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  • #71
    Originally posted by bridgman View Post

    Please stop parroting this before another generation grows up with a corrupted "me me me" view of the world and makes things even worse.

    The purpose of a business is to provide goods and services on a larger scale than is possible for an individual, and while doing this requires a certain amount of gross profit (for salaries, bonuses, benefits, R&D etc..) and net profit (interest on borrowed funds, return on invested funds, supporting growth) the primary purpose of a business is still the net value it adds to society.

    The problem we have today is that too many people are investing in companies with the idea that "making as much money as possible" is the goal, and when those people end up in a majority ownership position they distort the guidance given to management, which in turn leads to short-horizon decision making, out-of-control off-shoring and "right-sizing", debasing of respected brand names, unethical/illegal behaviour and a host other things we would be better off without.

    We need to draw a line between "reasonable reward" and "greed" - greed is what makes capitalism fail over time, not what makes it succeed.
    I want to thank you for this, I always thought that the reason AMD was an also ran, a company that was destined to be in second place perpetually had something to do with AMD's acquisition of ATI but you made me realize that I was wrong all along.

    I want to make this clear that I am not trolling with what I am about to say, I am as serious as can be, you work for AMD correct? If I was your boss and I saw that you said the following:

    "the primary purpose of a business is still the net value it adds to society"
    "We need to draw a line between "reasonable reward" and "greed" - greed is what makes capitalism fail over time, not what makes it succeed"

    I would fire you immediately, you would no longer be an AMD employee and I mean that sincerely.

    Talk about a distorted view of reality!

    You think that capitalism fails over time? Name on time when it's failed? The capitalist system is based on "let the market decide" and "survival of the fittest", when businesses fail and investors lose their money it's because the capitalist system work, not failed.

    Further, you think that "the primary purpose of a business is still the net value it adds to society"? What is the net value you see AMD adding to society? What is the net benefit Burger King, McDonald's, any fast food restaurant, any fine dining restaurant, any gas station, any bar, any liquor store, any small mom and pop outfit, what is the net benefit you think they add, other than providing steady work to its employees?

    I am going to bookmark your post and anytime someone wonders why Intel is worth billions and AMD just barely had a company wide quarter in the black, I will link to your post and everything will be explained.

    I feel sorry for AMD, if they employ people with your economic view points I predict they will be filing for bankruptcy protection within 2 years and will be taken over in an asset acquisition within 3 years.

    I really hope people stop buying AMD products, clearly the corporate culture over there is tainted with commie ideology and needs to be allowed to go the way of 3dfx.

    Comment


    • #72
      Originally posted by bridgman View Post
      No, there is nothing in either typical corporate charters or in corporate law which aligns a corporation's purpose with greed. It is not their only mandate except to the extent that shareholders dictate it. For-profit corporations are *allowed* to generate a profit (as opposed to non-profit corporations) and operate under different laws as a consequence.

      A corporation is nothing more than a group of people authorized to act as a single entity.
      It's not that simple.

      What I meant is that shareholders have two means of influencing corporations. They're empowered to elect board members and entitled to sue corporations for failing to act in their interest. You might hear the phrase "fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders", which translates roughly into taking actions that maximize dividends and/or share price. Now, the magic of competition turns this into a race. It's not enough merely to be profitable or to grow. Competitors serve as a basis for comparison, and pose the threat that failing to seize on opportunities could carry not only a direct cost but also opportunity costs. This, and laws against price-fixing and other sorts of cartel behavior, are what conspire to produce an atmosphere of cut-throat competition.

      So, I didn't mean that greed was literally written into the law, and I shouldn't have mentioned anything about corporate charters, but it's still the case that it's systemic and you won't effect change by simply having a board or a set of senior managers with different values. There are literally big investors (so-called "activist investors") who analyze markets and corporate balance sheets to find companies that they think aren't maximizing shareholder value. They proceed to buy large stakes and file big lawsuits. A couple years ago, Qualcomm was the subject of such an attack, leading to significant layoffs of its engineering staff, among other things. I think this refers to the one:

      https://seekingalpha.com/article/406...investor-right

      Comment


      • #73
        Originally posted by bridgman View Post
        It may be that the natural cycle is the one that everyone keeps fighting - "true" capitalism (look at founder-run companies for examples) -> greed-driven capitalism -> collapse into communism -> emergence of dictatorship -> technocracy -> next chance at "true" capitalism.

        The problem is that it's all too easy for even that cycle to skip over true capitalism and jump straight to "greed-driven" again - it's totally a function of how skilled the leaders are at the technocracy stage, and whether they are willing to impose sufficiently high penalties (eg death) in order to send a clear message about how leaders are expected to behave.
        We might consider Russia, China, and several former-soviet EU members as both positive and negative examples. Russia and China pretty much went straight into failed pseudo-capitalism. Russia basically sold off state assets to the rich & powerful for pennies on the dollar, who (along with their ex-KGB strong-man protector/master) conspired to form the new state. China had a more graceful transition towards capitalism, but still has a very much state-owned/managed economy.

        Also, China has used the death penalty to punish corruption on numerous occasions. However, anti-corruption enforcement in China is largely political tool that's selectively wielded against opponents. For good governance, what's needed isn't a harsh penalty, but rather consistent enforcement. That should provide adequate deterrent. Nobody wants to spend time in jail, even if it's a few years in minimum security. If there was a high likelihood of getting caught, few would take the risk. And we'd get rid of most of the rest.

        Now, consider a number of former-soviet states, whom the EU incentivized with membership (with varying degrees of success) to conform to EU norms. This reinforces my long-held belief that we made WTO membership too easy. If it had more claws and the real threat of imposing sanctions or being revoked, perhaps the world would be a better place for it.

        Not to get too far off-topic, but I also think we'll know the world is really serious about fighting climate change when countries start imposing trade tariffs on those not conforming to their carbon standards.

        Comment


        • #74
          Originally posted by Spooktra View Post

          I want to thank you for this, I always thought that the reason AMD was an also ran, a company that was destined to be in second place perpetually had something to do with AMD's acquisition of ATI but you made me realize that I was wrong all along.

          I want to make this clear that I am not trolling with what I am about to say, I am as serious as can be, you work for AMD correct? If I was your boss and I saw that you said the following:

          "the primary purpose of a business is still the net value it adds to society"
          "We need to draw a line between "reasonable reward" and "greed" - greed is what makes capitalism fail over time, not what makes it succeed"

          I would fire you immediately, you would no longer be an AMD employee and I mean that sincerely.

          Talk about a distorted view of reality!

          You think that capitalism fails over time? Name on time when it's failed? The capitalist system is based on "let the market decide" and "survival of the fittest", when businesses fail and investors lose their money it's because the capitalist system work, not failed.

          Further, you think that "the primary purpose of a business is still the net value it adds to society"? What is the net value you see AMD adding to society? What is the net benefit Burger King, McDonald's, any fast food restaurant, any fine dining restaurant, any gas station, any bar, any liquor store, any small mom and pop outfit, what is the net benefit you think they add, other than providing steady work to its employees?

          I am going to bookmark your post and anytime someone wonders why Intel is worth billions and AMD just barely had a company wide quarter in the black, I will link to your post and everything will be explained.

          I feel sorry for AMD, if they employ people with your economic view points I predict they will be filing for bankruptcy protection within 2 years and will be taken over in an asset acquisition within 3 years.

          I really hope people stop buying AMD products, clearly the corporate culture over there is tainted with commie ideology and needs to be allowed to go the way of 3dfx.
          Wow, so horribly tainted, it's sad really. What does a fast food restaurant add to society? Duh, fast food, obviously. Those food joints do add jobs, but they don't exist simply to add jobs, they exist because they contribute fast food to society.... I could go on, but I think this is all I need to say.....

          Comment


          • #75
            Originally posted by Spooktra View Post
            You want a job where you get steady raises, health benefits, good O/T, good PTO and sick days, bonuses and steady employment / job security? Well sorry to rain on your commie parade but the only way a company can offer that is by making as much money as possible. A business who's primary goal is not to make as much money as possible is called a charity.
            You might be missing my point as well as starshipeleven's point. The distinction relates to "what will you do to make as much money as possible ?".

            Will you loot your employee's pension fund ? Will you make decisions which hurt your company's reputation and business over time but give higher profits in the short term ? Will you put your own personal well being as a manager/executive over that of your employees and customers ? Will you replace your well-respected products with cheaper ones outsourced from a third party and lay off most of your employees in order to make a higher profit ?

            Unless your answer to all of those is "hell, yes" we are probably more in agreement than you think.
            Last edited by bridgman; 12-28-2017, 11:44 PM.

            Comment


            • #76
              Originally posted by Spooktra View Post
              I want to make this clear that I am not trolling with what I am about to say, I am as serious as can be, you work for AMD correct? If I was your boss and I saw that you said the following:

              "the primary purpose of a business is still the net value it adds to society"
              "We need to draw a line between "reasonable reward" and "greed" - greed is what makes capitalism fail over time, not what makes it succeed"

              I would fire you immediately, you would no longer be an AMD employee and I mean that sincerely.
              I want to make this clear that I am not trolling with what I am about to say, I am as serious as can be: you sound like a kid who never worked for a real company.

              What matters is how well people do their job - not what they believe. Although political views aren't considered a legally-protected class, most corporate HR departments would not let you fire people for their political beliefs. And they're not wrong. I've worked in companies of various sizes for decades, during which I've seen high & low performers with very little correlation to their political, religious, or ethnic background.

              You have a very narrow view of humanity. I hope you can get some perspective and grow up.

              Comment


              • #77
                Originally posted by coder View Post
                It's not that simple.

                What I meant is that shareholders have two means of influencing corporations. They're empowered to elect board members and entitled to sue corporations for failing to act in their interest. You might hear the phrase "fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders", which translates roughly into taking actions that maximize dividends and/or share price. Now, the magic of competition turns this into a race. It's not enough merely to be profitable or to grow. Competitors serve as a basis for comparison, and pose the threat that failing to seize on opportunities could carry not only a direct cost but also opportunity costs. This, and laws against price-fixing and other sorts of cartel behavior, are what conspire to produce an atmosphere of cut-throat competition.

                So, I didn't mean that greed was literally written into the law, and I shouldn't have mentioned anything about corporate charters, but it's still the case that it's systemic and you won't effect change by simply having a board or a set of senior managers with different values. There are literally big investors (so-called "activist investors") who analyze markets and corporate balance sheets to find companies that they think aren't maximizing shareholder value. They proceed to buy large stakes and file big lawsuits. A couple years ago, Qualcomm was the subject of such an attack, leading to significant layoffs of its engineering staff, among other things. I think this refers to the one:

                https://seekingalpha.com/article/406...investor-right
                OK, so it was just choice of words. I agree with what you are saying here.

                Key point is that it's not "companies" that inevitably lead to specific classes of behaviour, it's the shareholders and the priorities/expectations they pass to the board and management. The competitive environment is also obviously a factor, but again that is a consequence of the guidance given to competing companies in the industry by *their* shareholders, not a fixed or absolute thing.

                There are a lot of variables in the guidance given to board/management, but most of it distills down to short term profit vs long term profit. If you have short term shareholders then there is a good chance of prioritizing short term profit even if it hurts the company in the long term. Spooktra , it's probably already clear but when I talk about "greed" that's what I am referring to - prioritizing short term profit over long term sustainability, then taking the money and getting out fast before things go bad.

                At a management level I guess the closest parallel would be driving decisions which are bad for the company but which simplify your own job or increase your own compensation. Less damaging in isolation but if you have enough people doing that it can be crippling and is surprisingly hard to unwind.
                Last edited by bridgman; 12-29-2017, 02:42 PM.

                Comment


                • #78
                  Originally posted by Spooktra View Post
                  You could have just saved yourself a bunch of typing and just admitted that you are a commie at heart, the views you have expressed are typical leftist, Marxist inspired socialist, Bernie loving commie crap.
                  The funny part is that he was basically agreeing with you. You seem incapable of separating the word "greed" from a moral judgement. He was just using it to refer to self-interest, independent of whether that's a good thing or not.

                  Originally posted by Spooktra View Post
                  I have a few minutes to waste so I'm going to try and reason with you.
                  Your problem is that you need to understand other perspectives in order to disagree with them. Until you stop labeling people and actually understand their point, you can't hope to change any minds.

                  I haven't seen a true socialist statement in pages. Maybe the first comments about greed, but not among any of us actively discussing it.

                  Originally posted by Spooktra View Post
                  You want a job where you get steady raises, health benefits, good O/T, good PTO and sick days, bonuses and steady employment / job security? Well sorry to rain on your commie parade but the only way a company can offer that is by making as much money as possible.
                  Heh, you think those are things only successful companies do? Well, sorry to rain on your parade but the only way a company can make as much money as possible is by not giving the biggest raises, overtime, the most PTO and sick days, the biggest bonuses and no layoffs.

                  Every successful company goes through cycles where they have to engage in belt-tightening. Right now, tech talent is (in many markets and fields, at least) in relatively short supply, so times are good. But they weren't always, nor will they be. Even the mighty Google and Facebook close down businesses and products lines and will go through layoffs and suspend raises & cut benefits.

                  Successful companies are, by definition, not generous. If they are more generous than necessary, they get undercut by their competition or sued by their shareholders, etc. I'm not even saying that's bad. That's simply a downside of the system and there are ways for society to offset them (e.g. with unemployment insurance, etc.).

                  Before you call me a commie, I get the concept of "creative destruction". Under-performing companies need to get turned around or shut down and under-performing employees need better management or to be let go. It's simply harnessing Darwinian dynamics, mostly for the better.

                  Originally posted by Spooktra View Post
                  Would you rather work for a company like AMD or Intel?
                  BTW, Intel famously has a policy of regularly firing the lowest-performing employees. That might sound good, and it seems to have worked for them, but it's not without controversey or down-sides (tends to lead to people being very defensive, risk-averse, and engaging in corporate politics). So much for job security. And we'll just see how Intel does in coming years, now that it seems they can no longer ride the Moore's Law gravy train.
                  Last edited by coder; 12-28-2017, 11:52 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #79
                    BTW, does no one see the irony of voicing free-market fundamentalism in forums devoted to open source software?

                    Sure, it doesn't exist entirely apart from capitalism (especially now), but open source reflects a fundamentally non market-based collaboration model.

                    Just sayin...

                    Comment


                    • #80
                      Originally posted by coder View Post
                      BTW, does no one see the irony of voicing free-market fundamentalism in forums devoted to open source software?
                      At least it's in a thread related to closed-source drivers

                      Comment

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