“Stealing Water From Children & Other Good Business Practices” – MOC #63

  1. I completely agree. Crime pays more than anything unless there’s the fear of punishment. …And thanks for the compliment. “Machine-gun style” – I like that.

  2. Ethical behaviour can certainly be done while maintaining profitability, but let’s face it, crime pays, and it pays big. There are so many incentives to engage in behaviour that is harmful to society that it is no surprise that the richest people get richer by so doing, and here we stand today. I love your machine-gun style.

  3. Nice rant. Much appreciated. Just listened to Ron Paul on PBS explaining how letting businesses fail will fix everything because the Free Market is magic. OK, he didn’t exactly say that, but it was the crux of his argument.

    And he’s right. In exactly the same way the folks who talked to you about how the magic Free Market makes corporations ethical. Which is to say that he’s only sort of right in a very round-about way that doesn’t help much.

    People are greedy. They make bad choices when given the opportunity for short-term gain. Unethical choices. Choices that will bring down the company or corporation or country. Hell, let it all burn so long as you’ve got your McMansion, waterski, trophy wife, and liposuctioned sweet bod.

    The Free Market works pretty much like the Lotka-Volterra equation works for population equilibrium. There are cycles. There is boom. There is bust. In the end, everything works out. Except that those cycles mean that there are times when nearly the whole population of prey gets wiped out by the predators in a royal terror-fest of tooth and claw. And then the predators turn on each other. And all the blood makes the plants grow. (OK, that’s a tangent. But – what the fuck? – I like plants.)

    And anybody who made it through high school biology ought to know that Lotka-Volterra doesn’t always quite pan out right. Sometimes the predators really go all out in a Charlie Sheenish orgy of excess and the whole damn system tanks. Whoops.

    Thus regulation. Not because we don’t think the Free Market isn’t magic. I think it’s magically terrific. It’s better than Lucky Charms. Better than Siggy and Roy. Better than David Copperfield. But it’s slow and ponderous and comes down like a ton of bricks not on the people who fucked up – they’ve got theirs and moved on – but on the poor slobs who were working for the company or corporation or country just trying to make a few bucks to spend on Transformers 10, glow-in-the-dark Nike jock straps, and a super-sized mega meat mitten on special at 7-11.

    We need regulations to speed up the Free Market’s self-correcting wonderfulness. We need regulations to lithiate this bi-polar brute.

    Keep it clear.

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