Friday, February 18, 2011

A little corporate greed rant, Part One

Okay, okay! Chevron is bad! Halliburton is bad! War and killing and injustice are very bad. I hear you. I get it. But like everything else in this world, there is little black and white, or should I say "us" and "them," to THE ENDLESS GREED AND SHITTY BEHAVIOR OF CORPORATIONS.

I am going to keep this one short.

Corporations are simple machines. And yes, this includes the most diverse, conglomerated, vertically structured multi-national, banking, military-industrial-whatever. They are all the same in one way. They are all about money. Now this may seem like a simple truth, but it is much more. It is the tool that we as consumers have to bend them to our will.

Every corporation has at its core a JOB #1 : Make money for the owners (shareholders, usually).


The "Good Hands" people didn't start up their firm 150 years ago, build it, and keep it running to make sure your Prius gets fixed when the drunk dick dents it and runs. That is not worth their time and money. And when I say time and money I mean Millions of woman hours and billions of dollars. What they did do is to create a machine that will pay for the ddd and millions of other insurance claims from a fund built up out of payments from us to them based on the idea that Good Hands will protect us when dd comes by. Most importantly, their BEST work is to MAKE SURE THERE IS MONEY LEFT OVER.


They just want money.

This does not make them bad. Really. They do a lot of cool stuff. Driving would be a very different thing without the insurance industry. The food you just ate, the chair you are sitting in, the clothes you are wearing, the phone in your bag, and on, and on and onandonandonandon, came from and through corporations. Somebody made the chair for two bucks and sold it for thirty. Made a computer for twenty that sells for seven hundred. Whatever. If they don't make money, your don't get to watch Philip DeFranco on YouTube. They just want money. And  they will do ANYTHING to get it.

This does not make them bad. This makes them simple. Now put that simple organization in an ocean of kill-or-be-killed similar organizations and the best, smartest, strongest survive. They grow, thrive, diversify, and protect themselves. Still simple, money-making machines.

They learn and adapt. Large, 21st century corporations have learned to protect themselves with lawyers, politicians, judges, lobbyists, researchers and a thousand other tools that guard that simple process of having more money at the end of the day than they had at the start. And THAT is how you do battle with them.

I am currently supporting a group that is working to reverse a corporate transaction here in San Francisco. The best radio station in town was sold and we, the listeners are pissed off and protesting the sale. But it won't do much, because we aren't dealing with the money. I'll get into it more later (and on my show today 9:30am PST), but basically the thrust of the group SAVE KUSF is to complain about the sale. I do not understand why anyone thinks this will work.

What would work is if we -- it ALWAYS comes down to education (see Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)--repeat it, now: "IT ALWAYS COMES DOWN TO EDUCATION." If you want to drop a corporation to its knees, take its money away. I am not talking about the wealth that they HAVE. That is of secondary interest to them. They want the FLOW of money every day, into their control. Interrupt that and you have them. But how? Education.

You must learn how they make their money.

Stop buying what they're selling! Sounds easy, until you consider the diversity and hidden nature of corporate diversity. When you buy a dozen eggs, a gallon of gas, a loaf of bread, or a newspaper, the money doesn't just go to the store you buy it at. The store owner has to pay for the product: she didn't make it! And she has to pay rent and overhead and employees and taxes and a million other things and it all comes out of your little $2.49 for a loaf of sliced Wheat Berry, or your $3.49 for a gallon of Chevron unleaded.

This is getting long. End of Part One.


Thanks for reading! Now get back to work!


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