into a collaboration that drove safety and financial performance far higher than anyone at Alcoa thought possible. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-13/with-safety-alcoa-showed-mett
le-part-3-commentary-by-bratton-and-tumin.html
an example of ethics improving the bottom line, and I think good treatment of employees--not just in safety but in many ways--can INCREASE profits, while screwing over employees can DECREASE profits.



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Saturday, April 28, 2012 6:43 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Double post, apologies

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Saturday, April 28, 2012 12:24 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


NIKI- Do you suppose that you could edit out the duplicate post so that MAC might scroll up and see my question? Your post is rather long, and since its duplicated it might hide my earlier post. Thanks.


There are a number of instances where you make a bigger profit by doing good. For instance, waterborne paints not only reduce pollution, they improve safety for the paint formulators and painters, allow easier cleanup by the user, and they can be made cheaper... water is, after all, cheaper than VM&P naphtha. As another example, reducing waste also reduces the amount of material a company needs to purchase in order to make its products, which is good for the company and the earth. So there are many examples where one can increase profit and benefit others by improving a process, but the vast majority of instances are in the other direction.

Also, I'm not sure you understand what "profit" is. There are business owners - especially small business owners- who work at their own company. These people are putting in work... they should get paid. And even though CEOs and CFOs and managers have gotten a bad name, they DO serve a useful function in a properly-operating large business... somebody has to be the overall coordinator, somebody has to have a strategic vision, somebody has to track the money! These people shouldn't work for free either. But PROFIT is money that goes to the INVESTORS.... people who have put nothing in to the company other than money.... those who have bought stocks (for example) and get dividends and those who buy speculatively and are willing to dump the stock the minute it goes down (or goes up). They don't improve the company performance; they have no loyalty to the business or the people working there; and their short-term quarterly outlook prevents (in many cases) a company from following a long-term strategy. so in your consideration of "profit", please be sure to separate out pay for necessary managerial/ administrative work (which is pay for work) and money which is returned to investors (which is money returned on money).

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