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Sometimes the ways we call "old-fashioned" are actually the best ways.

That was certainly the case with American capitalism.

Younger Americans won't even remember when companies considered their customers and public interests right along with those of their shareholders. But it used to be that way, back in the nation's golden age.

It's a little early to argue that corporations may become the public's friends again, but there are signs the tide may be turning.

Details below the orange squiggly.

The most high-profile clue right now is the battle over the firing of Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.

Why did the New England supermarket chain's board of directors fire Demoulas? Well, as Robert Reich put it in his blog:

"Mainly, his business model. He kept prices lower than his competitors, paid his employees more, and gave them and his managers more authority.

"Late last year, he offered customers an additional 4 percent discount, arguing they could use the money more than the shareholders."

Naturally, today's shareholders aren't used to being treated as equal to everybody else, and Demoulas got canned.

But ... now here's the rest of the story, as radio commentator Paul Harvey used to say.

Market Basket's managers, employees and customers are openly opposing the board of directors, and the result has "emptied most of the chain's 70 stores," according to Reich.

Who knows if anything will come of it? So far, Market Basket's directors are considering selling the chain rather than accept a social conscience, but Demoulas' philosophy is part of an almost-trend at the moment.

More than 500 companies in 60 industries have now been certified as "B-corporations," agreeing to make decisions that take into account the workers, community and environment along with the shareholders.

They have to agree to be monitored by a nonprofit entity known as B-Lab.

In Reich's words, "We may be witnessing the beginning of a return to a form of capitalism that was taken for granted in America 60 years ago."

If you want to label things, the old way was "stakeholder capitalism," while the way that's helped gut the U.S. economy is "shareholder capitalism," in which only the interests of one group count.

Reich again: "What changed? In the 1980s, corporate raiders began mounting unfriendly takeovers of companies that could deliver higher returns to their shareholders – if they abandoned their other stakeholders.

"The raiders figured profits would be higher if the companies fought unions, cut workers’ pay or fired them, automated as many jobs as possible or moved jobs abroad, shuttered factories, abandoned their communities, and squeezed their customers."

This gave birth to record-high executive salaries and soaring shareholder profits, but hasn't been kind to most of America.

We're all in this mess together. Market Basket's directors obviously want nothing to do with that reality, but hats off to Arthur T. Demoulas.

Originally posted to wolfbane in AZ on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by Sustainable Senior Living.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I hope this becomes a trend. (45+ / 0-)

    Even with 500 companies, this doesn't quite qualify as a significant movement. Unless they are pretty large (I don't know what the disposition of the B-companies actually is), 500 of the 18 million, not exactly a torrent.
    Market Basket is a very interesting event, when customers and employees join together to buck the corporate board and back the former CEO, that's through-the-looking-glass material.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:47:22 PM PDT

    •  The Market Basket situation has (45+ / 0-)

      worker support from ALL sides of the political spectrum.  That is what gives me more hope than I've had in a long time.

      Teabagger facebook folks are on the workers' side in the Market Basket fight.  That is heartening!

      "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.: Maya Angelou

      by PsychoSavannah on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 04:38:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hope it does too.....it is time for the American (7+ / 0-)

      consumer (and I hate that word)....to take back some of their power.  The Market Basket situation is being carefully watched by other corporations who might want to start changing their thinking because it could happen to them too......

      •  Market Basket (0+ / 0-)

        The "Happiest Place on Earth" took an about-face in the 1980's when Eisner took a similar approach to appeasing the stockholders instead of the consumers.

        Sadly, the work style of Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL holds the same bad qualities to this day and is ruining the West Coast sector by turning it into a "branch" operation, mucking it up to unimaginable heights and taking things away from the workers almost weekly.

    •  Part of the problem (5+ / 0-)

      is that the motivation for companies to adhere to a "shareholder value" paradigm cannot be reduced to greed alone (though that is certainly a major part of it). In many instances,  they face intense market pressures to do so.

      As we speak, I'm in the midst of reading about Philips, the Dutch multinational, which in the early 1990s was facing intense competition from other companies that had been more aggressive in downsizing their immediate workforce, outsourcing "non-core" functions to subcontractors, and shifting manufacturing to less expensive workforces.

      Between 1990 and 1995, Philips went from a profoundly stakeholder-oriented company, one invested in lifetime employment and other commitments to its workers, to a super-streamlined company with precarious employment practices and an overweening emphasis upon customer service. In a certain sense, it "had to" do so, because it was losing market share even in its European home base to foreign competitors.

      Another reason for a company to maintain this stripped down, "shareholder-friendly" orientation is to inoculate itself against takeover maneuvers: a company that doesn't keep its stock price high is vulnerable to acquisition, and loses control over its own destiny.

      None of this is to excuse the egregious practices that unfold within multinational corporations to ensure "shareholder value." But companies face a wide range of incentives and pressures to elevate their stock price, and for this reason, we can't count on them to make changes to this system out of some sense of altruism.

      The change has to be imposed upon the markets through government policy and regulation. Create disincentives for an overweening emphasis upon shareholder value at the expense of stakeholders. Incentivize co-op models or other systems that give employees direct oversight over the company's management. (Presumably, loading up their 401(k)s with company stock is not enough: all this does is make the worker accountable to the company, and not the other way around.)

      In any event, because the system is now global, such policy changes would need to be coordinated with other governments. Which makes things daunting -- and which necessitates a movement focused less upon individual companies than on the global system of financialization itself.

      Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

      by Dale on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 09:19:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It Has To Start SOMEWHERE!! (0+ / 0-)

      What will be the fallout of this??

  •  What will Arthur S. decide? (25+ / 0-)

    I would love to know what is going on in Arthur S.'s head. He has to decide whether to sell out the family legacy and become a reviled figure for a few extra dollars, or do the right thing for the community and the employees and take Arthur T.'s offer to buy out the company and keep Market Basket whole.

  •  This is the most interesting positive development! (32+ / 0-)

    I'd never heard of this until now. It seems that B Lab (the 501(c)3 behind this) now has over 1000 member corporations. They have only been around since 2009 and only got Delaware to pass the relevant legislation last year. (As you probably know, Delaware chartered about half the corporation in the US.)

    I'd say they're off to a great start.

    The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

    by bubbajim on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 02:29:41 PM PDT

  •  There's no such thing as capitalism for all (29+ / 0-)

    What there is is strong unions which win workers better wages and more benefits, thus putting more profits into the pockets of the working class. The story of the firing of Arthur T. Demoulas is a story of the power of workers, not an improvement in capitalism. It's a rejection of capitalism and a clear rejection at that.

    No War but Class War

    by AoT on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 02:56:18 PM PDT

    •  Except that Market Basket was a capitalist (10+ / 0-)

      enterprise even before the board takeover.  It made money for the shareholders and for Arthur T.  It was a profitable business that also treated its workers decently and took into account the needs of its customers.

      It wasn't rabid profits-at-all-human-and-environmental-costs capitalism, but it wasn't following any other economic model.

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 04:11:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Capitalism is when owners control property (6+ / 0-)

        not worker control. This was worker control and it was fighting capitalism. Just because a business happens to be profitable doesn't mean that everything that happens at that company is capitalism. The workers exerted some control, in the long run without a union it will be meaningless because it's still capitalist.

        No War but Class War

        by AoT on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 05:05:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But they didn't need to try to take any control (9+ / 0-)

          under Arthur T. because he was treating them well... and it was a capitalist business then.

          © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

          by cai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 05:40:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They did take control (6+ / 0-)

            They threatened a wildcat strike and the owners acted the way they did because of that. It was and is a capitalist business, but the workers took control briefly through collective action. That's not capitalism, it's collective action. When the US has it's time of affluence it was because workers had power, not because of the actions of the owners. Capitalism means private ownership of the means of production and ownership.

            Just because workers managed to assert their power doesn't mean it's capitalism. Capitalism would have been the owners, i.e. the board, doing what they wanted because they owned the company. Capitalism meant the good boss being fired, not staying.

            No War but Class War

            by AoT on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 07:20:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  when workers buy shares in corporations or (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FarWestGirl, charliehall2

              are working in genuine employee-owned businesses, they actually are both capitalist and labor.  when it's a genuine employee-owned business, they're capitalist, labor and management.

              the tricky part is that owning shares (e.g., via union pension fund investment) in corporations does not necessarily result in having any power/voice in policy decisions or management implementation - it generally takes a lotta shares to own a seat on a board and multiple that to own enough board seats to swing a majority in policy votes that direct management implementation.

              that's where union pension funds got took. without bloc power in policy and management decisions (which usually requires holding preferred stock, ownership of shares only produces minor dividends that the board can manipulate into virtually zero return on the investment, making common stockholders —as pension fund investers usually were— just cashcows for the corporation.  partly this tends to be due to pension fund managers not being well qualified to choose investments that avoid those traps.

              nevertheless, in theory (i.e., if the purchase money exists collectively to buy enough preferred stock in the chosen corporation that the union pension fund --or whatever collective purchaser-- has an influential # of seats on the board) there's nothing to stop labor from also being capitalists.

              utility customers in los angeles are, in effect, capitalists by virtue of the LA Dept of Water & Power having socialized (so to speak) those utilities; the city ("state") as surrogate for its residents (working or not) owns the capital assets (e.g., pumping stations & the real estate they're on, repair vehicles & equipment, etc).

              anyone who has an individual retirement account of any kind, or a bank account that earns interest, or anything similar, is a capitalist.  if more of us could become capitalists, we'd have a lot more power.

              •  Your retirement account does not make (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, mettle fatigue

                you a capitalist.

                You have no control over how the businesses that you "own" a piece of are run. Capitalists do.

                Even if you vote your proxies, it's the board that decides how the business runs, not you.

                The 99% are watching.

                by unclejohn on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 04:13:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  This is silly. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, mettle fatigue
                anyone who has an individual retirement account of any kind, or a bank account that earns interest, or anything similar, is a capitalist.  if more of us could become capitalists, we'd have a lot more power.
                Capitalism means that those with the dough call the shots.  
                What shots do Joe and Mary Six Pack, with $10,000 in their IRA, call?  None.  What say do that Waltons and Kochs have?

                And it's a myth that corporations are some kind of democracy for the shareholders.  Management plus the big shareholders call the shots.  Small shareholders, even working in concert, can't even get a proposal on the agenda, much less get it passed.

                The Market Basket employees are not demonstrating that Capitalism can work.  They are showing how workers can defend themselves against Capitalism's omnipresent greed, oppression and inhumanity.

                The only way workers can protect themselves from Capitalism is through direct action like what the MB workers are doing.  Even better is worker direct action combined with customer direct action.  That's why the MB bosses are shaking in their boots.

                Ultimately, the only way to eliminate Capitalism's many ill effects on workers, the environment, our culture and our foreign policy is by eliminating Capitalism.

                This diary is analgous to (no, not the same as) someone arguing that slavery ought to be preserved as long as the masters will treat their slaves a little better.

      •  It Can Not Be Both at the Same Time (5+ / 0-)

        Capitalism with moral and ethical negative feedback is not capitalism. That's the old "compassionate conservatism" argument. It's intentionally deceptive.

        Capitalism is a greed driven, legitimized system of theft that exploits the moral and ethical behavior of a few to lend a veneer of legitimacy and decency for propaganda purposes. Appealing to the greediest is not the best means to allocate capital. It just seems to be historically better than all of the other corrupt capital allocation schemes because of aggregate wealth generation, not distribution.

        Profit is legitimized theft. It is an opportunistic tax exploiting the nature of those who believe getting along is more important than their personal gain. It perpetuates the drive to grow the economy despite natural limits, destruction to the environment, and destruction to life.

        Capitalism is the embodiment of corruption and indulges the worst of human nature because the distribution and reward of capital is not meritocratic. People cheat. Rules and regulations put those who would follow them at a competitive disadvantage. Private ownership of capital is wielded to make monopolies, not for the advancement of the general welfare.

        The workers are reacting to the inhumanity of capitalism. They're not supporting capitalism.

        •  Socialism (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, nextstep, Kickemout

          is neither moral nor ethical. That's the old "fairness" argument, and it's intentionally deceptive.

          Socialism is an envy-driven, legitimized system of theft that exploits the moral and ethical behavior of a very few in order to lend a veneer of legitimacy and decency for propaganda purposes. Appealing to the neediest is not the best means to allocate capital. And it appears to be historically much worse than all the other corrupt capital allocation schemes because of its misguided belief that it is ensuring just distribution of wealth (taken from those who actually create value).

          Redistributionism is legitimized theft. It is an opportunistic tax exploiting actual achievement by those who believe that equal distribution of whatever others have added to our economies is more important than encouraging progress. It perpetuates the drive to contract the economy despite its natural tendency to grow, destroying the future and destroying life itself.

          Socialism does nothing to eliminate corruption and indulges the worst of human nature because under it the distribution and reward of capital is not meritocratic. People cheat. Rules and regulations ensure competitive disadvantage. Public control of capital is wielded to make public monopolies, to the detriment of the general welfare.

          Workers unfortunate enough to have endured the inhumanity of socialism have reacted by throwing off its chains. They're not supporting socialism.

          See: all this needed was few corrections in order to produce an equally dubious, fact-free diatribe from a somewhat different perspective. And yet, I suspect that my version might at least be defensible.

          •  Capitalism is based on redistribution (7+ / 0-)

            And "redistributionism" is theft only to the extent that capitalism is theft. Capitalism is based on colonialism, genocide, and mass theft from the lower classes. Only by ignoring that can you call redistribution in a socialist method theft.

            No War but Class War

            by AoT on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 07:23:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nah (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk, The Termite, nextstep

              Capitalism is based on none of what you purport, theft least of all (pace Proudhon). You might, I suppose, be forgiven for thinking this way based on various failures of actual states to deploy capitalism wholeheartedly. But I would at least caution that this view only makes sense to the extent that we deduce the criminal failure of socialism from the Soviet Union, China, Albania, N. Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and whatever other worker's paradise comes to mind. But even in its debased forms, liberal market economics is more responsible for the economic wellbeing and civil liberties of more humans in its few short centuries than anything the mind of man has yet conceived.

              And so to bed. Sogni d'oro [and there just might be a joke in there].

              •  Humorous that you would still include China (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lunachickie

                in your example - with perhaps the fastest increase in standard of living in history, "failure" is hardly a word that applies. China puts the lie to your claim of Capitalism being "more responsible for the economic well-being... of more humans". Can you point out the more than a billion humans who have benefited more economically from Capitalism than the average Chinese has benefited from their Communism?

                And how about the number harmed by each system, and the depth of that harm? Because Capitalism depends on many being exploited for each that benefits.

                •  China (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  The Termite, nextstep, Kickemout

                  was a failure under its version of Maoist/Leninist socialism. When it reformed itself in the direction of free enterprise, it began to prosper. I would wager that it has thus sown the germ of its slow transformation to something even more resembling liberal democracy. In any case, what the average billions of China benefit from today is the freedom to better their lot that came about in imitation of Western market successes.

              •  Yes, it is. Learn some history. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lunachickie, AllenA

                Without the enclosure acts and the clearances, and the Irish Potato Famine, a form of capitalist genocide in itself, along with the various colonial ventures we'd have nothing resembling capitalism today. Only by ignoring history and pretending that capitalism has been failed and did not fail, like all right wing ideologies. But the genocide of the American Indians was a capitalist genocide, explicitly using the logic of Adam Smith.

                But I would at least caution that this view only makes sense to the extent that we deduce the criminal failure of socialism from the Soviet Union, China, Albania, N. Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and whatever other worker's paradise comes to mind.
                Yes, there are many example of failures other than capitalism, that has no bearing on the reality that capitalism is based on genocide, colonialism, and mass theft from the lower class. You conveniently ignore the actual issue and point to other failures.
                But even in its debased forms, liberal market economics is more responsible for the economic wellbeing and civil liberties of more humans in its few short centuries than anything the mind of man has yet conceived.
                Which is why the genocide of the American Indians happened under a market economy and using both religious excuses and excused ripped directly from Adam Smith. Of course, those millions dead don't count against capitalism for some unknown reason, nor do any of the famines caused by capitalism, the Irish Potato Famine being the most well known.

                But hey, if you say that capitalism is better it must be, never mind that you can't address any historical realities other than relatively recent ones, and those being relatively minor compared to capitalist genocides.

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 06:32:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your perspective only makes sense (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  charliehall2, nextstep, Kickemout

                  if colonialism and genocides, let alone famines, were unknown or rare before the advent of capitalism—this is patently false and your argument fails on its face. In addition, there is nothing you can point to in Adam Smith that logically encouraged or implied the destruction of American Indians—but I'd love to see you try. In any case, I scarcely would have called the colonial system of land grants and trade monopolies Smithian capitalism, and do you really need me to point out historical, pre-capitalist instances of colonial forces riding roughshod over native populations? Shall we start with Roman Palestine? Possibly you have heard of the Mongols? How 'bout them historical realities?

                  •  Again, just because those things (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lunachickie

                    are features of capitalism doesn't mean they aren't features of other systems as well. By your standard there's no way to tie those things to Communism either since they also happened before Communism. So you've clearly proven that both capitalism and communism have nothing to do with famine and genocide since famine and genocide happened before both things.

                    You should probably rework that argument if you want it to be taken seriously.

                    No War but Class War

                    by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:02:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You make my point (0+ / 0-)

                      Thanks. In other words, that which is a feature of human history generally cannot be tied to capitalism specifically. That these may not be causally tied to communism either is just fine with me. So, the really good news is that nothing about the argument needs reworking. Whew!

                      •  No, I made no such point. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        lunachickie

                        I said those things were tied to capitalism, you had no argument other than that they had happened elsewhere. The fact that something happened in the past is not evidence that it is not endemic to some specific system.

                        Of course, in your religious fervor you ignore the reality of history. Capitalism, and even more so the "golden-age" of capitalism, could not exist without genocide. Just because other systems also can't exist without genocide doesn't mean all systems can't.

                        Capitalism can't exist without human either, that doesn't mean it's like every other political and economic system before it, which also all relied on humans.

                        There are genocides that are specifically the result of capitalism, and there is historical evidence for this. You can prance about waving your hands all you want and this reality won't be erased.

                        No War but Class War

                        by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:21:24 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Illogical (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          nextstep

                          If something happens under all systems, it can't be specific to any. This is pretty elementary logic. If you want to claim that there are types of genocides causally traceable to specific features of capitalism—and I very much doubt you can do this—you'll have to describe both those classes of genocides and what capitalist specific traceably caused them. And even if you could do that, you would still not have demonstrated that capitalism actually requires not merely genocide, but one of those specific types—which is really just nonsense.

                          As for religious fervor, I don't believe I've evinced any. You must stop imagining things.

                          •  Not illogical (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie

                            Genocide doesn't happen under all systems. It has happened in the past, but not under all systems. You've equated it happening before capitalism with it being a part of all systems, that's an unsupported generalization.

                            If you want to claim that genocide is present in all systems then you have to show it's present in all systems. Which would also mean that we can never get rid of genocide no matter what system we use, and also implies that all genocides are equal, which I would posit they are not. The genocide of the American Indians was a genocide without historical parallel in terms of how large it was. Although I think that's a debatable point.

                            And whether capitalism *requires*genocide is an entirely different question. Capitalism is built on genocide, that is a historical reality. It has driven genocide more than one. That's also a historical fact. Whether those genocides were required doesn't seem germane to the discussion. They happened and they happened because of Capitalism, there is clear historical evidence supporting that fact.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:53:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Still illogical (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT

                            All I need to claim is that genocide has historically accompanied multiple pre-capitalist systems, and thus is nothing specific to capitalism. If 'all' is too strong, then 'many' will do quite as well.

                            As for the American Indians, the best you can show is that some part of their problems were temporally tied to a largely capitalist society; however, some part (early colonial) also predates any capitalist dispensation. This is awfully weak, as is the still-undemonstrated hypothesis that capitalism is either built on genocide or has driven genocide in some way traceable specifically to capitalism. Where and what is the clear historical evidence of which you speak?

                          •  Again, that only works if you assume (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie

                            that genocide can only be endemic to one system. Otherwise you're simply saying that people killed before we had laws and people killed after we had laws, therefore laws are meaningless. There are different systems under which people live, some lead to genocide some don't. The fact that some do is no defense for the others that do. This is a basic generalization fallacy.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 09:17:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If many lead to some result (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT

                            then that result is not causally tied to any one of the many. So, if capitalism, mercantilism, empire, and spread of religion all are accompanied by genocides, it makes no sense to say (without a good deal of proof) that capitalism in particular requires or results in genocide. By the same token, if not all capitalism results in genocide (Swiss capitalism, e.g.), then it makes even less sense to find genocide as the inevitable partner of capitalism.

                            Murder predates and postdates laws against murder. What you cannot argue is that murders are an inevitable result of instituting a legal system.

                          •  Incorrect again (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lunachickie

                            correlation is not causation. It could well be, and most likely is, the case that some other factor leads to the adoption of forms of government and/or economics that inevitably lead to horrible outcomes. That doesn't mean that the systems so adopted are not responsible for the outcomes, it means that there are other problems as well that lead to the sort of system that leads to genocide.

                            Just because capitalism is one of those sort of systems doesn't mean that genocide isn't a part of capitalism as much as it was a part of whatever system Genghis had.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 09:58:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm at a loss (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AoT, nextstep

                            and need to see something very concrete. Can you show me, specifically, what there is about capitalism that makes genocide an integral part of it?

                          •  In the case of the United States (0+ / 0-)

                            there was the Genocide of the American Indian and the reason for that was the expansionist land grab based on the idea that land being grabbed not only was being grabbed legitimately, but also should be grabbed and shouldn't be left in the hands of the Indians who wouldn't work the land. The necessity of converting natural resources to produced good meant that the natives were in effect stealing when they lived on land and didn't produce from it. So in that respect it was capitalism that was responsible in part for the Genocide of the American Indians.

                            But more importantly, capitalism couldn't exist without that genocide. If the Us had not been developed then the supposed "golden age" of capitalism, really only a golden age for white men, would have never been remotely possible. The development of natural resources, in the US and elsewhere, depended on genocide against various people. Sometimes, like in the US, that meant the genocide was a part of the rise of capitalism, and sometimes not.

                            I think the comparison to the Mongol empire is pretty apt. Certainly the mongols were brutal, and more so than capitalist really, but once they had captured an area they weren't very brutal, at least not outright. They didn't impose particularly harsh laws for the time, and in China, to use one example, they were actually pretty good emperors. We happen to live during a time when the foundational violence of capitalism has largely passed, and has completely passed in Europe and the US. There are places where pre-Capitalist cultures exist and are being destroyed, often violently.

                            A similar example is the Nation-State as a political unit. People look at what's going on between Israel and Palestine right now and are appalled because of the violence and the ethnic cleansing, but that's how all Nation-States were born, including the US. Ethnic cleansing of some sort is required to create a nation state, just as a sort of economic cleansing, which is a bit of an overwrought sounding term I understand, has been the basis of capitalism.

                            That's where things like the enclosure acts come into play. The creation of private property through force being a key aspect of the creation of capitalism.

                            Is that specific enough or did you have something else in mind?

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 12:55:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  What nonsense (0+ / 0-)

                  Ireland was the target of genocide long before capitalism existed.

                  •  And after as a part of English colonialist (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lunachickie

                    capitalism. Specifically the English grew food and exported it for sale while the Irish were starving.

                    Certainly there were other examples of genocide against the Irish, but that doesn't take away the one under capitalism.

                    No War but Class War

                    by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:04:15 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The motive wasn't capitalism it was racism (0+ / 0-)

                      and religious bigotry. Even in the 1840s. And you can't explain away Cromwell with capitalism.

                      Sorry to shoot down your Marxist paradigm, but not all of the world's problems stem from capitalism.  

                      •  It was profits (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        lunachickie

                        The lack of caring about the Irish was certainly racism, but they weren't exporting the good food because they hated the Irish, they were doing so for money, pure and simple.

                        Sorry to shoot down your Marxist paradigm, but not all of the world's problems stem from capitalism.  
                        Well, I'm glad I'm not a Marxist and also that I didn't say all the problems stem from Capitalism. You have fun fighting that strawman though. You righties love that one. Next you'll tell me how much I loved the USSR.

                        No War but Class War

                        by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 09:22:04 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You really don't understand Irish history (0+ / 0-)

                          or the motivation behind evil people like Cromwell. It wasn't about money.

                          Ok, so you aren't a Marxist. Fine. Please cite a historical problem that wasn't caused by capitalism or love of money.

                          •  There were plenty of problems that weren't (0+ / 0-)

                            caused by capitalism. Look at Russia and the pogroms there for one example. Or the massacres by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The environmental destruction in the USSR would be another example of something that wasn't caused by capitalism.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 07:36:58 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  Capitalist Sycophant (5+ / 0-)

            Regurgitate and expect your reward as any Pavlovian subject, I didn't say socialism was the answer. Feel free to point out where I stated it....chirp.

            In general, how many of our captains of industry actually invented the technologies from which they profit? Plenty have exploited the university system, prior publicly funded research, and intellectual property laws. How many recording companies create the music from which they profit? The ability of the few to profit by restricting market access to productive individuals is the heart of capitalism.

            The problem with every -ism thus far is the intentional design for human intervention. Through this backdoor, intentionally implemented, corruption and greed flourish.

            Redistribution is an idiotic red herring. The underlying assertion, distribution was fair to begin with, has never been proven. Republican leaders show the same pattern though. They attribute to others the scumbag behavior in which they engage so as to misrepresent any legitimate complaint into a tit-for-tat. I believe it's called projection.

            •  Anti-capitalist Running Dog (0+ / 0-)

              Didn't say you were pimping for socialism, just that your screed was pretty much a fact-free rant susceptible of all-purpose modification...urrrp.

              I'll pass over your canned anti-capitalism for the observation that while capitalism is the exploitation of man by man, socialism is just the converse.

              In fact, I'll readily agree that all systems of intentional design are subject to manipulation. That fact is itself the oft-cited rationale for genuinely free markets with governments as guarantors against manipulation. My own opinion is that this is, or ought to be, dear to the heart of Progressivism (or is that just another -ism?).

              Work on your digestion, and try not to simply salivate at the bell.

              •  When one is reduced to veiled insults (0+ / 0-)

                one is losing their "argument".

                Work on your digestion, and try not to simply salivate at the bell.

                "Counting on people having nowhere else to go is the logic of a slumlord."--Wolf10

                by lunachickie on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 06:47:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Specifically... (0+ / 0-)

                  which did you take as the veiled (?) insult: "capitalist sycophant" or "anti-capitalist running dog?" Or was it the original charge of "Pavlovian Subject" or the subsequent reference to salivation?

                  But thanks for your opinion on lost arguments. Is that something you know a lot about from experience?

                  •  Did you miss the quote, that you have to ask? (0+ / 0-)

                    Don't try to word-salad your way out of this being an insult:

                    Work on your digestion, and try not to simply salivate at the bell.
                    Keep losing! :-)

                    "Counting on people having nowhere else to go is the logic of a slumlord."--Wolf10

                    by lunachickie on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:06:40 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Did you miss the original (0+ / 0-)

                      Pavlov and regurgitation references? Do you even know who Pavlov was?

                      If your post is supposed to be an example of winning, I must be doing something right.

                      •  So you *just* referenced (0+ / 0-)

                        "Pavlov" to show off your "knowledge"? It wasn't really meant as an insult, after all, then--it was simply irrelevant to the rest of the post and discussion?

                        Yeah. Got it!

                        "Counting on people having nowhere else to go is the logic of a slumlord."--Wolf10

                        by lunachickie on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 09:19:08 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Deliberately obtuse? (0+ / 0-)

                          Let me quote from Coldwynn's original post to which I replied: "Regurgitate and expect your reward as any Pavlovian subject"

                          Since I understand from your most recent post that you do, in fact, believe that Coldwynn's remark was an insult addressed to me, I'll thank you to address your own insulting posts to him.

                          So, learn to read. And then learn to sit on your hands until comprehension sinks in. And try not to bother the grown-ups.

                          •  No, deliberately awaiting more insults (0+ / 0-)

                            You're so obviously taking it personally, being called on your garbage insults, that you couldn't help but shoveling as many of them as possible into the subsequent thread.

                            "Regurgitate and expect your reward as any Pavlovian subject"
                            (snicker)
                            And then learn to sit on your hands until comprehension sinks in.  
                             

                            Yes, you're such an "adult"...LOL!

                            "Counting on people having nowhere else to go is the logic of a slumlord."--Wolf10

                            by lunachickie on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 10:09:07 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Do you know, (0+ / 0-)

                            I am reconsidering my initial presumption that I was speaking to a rational human being of at least modest intelligence.

                            Best of luck in all your future endeavors—and don't be shy about asking for help.

                            Ciao

                          •  LOL! (0+ / 0-)

                            Yes, of course, there must be something wrong with me, because you don't understand.

                            Oh, do have yourself a lovely, lovely day!

                            "Counting on people having nowhere else to go is the logic of a slumlord."--Wolf10

                            by lunachickie on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 10:17:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  Did Market Basket care whether the workers (8+ / 0-)

        who produce all the products they made are treated fairly?

        Did they bother to account for all the costs of production which aren't accounted for in the price they paid for their products?

        Capitalism always has loser. It has to. You can't have a profit without someone else taking a loss. Profit is unequal distribution of resources.

        There has never been "capitalism for all" in this country. Our founding documents only gave the right to vote to about 10% of the people living here. Only those European males who owned property were given a place in the so-called democracy.

        From the beginning that elite class has controlled the game. They make all the laws which are the rules of engagement and it has always been tilted so that their compatriots come out ahead and we just don't count what kind of price other people paid.

        Capitalism treats business like a game. A competition to see who can finagle the most out of every transaction. Only, those transactions are about life - getting food, shelter, health care, etc. And the losers end up unemployed, homeless, sick, without health care, impoverished and dead.

        "Capitalism for all" just means more people participating in a rigged game which guarantees pain and suffering for whomever doesn't come out ahead.

        Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

        by UnaSpenser on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:13:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Re (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep
          Capitalism always has loser. It has to. You can't have a profit without someone else taking a loss. Profit is unequal distribution of resources.
          This is, of course, trivially false.

          If I know how to make coffee really well, and you know how to make blue jeans really well, then trading my coffee for your blue jeans is a profit to both of us. No loss to anyone.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 02:22:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  More silliness. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, lunachickie

            The world isn't made up of little one-person firms trading with each other.  That isn't Capitalism.

            Capitalism accumulates.  It combines.  It merges.  It takes over until the world is made up of Kochs and Waltons who do nothing, and billions of workers who make the jeans, grow the coffee (and serve it) and live in poverty.

            UnaSpenser's point was not about Capitalist vs. Capitalist (even though that's a zero sum game ultimately as well), but Capitalist vs. worker.

            The winner: the Capitalist who scrapes the profit off each hour of the worker's labor.  The loser: the worker who sees the fruits of her labor stolen by the Capitalist.

          •  Trading pants for coffee is barter, not capitalism (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            catwho, lunachickie

            Under capitalism the people who make the pants don't own the pants they make, with rare exception.

            No War but Class War

            by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 06:26:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They own their labor (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nextstep

              And they profitably trade it to the jeans manufacturer.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:06:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You can't own labor, it makes no sense at all (0+ / 0-)

                Labor is something you do, not something you own. You own things, not actions.

                No War but Class War

                by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:09:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nope (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nextstep

                  You own your time. It's a resource as much as gold, oil, or water. And can be priced same as these other commodities.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:21:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Then why did you say you own your labor? (0+ / 0-)

                    Time is not labor and saying that they own their labor is not saying that they own their time. So which is it?

                    No War but Class War

                    by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:23:33 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Time is labor (0+ / 0-)

                      They are the same thing, for purposes of this conversation.

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:25:23 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  They are not the same things at all (0+ / 0-)

                        Labor is one thing you can do that takes time, but it is not time. That's a false conflation.

                        No War but Class War

                        by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:27:43 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Nonsense (0+ / 0-)

                          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                          by Sparhawk on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:38:40 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You state it's true so it must be? (0+ / 0-)

                            The only reason the two are conflated is because it supports facile arguments in favor of capitalism like the argument you've presented. You have no argument in favor of equating the two except that it means that you're correct.

                            Labor is not Time and if I trade someone pants for a shirt I'm not trading them labor or time, I'm trading them a thing.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:43:59 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Lol (0+ / 0-)

                            Otherwise known as "it makes you sound (and be) correct so it must be wrong".

                            Labor is not Time and if I trade someone pants for a shirt I'm not trading them labor or time, I'm trading them a thing.
                            Time is a resource like anything else. You can buy jeans from Walmart or make them yourself. People choose not to make them because it would take them too much time. Ditto for most other items.

                            You seriously have to tie yourself in knots to avoid this very simple logic.

                            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                            by Sparhawk on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 09:02:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So now labor and time are different again? (0+ / 0-)
                            Time is a resource like anything else. You can buy jeans from Walmart or make them yourself. People choose not to make them because it would take them too much time. Ditto for most other items.
                            Yes, I understand how capitalist markets work. I get a wage for doing stuff and then I spend that money on things because I don't have the ability to provide all the things I need directly. What does that have to do with time and labor being the same?

                            If I make pants and trade them I'm trading pants, not labor or time. Just because I put time and/or labor into something doesn't mean that said thing is made up of time and labor.

                            You've yet to explain how trading coffee for pants is capitalism and not barter. Instead you changed the subject to time and labor because you don't actually have any examples of workers not being taken for a ride under capitalism. All you have is the mythological barter from when economic systems supposedly arose.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 09:14:39 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Right. This is the ol' "human capital" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                argument.

                By this reckoning, an unemployed worker is not unemployed; they are simply "in transit between a less profitable activity and a more profitable one."

                So their unemployment, ostensibly, has nothing to do with sweeping structural developments that remove all agency from the equation. They simply voted with their feet! It was "no longer profitable" to work at a company that has ceased paying them and has told them to vacate the premises with a box of belongings under their arm.

                Incidentally, how does the worker "profitably" trade their labor to the jeans manufacturer?

                They are being had. And the fact that they are being had is the most open of secrets. They sell their labor power to the company, and unless the company is some kind of non-profit entity or co-op, the company charges more for the jeans than the accumulated costs of the labor power. The worker is told that her labor is worth a certain amount, but the company turns around and charges much more for the fruits of their labor than what they are willing to pay their laborers.

                In accumulating the profits from this sale, the shareholder has done essentially nothing. But they are treated as the heroic lone agent of the transaction under the current system.

                Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

                by Dale on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 09:44:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Umm... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            What you've identified is two sets of shareholders benefitting mutually from the sale of jeans to coffee enthusiasts and the sale of coffee to jeans enthusiasts.

            You've said nothing about the workers who produced both products.

            But the only way for the owner to achieve a profit margin is to charge more than the sum total of the costs accumulated in manufacturing and distributing the product.

            The workers are seen as simply another one of the line items that the owners have to account for in their tallying up of production costs.

            The only reason for them to sell the jeans is to accumulate an amount significantly over and above the total monies paid to their workers that does not go to the workers.

            That money, which exceeds in a day what most of the workers will earn in a year, is nothing but the upwards redistribution of the accumulated efforts of others to those who have done basically nothing.

            The current model of "shareholder value" is based upon the premise that the shareholder is the lone agent in the marshalling of productive and creative forces necessary to bring a market to product. It is a model that posits, artificially, that the shareholder is a kind of Randian superman who somehow brings everything into being through some mysterious alchemy.

            But the shareholder is in fact simply a passive member of the rentier class, sitting back and watching the accumulated efforts of his company's workers generate a "value add" that boosts his stock price.

            This is the reason that the whole Repubican "job creator" meme is so profoundly, dangerously silly.

            Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

            by Dale on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 09:35:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for that comment. (6+ / 0-)

      This post posits a fantasy definition of capitalism.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 05:05:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hadn't seen your post: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      The 99% are watching.

      by unclejohn on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 04:08:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I propose Progressive Capitalism (6+ / 0-)

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action. UID: 9742

    by Shockwave on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 03:08:27 PM PDT

  •  No thanks. I'm not interested in 'old fashioned... (19+ / 0-)

    No thanks. I'm not interested in 'old fashioned' American capitalism 'for all.' Why? Because it's fragile and relies on companies and the powerful treating normal people well voluntarily. I will continue to fight for social democracy and mandated labor protections wherein treating workers decently are not a matter of 'pretty pretty please mr. 1%' but are mandated by law and guaranteed in the constitution. The 'golden age' of America was a fluke, enabled by the world-wide economic fall out of WW2. We have to move America into the mainstream of modern industrialized countries by restructuring labor law and wealth redistribution or we will eventually become a failed state. Nostalgia is an enemy

    •  I agree we need real, enforced protections (3+ / 0-)

      for workers and real, enforced constraints on ownership... but at the same time, we should applaud CEOs and reward companies who treat workers and customers well.

      If I lived anywhere near Market Basket, and if Arthur T. does buy it, I would certainly give them my business.

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 04:13:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  sure, but it's meaningless in the long run (7+ / 0-)

        i vote with my shopping patterns, but the reality is that the only permanent incentive for business to not screw over workers is the threat of major legal penalties if they're abusive.

        i also have no patience for this idea that if we get just get back to the 'good old days,' america would work again for everybody.  that's bullshit.  the only reason the 'good old days' were good is that the rest of the industrialized world was rubble and the baby boomers benefited enormously from the government programs of the new deal.  every other country that did not have this peculiar advantage for a period of time after WWII has adopted the basics of a functional modern economy:  sensible regulation of business for public health and welfare, worker rights including guaranteed unemployment, right to organize and strike, and to paid leave, national health care, education, and job training schemes, family support laws including child supplements, universal childcare and equal education opportunities, etc.  there is NO REASON whatsoever that we should go back to the 'good old days' which only worked at the time because of a fluke of history and holds absolutely no promise whatsoever for today's youth or future generations.  we need social democracy that provides equal opportunity for everyone.  the only way to get there is dramatic, forward-looking reform--  not half-bakes nostalgia about an era of artifice

    •  couldn't agree more (4+ / 0-)

      You have to change the incentive structure, or you get a race to the bottom.  Individual goodwill on the part of some decision makers can only slow the race down, but you get to the same place in the end.  If bad guys have an advantage over good guys, every year, a few more good guys go out of business.

      Imagine the NFL without referees.  How long would gentlemen's agreements last if the dirtiest team won the Superbowl every year?

    •  the "golden age" was only golden for a small (5+ / 0-)

      percentage of people. Just ask Native Americans, people of color and women.

      I can't believe anyone still puts forth the idea that was ever a time in the US of justice and a collective prosperity. It has always been prosperity for a few.

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:15:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  From your lips to God's ears. eom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    From your lips to God's ears. eom

  •  Nice post (7+ / 0-)

    but capitalism never works for all. By its very nature it concentrates wealth, increases inequality, and requires perpetual (and unsustainable) growth to maintain itself.

  •  like AoT says, there's no such thing (9+ / 0-)

    The premise of capitalism is the extraction of value from labor by the owners of capital. If workers got the full value of their labor returned to them, it wouldn't work. The developments you describe don't represent some kind of progress of capitalism but are rather a response to it.

    The truth is that neoliberalism has been far more damaging to humanity and the rest of the planet than neoconservatism (although they are often closely aligned). The left needs to recover some of its older, harsher economic language (updated, of course), and quit kowtowing to capital.

  •  T&R anyway, but ... (5+ / 0-)
    Younger Americans won't even remember when companies considered their customers and public interests right along with those of their shareholders. But it used to be that way, back in the nation's golden age.
    I believe it was Will Cuppy who pointed out that we have this idea that if we go back far enough in time things will be better but they weren't.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 04:53:57 PM PDT

    •  "Progress" was only invented in the 19th Century (4+ / 0-)
      I believe it was Will Cuppy who pointed out that we have this idea that if we go back far enough in time things will be better but they weren't.
      Before then everyone took it for granted that decadence was the norm and that the golden age lay in the past, not the future.  This was even true in non-Western societies.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 05:24:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's only true when one remembers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides, lunachickie

      things as perfect.  If you want the fifties back, you have to take the racism with them.  But to say that one particular trait, say business owners caring about customers, was once more true can in fact be correct.  It was true.  We did once care about customers and about quality in this country.  Most of us still do.  Watch how hard underpaid exploited work to do a good job.  Problem is that the wealth is concentrated in the companies that don't care.  That, near as I can tell, is a cyclical development.  I hope I live to see the end of this New Gilded Age.

      "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." Jesus, Matthew 25:40, New Revised Standard Version.

      by Tenn Wisc Dem on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:02:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now that I think on it, REAL capitalism for all (5+ / 0-)

    would entail allowing failed businesses to fail.

    We let small businesses fail, but the big ones get bailed out by the government.  Various stabilizing the economy arguments can be made for this, but it means that they have no accountability and no incentive whatsoever not to crash the global economy again.

    And they will.  Mark my words.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 05:34:24 PM PDT

  •  If Artie T. is rehired, they have a new customer. (8+ / 0-)

    I live half a mile from a Market Basket. I prefer the competitor another half mile away but am no stranger to MB.

    The Board are strategic morons. They threaten the workers, as if the workers fill the till. The customers drive the business and the customers support the employees, who in turn support Artie T. They fail to grasp they cannot impose their will on customers and the only way to save their share values is to reinstate him. If they did, they know they've been beat and the situation will be hostile in the Boardroom against them. The Board ego cannot admit defeat. Again, as a reminder, they are executive idiots. They will take the enterprise down rather than admit they erred in judgment.

    If they sell for cheap, the buyers will get tainted goods. The customers are not loyal to the building - any other business is not MB. You cannot buy that kind of brand loyalty as what MB has under Artie T.

    At my last haircut, I heard another tale of Artie that shows why he is so beloved. A neighbor was going to lose their house during a job loss some years ago. Artie bought the mortgage and had her pay rent, ensuring that she never lost her house and her family never knew. When her fortunes turned and her children grown, Artie sold her the house for a pittance. He refused to see her lose either the house or her dignity.

    Dear current Board of MB, there are only two choices before you - either you lose or everone loses. The customers demand the former. Your well-documented asshattery suggests we brace for the latter. Choose well and you have another loyal customer to add to the ones waiting to return.

    I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV.

    by zeitshabba on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 05:37:44 PM PDT

  •  Regrettably, before such win-win capitalism (7+ / 0-)

    can return, there must be a legal decision to trump Revlon v. McAndrews, under which maximizing shareholder value is the sole responsibility of corporate management, period. Under the precedent of Revlon, shareholders can ditch any management that deviates from the Holy Maximizing.

    wiki on the case

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 05:43:54 PM PDT

    •  Women, Native Americans, African-Americans, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coldwynn, thanatokephaloides

      Latinos and pretty much anyone who wasn't white male never experienced this so-called "win-win capitalism." Such a thing does not exist.

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 08:18:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Certainly a valid point, but unrelated (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thanatokephaloides

        to the one I made, which is that protecting the shareholders' interest is the sole purpose of the corporation as adjudicated in Revlon.

        If the desire is to expand the mandate of the corporation, the Revlon case is a barrier which will stop any such effort.

        I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

        by Crashing Vor on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:23:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ah, but now there's a new definition (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, mkor7, lunachickie, Odysseus

      of "fiduciary duty" available to corporations that recognize that "value" includes more than dollars. The diarist mentions this:

      More than 500 companies in 60 industries have now been certified as "B-corporations," agreeing to make decisions that take into account the workers, community and environment along with the shareholders.
      (Citisven wrote a great piece on this a couple of years ago, when California's "benefit corporation" law went into effect.)

      The movement to establish this new type of corporation is relatively recent; but there are already 26 states (as well as the District of Columbia) that have enacted laws permitting the formation of benefit corporations. From B Lab's website:

      Benefit corporations operate the same as traditional corporations but with higher standards of corporate purpose, accountability, and transparency.
      Benefit corporations give leaders legal protection to pursue a higher purpose than profit, and offer the public greater transparency to protect against pretenders.
      So fortunately, there's no need to overturn the Revlon decision; if a corporation is formed under a benefit corporation statute (or an existing corporation's shareholders vote to have their company governed by such a law), a whole different set of rules applies to corporate governance. Cool, eh? It's too bad this positive development in corporate law isn't getting the attention it deserves.
    •  Shareholders are allowed to do whatever... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, Odysseus

      ...they want. That's why they are shareholders.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 02:26:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe the Market Basket employees should (5+ / 0-)

    band together to buy MB.  They could then hire Artie T. to run it (as he clearly can) and work on grooming internal replacements for him when he wants to retire.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 05:45:39 PM PDT

  •  Killing the goose that laid the golden egg, a/k/a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, highacidity, thanatokephaloides

    short-term profits over long-term profits.  

    Arthur T.  was clearly building long-term value for the stockholders.   What they want is all the golden eggs, NOW.

  •  Capitalism for all is called Socialism. It is not (3+ / 0-)

    a four letter word.

    It is an enlightened view of economics that has been around for a long long time

    Except in Fascist America

    Thank your press and your religious leaders and your school teachers for the greatest hoax of all time

     

  •  let's just stop doing capitalism altogether (5+ / 0-)

    it's not working.

    May you always find water and shade.

    by Whimsical Rapscallion on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 07:44:38 PM PDT

  •  I've never been opposed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ypochris, thanatokephaloides

    to strictly regulated capitalism. bring back glass-stegal andtax every goddman transaction on wall street;  nationalize the banks, expand medicare for all, provide people with sufficient means to live;  dump the fed; restore money issuance to the u.s treasury, amend the constitution to make it clear that money isn't speech and corporations aren't people, but women are;  and I'm good.

  •  Psychological trends 0, Rate of Return 1 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ezekiel in Exile, mkor7

    You want REAL capitalism?  Real capitalism knows there is no higher economic purpose than constantly growing rate of return on investment.  Deny that, the capital goes bye-bye, and with it business of any significant scale.  That's capitalism.  You maximize the rate of return by squeezing more out of workers for less, and keeping all that surplus value for capital's return.  That's capitalism.  That's why so many industries have moved to Asia and Latin America to maximize the surplus value squeezed from each worker.  That's capitalism.

    Naive souls and mouthpieces for the power of big money share the habit of proffering the 20th century synthesis, which was imposed on capital against its will, as the nature of capitalism.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  There's a reason capital often seeks refuge in authoritarianism, going so far as to develop its pure rarified state in fascism.  It's because they don't have an inherent interest in elevating workers, or serving communities, only serving customers sufficiently that they'll come back.  

    In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, workers, with their own non-capitalist ideologies, imposed their will partially upon capital.  Socialist, labor and related movements, both reformist and revolutionary, challenged the total hegemony of capital over society.  A deal was struck across the bulk of the capitalist world, capital got to keep its overall command of the economic order, but concessions in terms of wage scales, working conditions, worker advocacy, and soft social democratic lawmaking were imposed in return.  The Soviet Union, for all its many flaws, remained as the "big stick", proof that the private capitalist was unnecessary, a privileged estate on the productive process.  There were constant threats of many kinds that if capital didn't play by the rules of the Synthesis (the New Deal in the US), that their commanding place in society could be stripped away by the organized power of workers.  Until money figured out how to convince workers that they "don't need" organization, that by "rugged individualism" they can get what they want and need without all those silly laws and institutions of the 20th Century Synthesis.  And in a self-reinforcing manner, this return to Real capitalism came into being.  

    Those "Golden Years" did happen.  But they didn't "just happen".  Nothing occurs in a social vacuum.    They were things untold millions of workers fought to build, and have, since lost by failing to stand strong with their own.  That's capitalism.

    “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” —Aldous Huxley

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:40:19 PM PDT

  •  There is no such thing as (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ezekiel in Exile, AoT

    "capitalism for all".

    There once was a slightly regulated capitalism in the US, but it's too late for that anymore. Capitalism is dying and can't afford the wages and benefits that go along with the economy the diarist describes.

    Capitalism is for the creation of profits for business owners. All other considerations come after that. If the labor movement is strong enough to force concessions, fine, but the days of middle class workers are fast ending.

    The 99% are watching.

    by unclejohn on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 04:05:09 AM PDT

  •  Re-write corporate charters (3+ / 0-)

    Here's a twist that you may have never considered.  What if corporate charters were written so that they require corporations to take people into account?  Corporations are people too ... welll okay, make them act like it!

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 04:16:27 AM PDT

  •  What next? When Market Basket Employees win, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ezekiel in Exile, lunachickie

    it's time to march on Home-Depot & Walmart and anyone else doing just-in-time scheduling. No one owes their whole life to on-call scheduling with peanuts for pay, and there is no way to schedule routine childcare for that either. Give people actual shifts and enough hours & pay to live* on.

    *that includes, food, shelter, clothing, childcare, transportation- without asking the taxpayers to fund the corporations' payrolls through aid from the U.S. treasury.

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 04:37:44 AM PDT

  •  Obama in past was against workers. This time? (0+ / 0-)

    is the democratic party supportive of the workers?

    way back, a long time ago, in 1996, FedEx, got a special law from the Senate that  granted them the right to not have unions. The US Post Office and UPS both have unions.

    The founder of FedEx, Frederick Smith is a right wing republican with membership in Skull and Bones at Yale with others.

    This is described on pages 188-192 of Chris Hedges 2010 book "death of the liberal class"

    from the book

    "Smith, again thinking 'long term' plans to continue to hire thousands of full time employees and list them as independent contractors so he does not have to pay SS, medicate and unemployment insurance taxes. When when they get sick or injured or old, he can push them onto the street."
    this sounds like the board of Market Basket

    well, now we come to Obama

    "Obama, seduced by power and prestige, is more interested in courting the corporate rich than in saving the disenfranchised. Asked to name a business executive he admires, the president cited Frederick Smith of FedEx, although Smith is a union busting Republican .. Skull and Bones ... McCain's finance chair during run for presidency.

    "'He is an example of somebody who is thinking long-term' president said of Smith in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, adding that he 'really enjoyed talking' with him at a Februrary 4, 2009, White House luncheon."

  •  Profiles in Courage (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SGA, kamarvt, lunachickie

    Regardless of the validity of the various definitions of capitalism, let's celebrate in the fact that the workers are winning.

    I wonder if the employees had any idea that they would become national heroes when they started their protest. I live in New England in the middle of this and was quick to discount the few people holding signs when this thing started.  Just a few short weeks later the stores are empty and the public is cheering them on.

    I hope the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is considering them for their Profiles in Courage Award.

  •  Golden age of capitalism? When, exactly? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT

    What I find most interesting about this diary isn't its contents, per se, but the fact that so many here on Daily Kos have rec'd it.  Seems a lot of people on the progressive Democratic wing still believe there was, at one point in our history, a benevolent form of capitalism.  I'd really like someone to point out when that period of American history occurred.

  •  The employer/employee contract went away in ~1990 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Kickemout

    I am a professional that worked for many years for a couple of different large to medium manufacturing firms.  When I got out of college in 1978 there was an implied contract between an employer and employee such that the employer recognized the long term value of a good employee.  In hard times when cost cutting was necessary the last thing a company did was lay off or fire good people.

    In the 1980's the "re-engineering" management approach came along that looked at a company's overall operations and identified efficiencies and wasted effort.  A typical such exercise often resulted in staffing reduction of 10 or 15% and a stronger company.  Most companies tried to manage the staffing reductions in the least disruptive way possible.

    In the 1990's you saw more and more financial types in charge and the staffing reduction became "10% across the board by next month".  No consideration was given to the employees and the workload reductions that went along with the previous "re-engineering" efforts were gone so whoever was left after the staff reductions had to do the work of whoever was gone.

    Not surprisingly the loyalty people used to have for their employer went away when the prevailing company policy became treating employees as disposable assets.

    Now we have companies managed by people that are highly motivated to take massive risks to improve stock price since they get fabulously wealthy with stock replated compensation.  This wouldn't be so bad but those same people have guaranteed minimum contracts that mean they can fail miserably and still be fine financially.  

    I don't know how we ever get back to the former arrangement where companies valued their employees.

  •  Wishful thinking (0+ / 0-)

    More than 500 companies in 60 industries (works out to 8 or 9 companies at most in each of the 60 industries. Can we get some reality here... WHICH companies please. Are these actual viable major players or are they barely there, tiny players - penny stock companies? Are they even publicly  traded? Are they LLC's? Come ON!
    Capitalism in the US today barely exists and 500 or so companies what want to move toward some moral action mirrors that - barely a drop. Remember the Fleece Manufacturer in Massachusetts whose building burned and he paid his workers while he tried to get back into business? How's he doing? Bankruptcy and finally purchase by Versa Capital Management. (they own loads of things). THey are NOT moving toward "moral" capitalism.

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