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Tags Amazon.com , donald trump , Jeff Bezos , lawsuits

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Old 10th December 2019, 08:58 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
It's there for all companies, whatever the ownership model.
You're talking nonsense. You haven't even addressed the core of my argument.

Quote:
You're the one who seems to be suggesting that publicly traded companies are somehow inherently evil and should be done away with. I have no desire to discuss such a ridiculous notion.
I have no desire to discuss your strawmen, either.
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:01 AM   #42
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The idea that "I have a certain duty to maximize profits to my shareholders" (which is true more or less) equates to "Therefore I have no moral responsibility to do anything else up to and including basic human rights, the environment, or anything else" is insane.

Here's a question for Don. I'm a CEO of a large business. Do I have a moral obligation to break the law if it makes money for shareholders?

If not, why is that different?
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:07 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
How strange, I order all the items that I need from a particular supplier for delivery at the same time to minimise shipping costs.

Chacun a son gout I suppose

For example I tend to buy my guitars one at a time, but I will then bundle it with other equipment if I require it. I suppose you and your SO buy half a dozen at a time.



If it is, the businesses following that model will attempt to reduce waste by incentivising people to make as few deliveries as possible.
If we are out "Guitar shopping", we likely also pick up a throw rug, a pair of Jeans, lightbulbs, cat food, a steering wheel cover, and a cheese grater.

Retail establishments tend to either carry many different types of merchandise from different manufacturers, or are clustered close together (like a mall) to make the purchase of unrelated items in a single trip more convenient.

Having those various items brought to my home seems to me to be far, far more wasteful (even before consideration of the excess packaging required) than picking it all up in a single go.
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:19 AM   #44
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The whole "going to jail for not maximizing profits" thing is stretched to overbroad proportions.

The intent of that law is to prevent a director/officer from making inside deals to benefit themselves or play favorites when it comes to awarding contracts and such.

Sure, the board can ultimately fire you for raising wages at warehouses, but to make a criminal complaint stick, they would need evidence of the kind of malfeasance mentioned above. The fired director need only state it is their "firm belief that raising wages would address the high turnover rates of personnel and reduce the liabilities created by an unacceptably high number of injury claims."

Case dismissed after a short hearing. In fact, with that statement and sans any other evidence, I doubt a prosecutor would even indict to begin with. That's assuming anyone even went as far as putting charges on the director at all.

Last edited by Delphic Oracle; 10th December 2019 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:22 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The idea that "I have a certain duty to maximize profits to my shareholders" (which is true more or less) equates to "Therefore I have no moral responsibility to do anything else up to and including basic human rights, the environment, or anything else" is insane.
They have no obligation to exceed current employment rights or environmental standards for that location, especially if it affects profitability.

If current employment rights or environmental standards are too low, then blame your elected representatives, not CEOs.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Here's a question for Don. I'm a CEO of a large business. Do I have a moral obligation to break the law if it makes money for shareholders?
No, in fact you have an obligation to not break the law on the grounds that it exposes shareholders to risk.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
If not, why is that different?
By breaking the law in order to generate more profit, you are working against the shareholders' interest. OTOH doing everything you can within the law to maximise shareholder return, you are working within their interest.
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:26 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
No, in fact you have an obligation to not break the law on the grounds that it exposes shareholders to risk.
Oh, is that all?

I thought breaking the law was bad, in and of itself. I guess it's just all enlightened self-interest.
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:33 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
If we are out "Guitar shopping", we likely also pick up a throw rug, a pair of Jeans, lightbulbs, cat food, a steering wheel cover, and a cheese grater.
I guess I must be weird, I buy my guitars from large music shops that tend not to stock any of the other items you mention.

As for the other stuff, I'd probably get the jeans from an online clothes shop and order the rest from a supermarket.

Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Retail establishments tend to either carry many different types of merchandise from different manufacturers, or are clustered close together (like a mall) to make the purchase of unrelated items in a single trip more convenient.
Strangely enough, online retailers do exactly the same thing.

Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Having those various items brought to my home seems to me to be far, far more wasteful (even before consideration of the excess packaging required) than picking it all up in a single go.
I suppose it comes down to how often you go out shopping and how far you have to travel. If you're a city dweller living right next door to a Mall and you're getting multiple daily deliveries from online retailers then you probably do need to assess your delivery strategy (you also need your head examining IMO, you're filling your house up with ****).

My supermarket shopping is delivered to my house in crates because I refuse to pay for bags. There is no more packaging than if I went shopping myself and I save myself the 10, 20 or 40 mile round trip (depending on which supermarket I choose).
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:36 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Oh, is that all?
No, I was pointing out that not only would I not be obliged to break the law, I'd be required to adhere to it.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I thought breaking the law was bad, in and of itself. I guess it's just all enlightened self-interest.
Depends on the law.

During the 1950s in parts of the US mixed race couples were illegal, I'd argue that breaking that law wouldn't be bad in and of itself.

Last edited by The Don; 10th December 2019 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:37 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
They have no obligation to exceed current employment rights or environmental standards for that location, especially if it affects profitability.

If current employment rights or environmental standards are too low, then blame your elected representatives, not CEOs
There's a whole lot of daylight between "no obligation to..." and "nothing stopping you from..."

Quote:
No, in fact you have an obligation to not break the law on the grounds that it exposes shareholders to risk.
That's the entire ball game right there. What is or is not risk? What decisions will increase or decrease liabilities?

Especially in post-fact world, one need only articulate a reasonable-sounding belief that their described actions would achieve their predicted outcome.

ETA: Take, for example, the bizzaro-world claim that jacking up your own workforce, reducing their compensation, and engendering growing negative consumer sentiment is in the best interests of the shareholders. These are typical tactics of firms that take over distressed assets with an eye towards sucking it dry of all available liquidity and breaking it up to sell pieces off to the highest bidder for yet more short-term profit.

So what is risk? What kinds of maximum profit do you mean? Instant profit today? Stable, long-term profit going forward?

Quote:
By breaking the law in order to generate more profit, you are working against the shareholders' interest. OTOH doing everything you can within the law to maximise shareholder return, you are working within their interest.
What will or won't maximise return?

Just on the single example of turnover/retention, there's a cost/liability to maintaining a permanent orientation/training system and constantly having to guide new workers up in their productivity rates. So you've got a chronically under-performing workforce further laden down by the administrative costs of guiding them into your operation. The alternative is a sharp, highly efficient static workforce with minimal administrative drag, perhaps even directly integrated into existing supervisory structure that "trains you on the job" after some minimal online type classes for the most basic regulatory (and often insurance company) requirements.

Last edited by Delphic Oracle; 10th December 2019 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:44 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
During the 1950s in parts of the US mixed race couples were illegal, I'd argue that breaking that law wouldn't be bad in and of itself.
Ok at this point you're just playing silly games.

Bye.
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:49 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
There are numerous reasons, but many of them were reinforced by a very recent "New Yorker" article. I'm on a tablet and have had no luck with copying and pasting links. One of these days I'll figure it out. If you're curious, you can probably find it pretty easily online.
Tried to find it but had no luck.
Quote:
But here are a few things:

- Guys who send dick pics do kind of bug me.
I was under the impression that those pics were something that was exchanged with consenting/receptive individuals. (I don't recall any incident of him using those pics in a harassing manner, e.g. sending them to unwilling people.)

Compare that to Trump, who has multiple allegations against him for sexual misconduct, his 'grab em by the pussy' statement, and his sleeping with a porn star shortly after his wife gave birth. Clearly Trump and Bezos are in completely different leagues.

Quote:
- He wouldn't sign the giving pledge.
You're right, he didn't. And if you were comparing Bezos to Bill Gates or Warren Buffet you might have a point. (I already admitted that he isn't as generous as those people.)

But, the relevant comparison is not Bezos with Gates, but Bezos with Trump. And as I pointed out, Bezos' charity contributions far surpass Trump's.

Bezos gave to support gay rights. Trump paid for newspaper ads to condemn the "Central Park 5". Bezos helped set up education for undocumented immigrants, Trump used his charity to buy paintings of himself. Clearly Bezos and Trump are in completely different leagues. Yet for some reason you consider them somehow similar/equivalent.
Quote:
- IMO, he treats his warehouse staff poorly.
Not sure how thing are in the United States, but apparently in Canada warehouse workers earn 9% more than workers in similar jobs.

https://ca.indeed.com/salaries/Wareh...-at-Amazon.com

Granted, they may not necessarily get "rich" working there, but these are low-skilled jobs, and it looks like they get more than the average.

And at least they're getting paid. Compare that to Trump, who regularly hires contractors, and then fails to pay them at all.

Yet for some reason you consider Bezos and Trump somehow equivalent.
Quote:
- He is in some ways a libertarian ideologue.
In what ways? That's a rather vague statement.

Bezos has contributed to both Republican and Democratic causes. Yes, he has fought against things like higher taxes, but as I pointed out, he has also contributed to charities benefiting gay rights and immigrants. Maybe he does lean on the 'libertarian' side, but I don't think he can be compared in any way to Trump, who's current inclination is hard-right.

Quote:
I hadn't known his net worth was $114 *billion*, which affected my view of the last 3 items. He could afford to pay workers more and improve working conditions. Ideologically, he may be on firm enough ground, but emotionally, it turned me off.
Yes he's worth a lot. But then a lot of his net worth is tied up in capital.
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:51 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
No, I was pointing out that not only would I not be obliged to break the law, I'd be required to adhere to it.
A law which restricts a specific activity is "adhered to" by not engaging in the restricted activity.

Quote:
Depends on the law.

During the 1950s in parts of the US mixed race couples were illegal, I'd argue that breaking that law wouldn't be bad in and of itself.
Belz and I have gotten pretty hot at each other lately, but even I can look at this and say you are not engaging his point in good faith.

What you just did is really low.

Last edited by Delphic Oracle; 10th December 2019 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:51 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
There's a whole lot of daylight between "no obligation to..." and "nothing stopping you from..."
True.

One thing stopping you may be the shareholders.

Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
That's the entire ball game right there. What is or is not risk? What decisions will increase or decrease liabilities?

Especially in post-fact world, one need only articulate a reasonable-sounding belief that their described actions would achieve their predicted outcome.
That may be your view and in the US but for directors in the UK, deliberately breaking the law is still a no-no.

Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
What will or won't maximise return?

Just on the single example of turnover/retention, there's a cost/liability to maintaining a permanent orientation/training system and constantly having to guide new workers up in their productivity rates. So you've got a chronically under-performing workforce further laden down by the administrative costs of guiding them into your operation. The alternative is a sharp, highly efficient static workforce with minimal administrative drag, perhaps even directly integrated into existing supervisory structure that "trains you on the job" after some minimal online type classes for the most basic regulatory (and often insurance company) requirements.
Amazon have clearly taken the view that they have an acceptable level of turnover in lower level positions on the grounds that they have not taken steps to address it. Furthermore, a cost-conscious company like that will have a clear view of the costs of that turnover and the effect of that on the bottom line and have come to the conclusion that paying and treating certain classes of employee poorly in the US is good for business.

At the managerial, technical and executive level they seem to have taken a different view. Pay and conditions for employees whose skills are deemed to be critical are far, far better.

Amazon should have to pay and treat their staff properly. In the EU they are treated far better than in the US because of EU employment laws. If you don't want people to be exploited by employers then do the opposite of what the US (and increasingly the UK) are doing. Instead you should:
  • Ensure that laws are passed to ensure a living wage, worker protections and acceptable working conditions
  • Encourage individuals to join unions so that it's less easy to exploit individual workers
  • Encourage unions and employers to work cooperatively, not antagonistically
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:53 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Belz and I have gotten pretty hot at each other lately, but even I can look at this and say you are not engaging his point in good faith.

What you just did is really low.


Belz.... said that breaking the law was bad in and of itself.

I pointed out one unambiguous example of where that was not the case.
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Old 10th December 2019, 09:55 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post


Belz.... said that breaking the law was bad in and of itself.

I pointed out one unambiguous example of where that was not the case.
"I simply took his words out of context and deliberately interpreted it completely literally in order to continue to disagree with him. I don't see what's wrong about that!"



Sure, Don. Sure.
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Old 10th December 2019, 10:33 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Also recall that this whole Bezos tangent stemmed out of a comparison to Trump's record as a businessman.
Well, it stated with a posting about Amazon possibly losing a contract from the Pentagon due to Trump's interference. Then another poster made a comment about how they thought Bezos was "almost as bad" as Trump.

The question is, how is he 'almost as bad'. My opinion is that even if Bezos isn't great, he is still head and shoulders above Trump.

Its like saying the guy who shoplifted is "almost as bad" as a serial killer because "they both did something wrong", while ignoring the details and the impact of the various crimes involved.

Quote:
On that particular point, I have to say that yes, they both show the same vein towards screwing over the people who helped them get where they are as much as their particular form of business model would allow.

Trump's came in the form of stiffing contractors until they settled for a fraction, Bezos's comes in the form of offering nothing but paltry compensation for unrealistic expectations of productivity to begin with. On this specific point, I find them both to be shrewd, miserly dickbags.
Anyone working for Amazon knows what their compensation will be right up front.... "I will get paid $X for working here". You might complain that they aren't getting paid enough, although here there is no easy way to say it is true or not, because salaries depend on so many different factors.

That is completely different than Trump, who agrees to pay $X to some contractor, then decides after the fact not to pay them/pay them less.

If Amazon was in the habit of unilaterally cutting people's salaries, then perhaps you might consider them somehow equivalent. But since Amazon does seem to stick by its agreed-upon compensation, I don't think you can really compare Bezos with Trump.
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Old 10th December 2019, 03:00 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
Devil’s Advocate here, but as head of a publicly traded company, he has a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profits.....
That's a myth made up by millionaires and billionaires to excuse their greedy ethics.

CEOs and other controlling entities like boards are perfectly within their bounds to consider ethics and the stakeholders along with the shareholders.

NYT: Shareholder Value Is No Longer Everything, Top C.E.O.s Say
Quote:
Breaking with decades of long-held corporate orthodoxy, the Business Roundtable issued a statement on “the purpose of a corporation,” arguing that companies should no longer advance only the interests of shareholders. Instead, the group said, they must also invest in their employees, protect the environment and deal fairly and ethically with their suppliers.

“While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders,” the group, a lobbying organization that represents many of America’s largest companies, said in a statement. “We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country.”
There's been a snowball rolling downhill for decades to get to this. It has a ways to go to change greed-conducive beliefs.
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Old 10th December 2019, 03:04 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Perhaps, but if that runs counter to the fiduciary duty, he could find himself fired, sued and even banned from being a director.

Companies are not run for the benefit of their customers or their employees, they are run solely for the benefit of their shareholders.
No! BS, get with the times. See my post above.
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Old 10th December 2019, 03:07 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Interesting sentiments, but right now a company director could, at worst, find themselves jailed for failing to put shareholders' interest first.
It's a skeptics forum!!!! Come on people, challenge your preexisting beliefs.



Cite the law you think makes it illegal for a CEO (et al) to consider stakeholders and not just shareholder profits.

You won't find it. There's never been such a law in the US anyway. I doubt there is another country with such a law.
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Old 10th December 2019, 03:11 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
UK corporate laws, I presume that US laws are similar.

When I became a director of a publicly quoted company (at the time it was AIM, now it's on the main market), my responsibilities to the shareholders and (possible maximum) penalties for failing to deliver were made very clear to me.
So cite the UK law. What penalties? Maybe you were snookered.
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Old 10th December 2019, 03:18 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
They do for all privately owned companies.

Utter rubbish, as the existence of various publicly-traded companies with "ethical" policies shows.

Public or private, they still have shareholders and the process is the same. Heck with a small number of private shareholders, convincing them to focus on anything other than the bottom line can be more difficult because there's less risk of public scrutiny.

The Koch and Trump families are hardly poster boys for ethical business practices.
I'll wait for you to catch up.
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Old 10th December 2019, 03:21 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
....
If the right often goes too far in it's idolization of business, the left often goes too far in it's condemnation.
Hey, I agree with you here.
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TRUMP CHEATS What color hat should I order with that logo? Red on black maybe? Or black on pink?

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Because feeding poor people is socialism.
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Old 10th December 2019, 07:57 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Only if the shareholders allow it. Paying low-level staff members more than necessary doesn't seem to sit well with shareholders.
The phrase "low-level" being critical here. Apparently, grossly over-paying high level personnel is ok. The situation is almost designed for corruption: The CEO selects the people on the Compensation Committee of the Board and they in turn "compensate" him. Do those same people allow the low-level people decide *their* own compensation level? Ha-ha.

Originally Posted by The Don View Post
For the shareholders of most businesses, if you fail to maximise shareholder return, you'll be out on your ear.
This is manifestly untrue.
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Old 10th December 2019, 08:47 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
If we are out "Guitar shopping", we likely also pick up a throw rug, a pair of Jeans, lightbulbs, cat food, a steering wheel cover, and a cheese grater.
Wow, your band sounds awesome!
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Old 11th December 2019, 06:46 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Regnad Kcin View Post
Wow, your band sounds awesome!
Needs more cowbell.
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Old 13th December 2019, 01:39 AM   #66
Aridas
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Hmm, now that this is its own thread... I'll poke at a couple things that I wasn't going to poke at in the Trump Presidency thread.

Opinion | Finland Is a Capitalist Paradise - The New York Times

It's an interesting piece about a strongly capitalist system that's kept healthy and in check with a strong social democracy. Business is left to focus on actually doing business, rather than getting bogged down with all that freedom to get screwed over ever more bs that current Republican politicians push for.

On the other hand -

The Economy of Evil is a piece about the relation between capitalism and fascism. When the government is effectively being run by private interests that are focused on making profit, atrocities happen and escalate fast. To take that a bit further, unfortunately, we're seeing that right now in the US, thanks to Trump and the Republicans - even using some arguments and tactics that are pretty much the same as those used by the fascists as they took power.
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Old 13th December 2019, 05:12 PM   #67
mgidm86
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
And now I'll address things that aren't strictly his fault.

I compare his actions to Wal-Mart. Many people thought it was just great being able to buy lots of cheap Chinese manufactured goods. (Though Wal-mart tried to brag about "Made in the USA," they got in trouble for this. ) Then some time later noticing that American manufacturing was hurting, and that big-box stores were crowding out local businesses. I felt that some of their practices were anti-competitive and socially irresponsible. Now, not everyone agrees that businesses have any duty to communities; that their highest moral calling to maximize value for shareholders. The Walton family holds the majority of Wal-Mart stock, Bezos does not command that share of Amazon, so my criticism for him is more muted.

But: it's going to function like a monopoly as much as it possibly can. It is going to integrate vertically. It will operate at a loss to consolidate market share. I'm typing this on an Amazon tablet: I buy a fair number of ebooks from them and pay no separate sales tax. So, I'm hurting locally owned bricks and mortar bookstores solely for convenience. My fault, not Amazon's. Maybe Amazon has some kind of deal with states to reimburse for some taxes; I'm not up for researching that right now. But if not, I'm hurting local people. Schools. Retail staffers. Road repairs. Etc.

And finally, I have some distaste for the trend of having everything delivered to your home. I'd be curious if that affects our carbon footprint.

And a thing I just remembered: The promise of immediate delivery was creating possible safety problems in the fullfilment/delivery chain. And a lot of stress.

This is kind of off off-topic in this thread and I'll admit, not rigorously researched. So I'm sure I've left myself open to justifiable criticism. This could be its own thread.

I agree with you.

It's unfair to pick on him maybe - my own boss could pay people better and he does not.

With a guy as wealthy as Bezos though, maybe he could be the guy to show the rest how it's done and pay people a fair wage, etc. Of course he won't, in fact I've read some articles about the conditions the warehouse people have to work under and it sounds very bad.

I remember the big deal when Amazon said they would pay $15 an hour. That's practically slave wages in Silicon Valley. Great guy!

I also think that business model is having a negative impact in more ways than I can count. You touched on a few.
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Old 13th December 2019, 05:16 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The idea that "I have a certain duty to maximize profits to my shareholders" (which is true more or less) equates to "Therefore I have no moral responsibility to do anything else up to and including basic human rights, the environment, or anything else" is insane.

Here's a question for Don. I'm a CEO of a large business. Do I have a moral obligation to break the law if it makes money for shareholders?

If not, why is that different?
Honestly? It depends on the arrangement you have with the shareholders.

Most schemes, the profit depends on following the law.
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Old 13th December 2019, 06:45 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Companies are not run for the benefit of their customers or their employees, they are run solely for the benefit of their shareholders.
Originally Posted by The Don View Post
When I became a director of a publicly quoted company (at the time it was AIM, now it's on the main market), my responsibilities to the shareholders and (possible maximum) penalties for failing to deliver were made very clear to me.

In Australia, the highest duty is not to the shareholders, it is to the corporation itself:
Quote:
Good faith--directors and other officers
(1) A director or other officer of a corporation must exercise their powers and discharge their duties:
(a) in good faith in the best interests of the corporation; and
(b) for a proper purpose.
http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/...1172/s181.html
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Old 13th December 2019, 06:48 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
In Australia, the highest duty is not to the shareholders, it is to the corporation itself:

http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/...1172/s181.html
Well, since the shareholders are, in fact, the owners of the corporation, that seems like a distinction without a difference.
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Old 13th December 2019, 07:15 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
Well, since the shareholders are, in fact, the owners of the corporation, that seems like a distinction without a difference.
It isn't actually. A corporation is a legal entity - an artificial person. It exists separately from the employees, customers and shareholders.

More often than not, the interests of the shareholders coincide with the interests of the corporation (a healthy corporation is good for the shareholders) but where they don't, the corporation wins.
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Old 13th December 2019, 07:18 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Honestly? It depends on the arrangement you have with the shareholders.

Most schemes, the profit depends on following the law.
What law?

Anyone cited that elusive butterfly yet?
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Old 13th December 2019, 07:52 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
There are things I like about Bezos and things I hate. He's a mega-billionaire with an ego to match. He's a very shrewd businessman and takes no prisoners. But unlike Trump Bezos does have principles.

Everyone assumed Amazon was going to win the cloud contract. Their product is better than Microsoft's. Bezos is probably right that the reason Amazon lost this contract was because Trump put his thumb on the scale. But proving it is probably difficult. I expected Amazon to challenge this.
Taking Trump out of the comparison

This is arguable.

Dude is a nasty piece of work, from what I have read in the past.
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Old 13th December 2019, 08:24 PM   #74
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
- IMO, he treats his warehouse staff poorly.
.
I never understood this notion. Those warehouse workers were offered a deal they can leave at any time and continue to accept. Not only that, it was the best offer they had. Meanwhile, most of us humans have offered that worker jack. If Bezos is treating that person poorly then how are we treating them?
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Old 13th December 2019, 09:23 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Interesting sentiments, but right now a company director could, at worst, find themselves jailed for failing to put shareholders' interest first.
Can you name a single example of this happening? Ever?
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Old 14th December 2019, 12:52 AM   #76
Darat
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
What law?



Anyone cited that elusive butterfly yet?
For the UK this is a good starting point, it cites some examples from actual case law:

https://diligent.com/en-gb/blog/main...any-directors/
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Old 14th December 2019, 04:54 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
For the UK this is a good starting point, it cites some examples from actual case law:

https://diligent.com/en-gb/blog/main...any-directors/

Interesting:
Quote:
In the case of corporate law, the ‘someone else’ whose interests the director must promote is the corporation itself. In other words, your loyalty as a corporate director should be directed to the corporation as such, rather than to the shareholders, creditors, employees or any other specific stakeholder group.
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Old 14th December 2019, 06:59 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
It isn't actually. A corporation is a legal entity - an artificial person. It exists separately from the employees, customers and shareholders.

More often than not, the interests of the shareholders coincide with the interests of the corporation (a healthy corporation is good for the shareholders) but where they don't, the corporation wins.
Good points all.

But it’s hard for me to think of a case where long term success for the corporation does not also benefit the shareholders. And, conversely, where actions leading to failure or ongoing losses would not also harm the shareholders.

I imagined an edge case* where a director authorized massive shareholder distributions to the harm of research and development, or marketing, or whatever, needed to keep the company competitive. But even here, I’d say that in spite of the short term benefit of said distributions to shareholders, such distributions would still harm them in the long run as it takes the company down or hurts the value of their shares once the selling off of assets is complete.

But your point is well taken.


*I think an example of such a case was brought up on the Opening Arguments podcast. I forget the details but the new board at Sears sold off its most valuable assets - including the Craftsman brand - and used that money for huge distributions to shareholders, which included the board members as major shareholders. I guess this is an example of actions detrimental to the company in fact benefited shareholders. And I have a vague recollection the host suggested such a raid might have legal consequences.
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Old 14th December 2019, 07:17 AM   #79
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
Good points all.

But it’s hard for me to think of a case where long term success for the corporation does not also benefit the shareholders. And, conversely, where actions leading to failure or ongoing losses would not also harm the shareholders.

I imagined an edge case* where a director authorized massive shareholder distributions to the harm of research and development, or marketing, or whatever, needed to keep the company competitive. But even here, I’d say that in spite of the short term benefit of said distributions to shareholders, such distributions would still harm them in the long run as it takes the company down or hurts the value of their shares once the selling off of assets is complete.

But your point is well taken.


*I think an example of such a case was brought up on the Opening Arguments podcast. I forget the details but the new board at Sears sold off its most valuable assets - including the Craftsman brand - and used that money for huge disbursements to shareholders, which included the board as major shareholders. I guess this is an example of actions detrimental to the company in fact benefited shareholders. And I have a vague recollection the host suggested such a raid might have legal consequences.
I think even those are just variations that an executive can't hide behind "but I gave them money!" If destroying a company truly benefits the shareholders, I don't understand an argument against
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