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  • Posted by bsmith51 1 month ago
    Like the rest of progressivism, it will work for awhile, until the political capital is expended and real capital is all that's left. Then, companies will have the choice of cutting out the cancer or committing suicide, for the "betterment" of society.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 1 month ago
    I didn't know that the idea that business were supposed to make a profit primarily for their shareholders--those are the owners, right?--had first taken hold in the 1980's. I am inexperienced with such things, but I had assumed that the idea that a business was primarily to profit its owner(s)/shareholders had been in there from the beginning. But I have had very little to do with big businesses, other than as a manual laborer, and I have also worked for small businesses. And I suppose that I have considered things from a very simple, basic way.
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    • Posted by  $  3 weeks, 6 days ago
      "I didn't know that the idea that business were supposed to make a profit primarily for their shareholders--those are the owners, right?--had first taken hold in the 1980's."

      You are correct in that they didn't. This is just a trope talking point from an idealogue who likes communism.
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  • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 1 month ago
    This is great news!

    When these loser policies, and the corporations who follow them, fail, maybe quality businesses will fill in the vacancies (for a while).

    Wonder if I should be converting my assets to gold...?
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  • Posted by NealS 1 month ago
    It's gotta be a joke, or perhaps just a coverup on words, no one is going to invest in company like 20th Century Motors, or are they? I just hope that companies like Georgia-Pacific, Procter & Gamble and Kimberly Clark, (top toilet paper manufacturers) don't jump on this bandwagon.
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  • Posted by  $  Ben_C 1 month ago
    I wonder if part of their thinking is to embrace millennials to attract their investment dollars - if they ever have any. Regardless, their new "feel good" policies are doomed to failure because those with money will depart from their companies . Should be an interesting study. Atlas Shrugged - alive and well.
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  • Posted by Fish 1 month ago
    Sorry for the long post... it is edited for short :).
    Very interesting article. Look at these two paragraphs:

    “While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders”

    "The idea that businesses exist primarily to benefit shareholders -- also known as shareholder primacy -- took hold in corporate America in the 1980s."

    And supposedly the second contradicts the first, as if shareholders weren't stakeholders. Or the benefits for shareholders were gained at the cost of employees or customers. In 1919 Frederick W. Taylor published his only book, "The principles of scientific management". The very first paragraph says this: "The principal object of management should be to secure the maximum prosperity for the employer, coupled with the maximum prosperity for each employé (sic)".

    Unfortunately, in 1917 there was a violent revolution in Russia based on this apparent contradiction between the interests of employers and employees, giving too much economic and military power to these ideas, suffocating Taylor's. Ayn Rand said contradictions destroy the reality that contains them (couldn't find the quote in Atlas Shrugged now). All countries governed based on this contradiction have been deteriorated or simply destroyed (Venezuela is the last one).

    I say it is an apparent contradiction. It is easy to understand that profits come from a collaboration of employees. When employees reduce collaboration, profits go down. Another argument: I believe it was a PragerU video where I learned that before Civil War, the North was an economy more profitable per acre compared to the South, whereas in the North workers were free men working for wages, much more productive than the slaves in the South.

    It is sad that capitalists adopted the false contradiction that emerges from the class struggle discourse and now start saying that profits should be sacrificed for other stakeholders. Disgusting.

    Blarman, my conclusion is that that Roundtable of 181 signatories is not promoting anything close to the 20th Century Motor Co., however they miss the point when they don't emphasize obvious things: 1) customers give their money freely; 2) nobody is forced to work. If they want to improve service or wages, promote more freedom not less.

    That said... It is another thing the myopia of quarterly results (short term) determining strategies and actions that should be for years (long term). But that's another discussion... Maybe it's true that beyond a certain size, companies are more profitable for managers than for shareholders.
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    • Posted by  $  1 month ago
      "Or the benefits for shareholders were gained at the cost of employees or customers."

      Long-term businesses know that the only winning strategy is the win-win strategy whereby companies produce valuable products and services which improve the lives of their customers. It is incredibly short-term thinking to think of an economy as a fixed-size pie where one can only get more at the expense of another. These socialists don't comprehend that the pie grows as more and more people put in their time, talents, and expertise. Capitalists become socialists when they bow to this mentality.
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 1 month ago
    I do see corporate heads at some major companies attempting to emulate the 20th Century Motor Company. Will Ayn Rand’s prognostications again be realized? However, stockholders, unless forced to act otherwise, will move capital where it is most productive.
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    • Posted by  $  1 month ago
      And that is what will be the most damning evidence of a failed policy. In the book, they collapsed under their own weight but there wasn't much evidence of them being a publicly-traded company so the management was the stockholder base. It will be interesting to see how many investors pull out in the next few months and whether or not this influences their policy decisions. Personally, I'd love to see them all go under just to show everyone else what happens when you embrace the insanity of the Left.
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  • Posted by mccannon01 1 month ago
    It seems as if they are playing the "If I'm Nice To The Crocodile, It Will Eat Me Last" game. A fools approach, since you still get eaten ala the 20th Century Motors. Better to shoot the croc in the head right up front and get it over with.
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  • Posted by  $  brightwriter 1 month ago
    An explanation (no, I don't agree with this trend; but we are better off understanding irrational or erroneous behavior than not understanding it):

    Corporate managers are supposed to try to please the stockholders. If they do something that they expect stockholders to dislike (such as put profits ahead of everything else), then they must expect to defend their actions by pointing to evidence that they acted in good faith. Modern social pressures being what they are, truckling to the SJW's silly jawboning wackos inspires approval from other people—and there are essentially no people in high corporate positions who act as individuals. Boards and committees reign. Speaking up for profits and not for political correctness sounds disgusting in such settings.

    Corporate decisionmakers also act as agents for the corporations that they run. They are agents in that context and, like agents in any context (representing the interests of others), they are corrupted whenever their own personal interests differ from and conflict with those of their clients. Suppose a corporate officer does something laudable by our standards but meanwhile offends the left, then gets fired. Can that officer get another job with a hostile reputation? Doubtful. An officer who bungles things and gets fired but is not disliked by the left is probably more easily hired.
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  • Posted by  $  exceller 1 month ago
    “Stakeholders are pushing companies to wade into sensitive social and political issues "

    Yeah, like if they support Israel, or what is their stance in global warming, or what do they think of BLM?

    And other crap.

    I'd never invest in a company that is intimidated by the inane policies of the left.

    Besides, no sane person would support those "social issues." When you scrap the surface, it invariably turns out that some leftist activist is behind those "demands"
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  • Posted by  $  Solver 1 month ago
    If it wasn’t for the fact that businesses based on need and equality typically use big government and lots of other people’s money to keep their schemes afloat, I would definitely go short.
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