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View Diary: No thanks to Walmart (145 comments)

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  •  Amazon isn't profitable. Bezos is a billionaire. (16+ / 0-)

    Jeff Bezos thinks growth and market share is more important than profits. Investors seem to agree. I don't know where the absurd meme came from that there's a law that profits must be maximized. It's pernicious and wrong.

    Many people will even tell you that there's a law requiring companies to generate as much profit as possible. There is no such law. There never was. And the only thing more insane than believing that such a harmful law might exist, is that many seem to think it's a good idea.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 06:17:58 AM PST

    •  Not only that (9+ / 0-)

      but it is decreasing the life expectancy of public-owned companies. It might be different for companies like Walmart or Amazon that don't create things, but overall the life of a company used to be soemthing like 75 years. Now it's like less than a third of that. There are temporary companies designed to fleece workers and move on.

      Knock twice, rap with your cane

      by plok on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 06:35:05 AM PST

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    •  Some of that "absurd meme" came (8+ / 0-)

      from successful shareholder lawsuits against companies for not maximizing profits.  As I understand it, many of those corporations are incorporated in Delaware.

      •  Yes. this is why Ben & Jerry's were compelled to (6+ / 0-)

        sell to Lever Brothers rather than a non profit. Since then different corporate entity types have been created allowing for mission to be valued rather than profits. B- Corps is what they are called, benefit corps. King Arthur Flour, Patagonia are examples. Some are employee owned. Gar Alperovitz in his book "What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution" refers to it as part of the Democratization of wealth.  An excellent read. Highly recommended.

      •  Unequal Protection by Thom Hartmann (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, Oh Mary Oh

        I think most people know about the 1919 Michigan Supreme Court decision on Dodge vs. Ford from Hartmann's book Unequal Protection, which is a study of the history of corporate personhood. One contemporary argument against interpreting this decision as justification for corporate profit maximization has been written by Lynn A. Stout and can be found here.

    •  I did a little googling. This is what I found... (7+ / 0-)
      By so stating, I do not mean to imply that the corporate law requires directors to maximize short-term profits for stockholders.  Rather, I simply indicate that the corporate law requires directors, as a matter of their duty of loyalty, to pursue a good faith strategy to maximize profits for the stockholders.  The directors, of course, retain substantial discretion, outside the context of a change of control, to decide how best to achieve that goal and the appropriate time frame for delivering those returns.[56]  But, as I have noted in other writings, the market pressures on corporate boards are making it more difficult for boards to resist the pressure to emphasize the delivery of immediate profits over the implementation of longer-term strategies that might yield more durable and more substantial benefits to stockholders, as well as society in general.

      So even though technically legally it is not quite the same, the reality is that the strategy becomes maximizing short -term profits.

      "Hate speech is a form of vandalism. It defaces the environment, and like a broken window, if left untended, signals to other hoodlums that the coast is clear to do more damage." -- Gregory Rodriguez

      by Naniboujou on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 06:53:29 AM PST

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    •  The ideas I like about Amazon. They always have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      treated me fairly. And. I can get the things I want without driving all over creation to get them.

      So why should 100,000 people drive to the store to get dish towels, when they can order from Amazon and get their purchases delivered to their house in a commercial truck?

      Why is it easier to buy a gun than it is to register to vote in most states?

      by 88kathy on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 07:05:04 AM PST

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    •  I once read the autobiography of Christopher Milne (4+ / 0-)

      ... that is, THE Christopher Robin of the Winnie-the-Pooh books.

      It seems that as he grew older, Milne became an incredibly wise, thoughtful, philosophical person -- a sort of Southwest England Taoist/Zen thinker (although he wouldn't have thought of it in those terms).

      Writing about how the political leaders in his lovely small English town were determined to have the town GROW and GROW and EXPAND, he questioned this modern lust for growth for its own sake -- wherein it's just taken as a given that we HAVE to grow and grow and grow, that that is a good thing -- pointing out something that has always stayed with me.

      He pointed out that nothing in nature -- NOTHING -- grows and grows and grows forever.  Nothing is expected to.  In nothing is that considered a good thing.  If something did do that, it would be a sign of a big, big problem ... something really, really abnormal and sick.  And eventually that thing's own ever-expanding growth would kill it.

      He pointed out that the natural, healthy pattern is for things to grow to a certain point, and then to STOP -- a point of balance and stability.

      As I just commented in the diary about Bill Moyers and Henry Giroux -- on Giroux's comment that U.S. society is genuinely insane:

      If one considers it from the Taoist viewpoint -- that health and balance mean living in harmony with the laws of nature, with the "spirit" and flow of the universe -- then modern America is the exact opposite.  We live so proudly and consistently against nature that it is no wonder we are literally going crazy;  that we are so spiritually and psychically sick.

      If I had the United States as one of my therapy clients, I could only conclude that it is profoundly disturbed ... something very close to an out-of-control addict in denial, with narcissistic personality disorder and delusions of grandeur thrown in.

      •  In medicine, we usually call cells that reproduce (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        niemann, 6412093, Treetrunk, Calamity Jean

        indefinitely... cancer.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 02:54:20 PM PST

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        •  I've thought the same thing, in a way. (0+ / 0-)

          That is, that human beings can pretty much literally be considered a cancer on our planet -- a natural part that has grown out of control and is consuming and destroying the rest.

          And we know from human experience how that ends up working out for the cancer itself.

          •  Profiteers continue to make it worthwhile (0+ / 0-)

            for our leaders to give them certain advantages, causing superfluous consumption, resource diminution, pollution, and most of all, fostering population increase  -  all of which act as cancers taxing the sustainability of our planet.  Both profiteers and leaders (and the lack of public "eternal vigilance") are at fault, but in this vein, Citizens United is not helpful.

      •  As a diligent parasite (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        niemann, Oh Mary Oh

        Walmart must show some concern for the culture in which it is found. A careful parasite should never kill its host.

        Let X be an entity; call it Y.

        by Senile Goat on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 05:02:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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