Sunday, November 30, 2008

Capitalism at Work

THIS is what capitalism looks like. Not the pseudo-capitalism, Gordon Gekko wanna-be greed driven shite that has overtaken the Western world for the last few decades.

I honestly believe that if more company owners and managers behaved in the fashion described in this article, unions would not have the kind of traction that they do (did?). Capitalism shouldn't be about maximizing profit at any and all costs. It should be about creating a win for everyone - employees (probably more so employees than anyone), customers (strong second), management, and the community (indirectly through the already named constituencies as well as through direct involvement of the corporation).

I have nothing against unions, personally, but I don't believe in them. I also get that unions derive their leverage from their role as self-appointed defenders of the common man. Unions would largely be unnecessary if the "leaders" of corporations weren't always trying to fuck over their employees (among others). Management creates an adversarial environment and then wonders why the unions are so hostile toward them. How stupid do you have to be? If managements spent more time attempting to share the company's success with all involved in creating that success -- serving the employees, customers, vendors and families -- they'd probably not have to worry about unionization creeping into their workforces. If they spent as much time and energy on enriching those same customers, employees, vendors, et. al, I think a lot of wasted time and energy could be directed into profitable ventures.

(I admit to oversimplifying a bit, but probably not too much. "Getting over" is a human trait. It transcends cultures, nationalities, race, gender, and every other division you can think of. However, it doesn't work, as Nas reminds us. So why bother trying to "get over on someone" if its not a long term strategy for real success?)

Historically, tech companies have been the embodiment of this ideal (more so than old line industrials, anyway). The technology industry has a reputation as a meritocracy, which encourages people to give their all in the (deserved) expectation that they will be compensated commensurately with their contribution. That ideal IS the very definition of service. While the tech industry doesn't get it perfect, they are still much closer than more established industries. This probably explains the lack of presence of unions within technology companies to a large degree (although not exclusively).

Anyway, just something for all of you to think about. I'm feeling the spirit of Earl Nightingale wash over me these days, but the more I think about "The Strangest Secret", the more I see that Earl was spot on. Take care of others, and you will be taken care of. Universal, karmic law.

Just too bad that Ken Lay and the rest of those Enron cocksuckers didn't get their just desserts -- violent anal rape -- in prison. Well, you can't win 'em all!

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