…and the Home of the…Selfish

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One of the problems facing this nation is the fact that we have lost our sense of altruism.  We have lost our sense of civic good, responsibility and genuine concern for those around us.  “Greed is very very good”, as is doing what is best for one’s self, rather than what might be best for yourself and others.

What happened to the stalwart American business person who was just as interested in the well-being of his/her employees as the bottom line?

What happened is that small business owner was eaten alive by a larger company, etc, until the nation became the pawn of mega corporations who don’t give a damn about the people who work for them.  The only reason they even bother with the “community” is for public relations purposes.

Take Walmart, please.  Conservatives worship at the altar of Wallyworld.  It is the example of all that is sweetness, light, goodness, and perfection.  They ignore the “liberal” stories about how Walmart is a shark preying on smaller business, ruins small communities, virtually indentures its employees, and ruins small factories. It’s a liberal lie, right?

No, it’s not.

Unlike the average conservative talking radio head, The Pink Flamingo lives in the real world.  I have seen how the local Walmart mistreats its employees.  I’ve personally experienced the treachery of their “spies” who prey on small, successful stores, doing everything possible to put in the same merchandise.  It happened to me.

It is about the bottom line.

It is not about honor, decency, and doing the right thing.

It is about Ayn Rand’s selfish theology.

We are learning that large corporations are holding something like $2 trillion in cash reserves, just in case.  “Business” is terrified of Obama’s idiotic economic policies.

The good libertarian, Ayn Rand thing to do is to hold on to that cash and be utterly selfish, utterly involved in one’s own self interest.

The other night, my mother watched the old classic Random Harvest.  Without going into details of an convoluted plot, the salient point is that the character “Charles” played by Ronald Coleman, inherits a business.  Instead of acting selfishly and solving his personal problems…

“...he puts off his own desires to rescue the many workers who depend on it and to restore the family fortune. After a few years, he has become so successful that a newspaper touts him as the “Industrial Prince of England.”…”

You just don’t find this sort of thing, anymore.

Today, a person must take care of themselves first.

It is liberal to think of others.

Oremus Bible Reader

Ayn Rand would be so very proud of our selfish culture.  She would be so pleased that what was once considered a fairly Christian group of people, conservatives, have literally thumbed their nose at the Sermon on the Mount.

Oremus

One cannot follow Rand and follow Christ.

Salisbury Post - Mark Sells

Selfishness is good.  It is “Conservative”.  It is a winning economic philosophy – right?

Consider the fact that we are in this financial mess because of Alan Greenspan and his Randian economic policies.  He pandered to corporate greed.  He ignored the realities of the crises he created.

What would happen if the corporate world decided to reject Rand’s selfish philosophy and, instead, patterned their business model on the Sermon on the Mount?  Sure, they  might not make as much but they would take that two trillion and re-invest it in hiring new employees, expanding and growing.  You do that and you re-start the economy.  Then again it would for once and all prove that Rand’s economic “theories” are as utopian as socialism, and not much different.

Greed is so not good.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “…and the Home of the…Selfish

  1. Two things happened to the stalwart American companies–and it had very little to do with greed.

    1- Unions. As more workers united to demand a piece of the pie, companies got less emotionally involved. They thought less of the company as a family that shared the good and bad times because the worker thought less of the business as an entity they needed to work with to accomplish a mutual goal. Again, this has less to do with greed and more to do with the worker wanting a livable wage with better working conditions. And the employer, no longer the “uncle” or “father” figure, believed he/she was already “taking care” of their workers. Now, remember that while not all companies had gone union, unions did affect all workers in the laws that required 40 hour weeks, overtime, vacations, sick leave–even unemployment insurance.

    2-Local to Global. As companies went international (yes even small companies can ship all over the world.), the sense of community left. Once upon a time, employers saw their workers at church, at the community center, at the ball game. Now, most workers never meet the people who make decisions that affect their lives and their families. Right or wrong, employers see numbers and their concerns are about keeping their little piece of the pie or expanding. Again, I think this has less to do with greed and more to do with survival.

    You talk about the corporations holding on to trillions of dollars…please remember that most corporations are not solely owned; they have millions of investors that have their 401ks and other retirement funds involved. In THIS financial climate with a free spending president and Senate who is anti-business and the House held by the Republican party with very dangerously stupid tea partiers that think it’s a good idea for America to renege on their loans…I HOPE the people who hold MY investments are being tight, waiting for the next adminstration and REAL Republicans running the show.

    I find the idea of concept of being Christian can sometimes be ambiguous. Some peace loving groups demand that the command “Thou shalt not kill” to mean no wars. I believe that commandment never meant one should allow oneself to be murdered or to fight to remain free.

    Being Christian doesn’t necessarily mean sharing one’s wealth with those who hasn’t earned it–and earning can and should mean sharing risk and sacrificing to keep the company viable.

  2. By the way, my business partner agrees with you about Greenspan–actually has been complaining about him for years.

    He has a simplier explanation than the one I tried to give you: Take Dell, right now when he tells people that Dell had the best customer service, people laugh.

    Unfortunately for years of this great service, Dell wasn’t making money. So they took their Customer Service Dept to foreign countries and whah-lah, back in business. People complain, but they still go to Dell because now, Dell can undercut other PC companies.

    Many of us may remember the Mom and Pop stores that all knew our names and what we liked and/or was looking for, but if given a choice, most will go to Wal Mart because it’s cheaper.

    THAT is cold hard reality–it is the consumer that has sacrificed personalized service for lower cost.

    And again it has less to do with greed than survival: the consumer needs to stretch their hard earned dollar and the company needs to remain in business.

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