Comment 5050

By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted February 02, 2007 at 10:31:41

Hi Scmadrian,

As usual, I don't quite know where to start with your post. There seems to be a huge disconnect between what you think RTH writers are saying, and what we are really saying...

Many of the RTH writers are, or have been, independent business people - myself included. Regardless, I assure you - none of us are quite as 'naive' as you believe. The present day corporate capitalist model is no mystery to any of us. Neither is the fact that this is our 'reality' today. What we refuse to do is lay down and let the worst aspects of this model (and that's all capitalism is - a business model) run our lives.

Of course there is a balance between economic reality and corporate behaviour. I, like you, grew up in Britain, in a climate of Steel strikes and Coal Miner strikes and bread strikes and - lots of strikes! Despite feeling for the folks embroiled in all this (we lived not far from one of the affected Coal mining towns) I realized at the time that there was more than a semblance of economic reality to Thatchers hard-line stance (I'm reading Thatcher's autobiography now in fact).

Nobody at RTH is advocating a nice warm protective bubble of high wages and jobs-for-life for Hamilton's workers. All this post is saying - if you can calm yourself down for a moment and try to understand it - is that Corporate takovers - especially when they involve large firms with no connection to the local town - invariably result in job losses, pay reductions or other negative effects to the local workforce. Often this is due to the necessary consolidation of certain components of the business - it as, as you say 'just business'

Speaking for myself I agree with you that there are some 'wholesome' corporate employers out there. Employers who really care about their employees and the lives their industries affect. But I also feel - strongly - that when a corporation becomes a certain size and when a corporation has no ties to the local community it draws from, there is less incentive and willingness to go beyond the bottom line.

Capitalism is all about the bottom line. It would be truely naive of YOU to believe that corporations are obliged to do anything more than make profits - often at the expense of the environment and with significant social costs.

I once went to a seminar where a CEO scoffed at an audience members question about employee rights.

'Why should I care about that?' he replied, 'I get paid to make the numbers go the right way. And they have. I've been successful'

While it is certainly a reality today that there are no jobs for life and that people should wake up to this fact (and really, I don't think many people need waking up to it) it is also true that rampant capitalism - the model which we are following today - overall - it's not leading us anywhere good. And while we should all do our best to adapt to the cut-throat nature of the business world today we should also refuse to let the speeding train of corporate 'progress' run us right over.

That might sound like whining to you Scmadrian, but to me it's just common sense.

I look forward to your response.


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