[FoRK] Obama: communitarian, redistributionist, confused? (from NYT)

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Mon Aug 25 16:45:19 PDT 2008


On Aug 25, 2008, at 3:24 PM, geege schuman wrote:
> <Tenth, one of the most interesting questions over the next  
> generation is
> whether the Anglo-American form of capitalism, which gives primary  
> direction
> of companies to capital markets, will flourish and expand, or not.  
> Some of
> the evidence on the (in)effectiveness of takeovers and the recent sad
> experiences in financial markets rather suggests not.>


To be replaced by what? I do not think the world can afford the  
opportunity cost.  Call me crazy, but I like the technology and  
innovation of "Anglo-American capitalism".  Not that we are not slowly  
smothering capitalism in Anglo-America these days -- I do not know why  
people are surprised when an economy rooted in innovation goes with  
it.  People love the sausage, but hate the sausage-making.


> It's a tenuous connection, but read
> http://creativecapitalism.typepad.com/creative_capitalism/2008/08/profit-maximiza.html
>
> Jeff and JAR, check out the fifth point.


"Fifth, in this perspective, shareholders are not genuine owners. They  
contribute nothing of value to the competitive strengths of the firm..."

This is a stupid perspective, because the assertion is demonstrably  
false. Sure, grandma and her ten shares of General Motors may not add  
any value, but then that is why she only has ten shares.  Especially  
for smaller companies, and companies are getting smaller, who your  
shareholders are can have a significant impact on the value of your  
business. Pablum for the proletariat, as good today as it was a  
century ago.

The entire article was about how workers are owed a job. That is  
lovely and all, but I would rather the money was spent on creating new  
and useful jobs rather than subsidizing a job that long since passed  
its Sell By date. Labor has no intrinsic positive value.

Ironically, this perspective is the very thing that killed companies  
like General Motors.  People are promoting this perspective, but  
apparently unwilling to take responsibility for its past "successes".  
But this time it will be different! D'oh.

Cheers,

J. Andrew Rogers



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