Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Is business evil? Do business people just want to cheat their employees and customers?

Posted Saturday, February 3, 2018, at 3:42 PM
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  • Oh, and please, this is not about a president, present, or past. Let's give the topic a chance to be discussed before we veer off course?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Feb 3, 2018, at 3:43 PM
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    Steve, I'm sure there are some businesses and business people who are in it only for the almighty dollar and therefore justify any way of sticking it to the customer and employee in order to squeeze out an extra penny or two. But these are less common than some people think. Granted, the whole point of a business is to make profit for the owner, whether an individual or a corporation. The successful ones have figured out that the key to long term profitability is having satisfied repeat customers. So if they want to stay in business long term, they tend to treat the customer and employee reasonably. Of course, the jealous people on the left who can't stand the thought of anyone being successful by the sweat of their own brow, claim that anyone who has been successful in business could only have made it by screwing over the poor pitiful downtrodden customer and employee.

    -- Posted by fair share on Sat, Feb 3, 2018, at 4:42 PM
  • What about the Hollywood bunch? You can guess the pun I would like to say.

    I don't condemn everyone in the TV/Movie business just because of some bad apples. Probably more than a few but that is the environment allowed to fester for MANY years so it will take time to change.

    Our society is in part to blame for much of this as well. We allowed the permissive entertainment industry and any who act surprised at what has been going on has either been VERY sheltered or not being truthful.

    The same may be said for business ethics, so the criticism is not all unwarranted, but doing it with such a "broad brush" is unfair.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Feb 3, 2018, at 5:58 PM
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    No, Steve, I can't guess what pun you want to make. Just go ahead and make it so we know.😎 Yeah, anyone who is surprised about Hollywood, business, politics, or life in general either 1)hasn't been paying attention, 2)is lying, or 3)is too stoopid to be wasting our oxygen.

    -- Posted by fair share on Sat, Feb 3, 2018, at 6:35 PM
  • I've worked in some places where the management were completely crazy in their decision making, but even then, no one forced me to work there, so I left.

    I've been treated poorly as a customer, but again, no one was forcing me to shop there, so I went elsewhere.

    Fair pretty much nailed it in his first response. There are some who are greedy and evil, but they won't last long unless government is shielding them from competition such as utlities and monopolies.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Sat, Feb 3, 2018, at 10:51 PM
  • I suppose that we can lump into that same group those companies that said they were going to use their tax savings on buying back shares to increase their net worth. And how about AT&T; they gave their employees a $ 1000 bonus and then announced that 30,000 were going to be pink-slipped.

    -- Posted by Tyger on Sun, Feb 4, 2018, at 8:51 AM
  • I would bet that 30,000 pink slips are going to be heavily analyzed, so if there is no solid reason other than greed, the **** will hit the fan.

    While corporations get a lot of criticism for their cold, seemingly unfeeling decisions, the stockholders demand results or they pull their money. When they do that, the company struggles even more.

    Should that put the burden of guilt on the stockholders? I don't think so but I have to admit, appeasing Wall Street is a BIG PITA.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Feb 4, 2018, at 9:19 AM
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    Speaking of big business generally trying not to stick it to the customer, it does happen and when they realize, they tend to make amends. It was nice of the NFL to honor a Medal of Honor recipient with the coin toss. Of course, it would have been nicer had they apologized to the group of recipients and all consumers (the fans) for having spent the past year allowing their employees to diss the county and our heros. But they are paying the price and will likely further adjust their behavior next season

    -- Posted by fair share on Sun, Feb 4, 2018, at 7:36 PM
  • No they don't need to be taught business. It should be required before going to college or any other work place that they should be made to work 2 years in retail or serving the public. I think then there would be a better understanding of what a it requires to be able to conduct business and everything that goes on in real life. While I see bashing of the company I work for if you look 70% have not paid there bills on time because they have an issue they caused them self. In there minds we are the problem. In reality it is them. I'm sure anyone who ever worked a call center for any company hears it's your companies fault. They do not maintain the product or service the customer does.If anyone who does business follows the Golden Rule we just smile and acknowledge the customer is always right.

    -- Posted by kings11 on Mon, Feb 5, 2018, at 11:29 AM
  • Having spent many of my years dealing with the public, that motto of always being right sure caused some scars on the old tongue 👅

    Fair share, I would have bet most anyone that I would turn off the Super Bowl after the first half. It was actually my ladies who turned it on, thinking sure I wanted to see it.

    Well, .... I am glad I watched it to completion. Glad it wasn’t lopsided and that there were not a lot of controversial calls by the referees. I enjoyed it even though I did not have a “dog in the hunt”.

    The ads are always fun and the halftime show was not objectionable. I got a kick out of one TV news anchor this morning when she said the game was almost as interesting as the halftime show. 😉

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Feb 5, 2018, at 11:52 AM
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    Yeah it was a good game. Remember George and Gracie's old radio show for Maxwell House? "Good to the last drop." The commercials seemed a little bland. It is almost unAmerican to not have the Clydesdales.

    -- Posted by fair share on Mon, Feb 5, 2018, at 12:37 PM
  • You’re right. All I remember was an “honorable mention” is some ad, but it did not seem to be a Budweiser.

    Dilly, dilly. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Feb 5, 2018, at 12:53 PM
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    -- Posted by fair share on Mon, Feb 5, 2018, at 3:00 PM
  • The biggest problem I see with business is the inequitable pay between management and labor.

    The inequality in the U.S. has grown steadily. http://fortune.com/2015/06/22/ceo-vs-worker-pay/

    As a business owner, having business owning friends, I have come to appreciate that the biggest source of income is the profit from the labor of others.

    Please don't misunderstand! A business owner SHOULD make more money that his employees. One reason is because the owner has to make up for losses caused by his employees. The owner has additional risks not shared by the employee.

    However, I don't think that a employer should make more off of the labor of an employee than the employee, (after all expenses have been reconciled).

    In big business, which I also work for, there is a distinct separation between management and labor. In this scenario, education is generally the dividing line. An inept employee with a degree usually earns higher wages than a competent employee without the degree. These scenarios often lead to failures of the company where management bails out with a "golden parachute" and labor is left holding the bag.

    I am all for anyone making all the money they can. But, not if they have to plunder the life, liberty, or possessions of another to do it.

    The golden rule is "Love your neighbor as your self". If you apply that to employment, then you want your employee to be just as prosperous as you are. Anything less CAN be considered greedy,.. or EVIL.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Mon, Feb 5, 2018, at 7:29 PM
  • How much of that inequity is due to automation?

    Lots of low end labor jobs have been replaced by robotics and machines that were state of the art 10 years ago are left in the dirt by current models, meaning the same worker, working the same amount (and often much less) for the same pay is able to produce more.

    Simple computer programs have made the rows and rows of accountants and secretaries we used to see obsolete.

    If you pay a man to dig holes all day and pay him $200/day with a shovel, and later provide him with a backhoe, should his extra production merit more pay? The employer made the investment for increased production.

    The increased production can and should result in increased compensation for the owner for the foresight, risk, and investment that worked. Millions of business owners fail and lose everthing by taking the chance, so the reward has to account for the risk.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Feb 5, 2018, at 7:54 PM
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    Businesses that value a degree over knowledge and ability get what they deserve. Come to think of it, in a free market system, all businesses get what they deserve. We just need to make sure the government let's it be a free market.

    -- Posted by fair share on Mon, Feb 5, 2018, at 8:33 PM
  • While I agree that there are many in management who should be demoted and many in the rank and file that should be promoted, I do not agree with other comments about employers needing to share and share alike.

    If the employees share the profit, do they share the loss as well? Should they then be asked to return those profits (in proportion) when the business starts to suffer?

    In addition to the employees income are benefits such as insurance, social security contributions, unemployment insurance, etc. How is that redistributed to the company should the employee leave after being trained or gaining experience in their field?

    How is a "reasonable" profit figured, by the government? Will the employees be required to invest their home, their savings and owe for money borrowed? I wonder how many employees would apply for a job that requires that?

    Many years ago my friend offered me partnership. I knew what it would require and was unwilling to "live" the business as he would/did. I might have worked more than a normal employee, but my friend would/did work as many hours as there are in a day and kept going until he had no more.

    He is still president of his company and I am technically out of work, but I have no ill will toward him, nor expect him to carry me because I was an employee.

    Why should a person start a company, take the gamble, work the hours if all they get is a break-even with an hourly employee? Why would everyone not just be an "employee"? Mainly, because there would not be a job to work hourly if there was not a company for which to work.

    As long as the "employee" makes the same financial and physical commitment, they should be as prosperous. Of course then, they are not an employee.

    I believe the Golden Rule says to "do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you". I do not wish that everyone who has more money than me, share it with me until we are on equal terms. That philosophy is more attuned to Communism and Socialism, of which I am not a supporter.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Feb 5, 2018, at 9:06 PM
  • Everyone has valid points. I am by no means suggesting equal pay, redistribution, government regulation, or the idea that more risk and effort shouldn't result in more reward.

    The struggle between labor and management has been the cause of many battles. Management holds the upper hand and therefore the higher moral responsibility. They can and have, plundered labor to the point of slavery and death. That is why labor unions were formed. Unreasonable expectations abound on both sides.

    A free market system is highly dependent on a moral people. People who are self governed based on a higher morality. When you ask "is business evil", it depends. Are people evil? By what measure is the judgement to be made?

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Tue, Feb 6, 2018, at 5:18 AM
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