Sunday, August 03, 2008

If You Believe in Creative Capitalism I Have a Bridge and Some Crack to Sell You

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Bill Gates has a interesting article up at Newsweek about how capitalism has helped many, but billions are still poor. He writes,

There's much still to be done, but the good news is that creative capitalism is already with us. Some corporations have identified brand-new markets among the poor for life-changing technologies like cell phones. Others — sometimes with a nudge from activists — have seen how they can do good and do well at the same time. To take a real-world example, a few years ago I was sitting in a bar with Bono, and frankly, I thought he was a little nuts. It was late, we'd had a few drinks, and Bono was all fired up over a scheme to get companies to help tackle global poverty and disease. He kept dialing the private numbers of top executives and thrusting his cell phone at me to hear their sleepy yet enthusiastic replies. As crazy as it seemed that night, Bono's persistence soon gave birth to the (RED) campaign. Today companies like Gap, Hallmark and Dell sell (RED)-branded products and donate a portion of their profits to fight AIDS. (Microsoft recently signed up too.)
There are many people who think that corporations can save people.

If that is the case then corporations are capable of serving two masters,
and we know how those narratives turn out.

If this is true, then explain to me, how can a corporation serve the interests
that it is created to serve, and also "help" people as well.

The next logical question is, what exactly is help?

There is a difference between giving and sharing.

There is difference between helping and eradicating poverty.

The entire time I am reading this article I am thinking
of Harvard Bankruptcy Professor, Elizabeth Warren's, book
The Two Income Trap, and her comments from
her meeting with Citibank.

Citibank brought her in to show them how to reduce the losses incurred
when folks file for bankruptcy. She brought out her charts, graphs and they
listened to her say, "You need to stop loaning to people who cannot afford
to pay you back".

The chair of the board responds saying " We can't do that Professor Warren,
that is where we make most of our profits".

And that was that.

The credit card companies make most of their profits off of people who
can barely afford them in the first place.

It is a fee based industry that thrives on those who can't afford them
in the first place.

The reason why most of your credit card bills come from South Dakota
is because South Dakota has the highest cap on interest rates, 24%,
in the country.
Capitalism primary goal is to enhance the pockets of its shareholders.

Not to eradicate poverty, not to create progressive images of hip
hop
and certainly not restructure families so that homes environments
are less oppressive to men, women and children.

Expecting capitalism to help people is like expect dope dealers to save
the 'hood. In fact, In many ways the crack game is capitalism in its
purest form.

Move your product, buy low and sell high and if any one gets in
your way, they get eliminated.

Sounds like a Clipse song to me. It also sounds like Mergers and Acquisitions.

This is grim, but it has to be said. Too many people have laid their lives down
for us and if we do not say or do something our children will pay.
I will not have that on my heart.

It is only when we envision a future that is about sharing
rather than giving, about being a visionary, will we set forth
vision, strategy and an agenda that will cause us to bring forth the future
that we want for our children.

17 comments:

Vee (Scratch) said...

And do not expect corporations to help eradicate global warming either. The connection between the livestock industry and their carbon footprint proves more than their willing to tell the public.

Model Minority said...

Ok. Imma call ya @ss anti-al Gore.

IsaacNoah said...

excellent post. you articulated things perfectly with:

"In many ways the crack game is capitalism in its purest form."

Model Minority said...

Well thank you issac.

Its incredible. When I was in L-school and wanted to do M & A, dudes would always want to know why. And I would say, er, because it reminds me of 89-92. The general rules, I already knew.

Now that am a little bit older and wiser and going for that grand Ph.D, its like F-CK, I have Crack game, Contracts, and Marx swirling in my head.

I ain't the same and I want to share with yall what I know.

j said...

How realistic is it to think humans could really see outside of themselves to ever really share.

Sharing on small scales I feel works perfectly. Emphasis on small scales.

Do you think corporations should be commended at all for even making an effort to help?

I feel doing nothing at all and sharing might be polar extremes in capitalism.

Helping might be their way of meeting in the middle.

-J!!!

Model Minority said...

Hi J...Good to see you around these parts...I hope life is treating you well.

How realistic is it to think humans could really see outside of themselves to ever really share.
====
We do it every day for our "blood family".

It is the matter of what kind of mindset you have.

Do you think corporations should be commended at all for even making an effort to help?
========
Whether or not they are recognized is irrelevant. I am more interested in all of us learning, realizing and responding with the knowledge that reflects that WE know what WHOSE interest a corporation was created to serve.

GMllz said...

I believe in capitalism and I'm not buying your bridge and why do you have crack anyway? Of course capitalism isn't perfect, but of the many systems to choose from it is without a doubt the best of the worst available. That isn't the best compliment, but until an alternative system is created, capitalism is the best way to go.

I've seen the Credit documentary that features Elizabeth Warren and there is some absolute foulness in preying on the financially disadvantaged by credit card companies...no doubt about it. But most people with any sense know whether they can afford to use a credit card or not. If you don't take the due diligence to see what you're signing up for, then that's your own fault (similar to the mortgage debacle to some extent...the fault lies with the lender, the lendee, the profit motive, and Alan Greenspan IMHO). That said, hopefully (and I use that word so loosely) the Democrats step up and pass some real legislation that won't allow credit companies to charge people usury rates and disallow companies to hike your interest rate because your late on a bill to a different, unaffiliated company (I doubt the Democrats get anything like that done and of course the Republicans aren't making that happen).

I digress a bit from your post's topic, I don't see corporations ending worldwide poverty. That isn't their job, and especially in the case of public companies, it isn't in the best interest of their shareholders if they go comprising their corporate charter and mission to bring people out of poverty in Africa. Donating a small percentage of profits isn't out of the question. I recommend that people watch the documentary called The Corporation. It's just as biased as all documentaries are, but still enlightening and enraging. I was almost as angry after that as I was when I watched Roots...well not quite.

M-Dot I'd be interested in reading a post on the relationship between labor and power from your perspective b/c you seem to reference it quite a bit. Peace.

GMllz said...

"Now that am a little bit older and wiser and going for that grand Ph.D, its like F-CK, I have Crack game, Contracts, and Marx swirling in my head."
------------------------------------
I'm inferring from this comment that you're not supporting communism but supporting Marxism's concern with the conflicts between the powerful and the subjugated?....unless you're a communist of course.

Model Minority said...

Ok...Gmllz
So you trynna f-ck w/ me I see...But seeing as I have a SHEER FUCSHIA DRESS to put on to wear to the ERYKAH Concert tonight...Imma hold my comment till tomorrow.

And see...you understand markets too...so we gonna have some fun lil beef.... Me looks forward to it.

Muah!

Vee (Scratch) said...

M-Dot, I'm not mad at Gore, he mentioned that particular cause in his book. Films are great way to convey a message but the fine print holds the jewels. It's all in the gravy, so to speak.

Some corporations definitely do need to be commended for their efforts.

M.Dot. said...

Gmllz

Of course capitalism isn't perfect, but of the many systems to choose from it is without a doubt the best of the worst available.
=====
Dude.

Four words. Thomas Jefferson & Adam Smith.

Neither would approve of what is going on in this country right now.

The taxing of wages @ 30 percent and the taxing of corps & prop @ 15 is fucking incredible.
Cosign on that shit if you want. Its wrong. Simple as that.

Not what the country was founded on and ALL BAD for n-ggas.

But most people with any sense know whether they can afford to use a credit card or not.
====
Birkhold stays on me to think about life in terms of SYSTEMS and not individuals, thus I push you all on that as well.

Five things that demonstrate that the credit game is criminal based on Prof Warrens Book:
- Most of the Subprime loans were given to families that qualified for market loans. The Mortgage brokers steered home owners to the subprime loans because brokers made more money on fees.

- Banks will LOAN MONEY TO FAMILIES that cannot afford homes, knowing that they will default. Banks can collect the $ for 2/3 years then get the house back. Its called loan to own.

-People Disporportionally use credit cards for food,school payments and bills when they lose a job or get a divorce. Historically the stay at home momma would be the safety net, NOW the credit cards are.

-THERE ARE MORE BANKRUPTCY's THAN DIVORCES.
AVERAGE FAMILY IS CARRYING A YEARS SALARY ON THEIR C CARDS.

-Credit card companies MAKE YOU MORE OFFERS when you fall behind. WHEN YOU should be getting cut off. One of the reasons why I am passionate about it is that I saw it happen to me in L school. Fucked my dome up.

There is NO assistance for near poor, working poor or middle class families.

ONLY credit.

Post Reagan, the government shifted from a factory based economy to a service & finance based economy. But the support for families has NOT reflected it this change.

Hence credit cards being used for Emergency room visits, groceries and light bills when times get thick.

I am new to Marx. I have a fundamental understanding of the basic principals. However, I have written about labor here on the blog.

Do a blog search for "pussy is a commodity" and "sometime the house game remind me of the crack game".

GMllz said...

"The taxing of wages @ 30 percent and the taxing of corps & prop @ 15 is fucking incredible.
Cosign on that shit if you want. Its wrong. Simple as that."
------------------------------------
Me cosign that? Please, I'm a trader and short-term capital gains tax is 35%! I remember in the not to distant past I made a comment about a book I read called "Free To Choose" by Milton Friedman and you threw a subtle elbow at me with a "libertarian" comment. Milton wouldn't support it either. Sounds like you should at least give that particular book a shot, you might actually like it...some of his ideas for education are pretty good.
-----------------------------------
Yo...do not misunderstand me at all, I am not defending the credit card market on any level. What I meant when I said "....credit card or not," is that while large corporations no doubt are much more informed about the laws that govern their business and how to manipulate them to their own advantange, as opposed to the consumers that use their services (often ignorantly in the case of credit cards--not condescending because I've been there myself), there has to be responsibility on the part of the consumer to read and attempt to understand the contract they sign (I know even E. Warren said she didn't understand the contracts...but how many people actually read them?).

Besides that, I agree with everything you say about predatory lending practices. Prey on the ignorant. Something that you may find funny, about 2 or 3 weeks ago (around the time it looked like Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac would be nationalized), the risk manager at my firm received a letter from the SEC informing him that our ability to borrow shares to short of the financial companies would be severely limited (basically to protect investment banks like Lehman, Merrill, JPMorgan, Wachovia, Fannie, Freddie, Citi, and about 14 more). It's funny how the SEC quickly stepped in to protect the shareholders of the institutions and the institutions themselves...the same institutions that purchased tranches (CDOs or SIVs) of the predatory mortgages amalgamation that were sold to (pushed on) disadvantaged people. I could go on & on about that, but I won't.

Systems and not individuals huh? Sounds provocative and incredibly more difficult...I'll try it. I read a lot of Emerson, so the self-reliance thing will be hard to defeat. Emerson actually wrote greatly on how the creation of credit for America marked a negative turning point for this country.

Who is Birkhold? Does Birkhold have a blog I could learn more about the style of thought?

A "SHEER FUCSHIA DRESS" eh? Interesting.

One hunnit

M.Dot. said...

Me cosign that? Please, I'm a trader and short-term capital gains tax is 35%! I remember in the not to distant past I made a comment about a book I read called "Free To Choose" by Milton Friedman and you threw a subtle elbow at me with a "libertarian" comment.
====
And you GONNA GET A JAB if you quoting Friedman ock.

Libertarians love me...I guess its because I listen to them. But they states rights shit, I can't go for ock, cuz if it were the RULE I would be some where picking cotton.

I know that capital gains tax is 35%. I also know that there are a myriad of ways of avoiding that shit.
-Leave ya money in ya investment.
-Go offshore.
-Invest in property.

It's funny how the SEC quickly stepped in to protect the shareholders of the institutions and the institutions themselves...the same institutions that purchased tranches (CDOs or SIVs) of the predatory mortgages amalgamation that were sold to (pushed on) disadvantaged people. I could go on & on about that, but I won't.
======
Yoooo. The SEC is so fucking toothless. I USTA want to fuck with them. Lightweight, one of my old dreams homie. But, it is what it is.

Oh. Institutions GET DUMB cushion. Thats why this shit is foul to me.

Socialed Risk and Private reward.
ALL DAY homie.

Please reconcile Self Reliance w/ Government Bailout. Please. Where is the "self" reliance, as a market or an institution, in that?

And they Got the NERVE to TALK ABOUT WELFARE QUEENS. THEY THE MAIN ONES.

Go on and on. About it. WE NEED IT. Especially here. WE NEED to have these conversations. Even if we need to provide a glossary. Feel me. I had to read the above sentence REAL slow. CDO's and SIV's....Man listen...I had to FOCUS!

Birk...is my folks he writes weekly over at Marc Hills joint. In fact, this week he is on the Prison Industrial Complex, Labor and Jobs.
Link here.
ttp://www.marclamonthill.com/mlhblog/?p=5652

Who is this Emerson?

YOU know who you need to read. Kevin Phillips.
He is a REFORMED NEOCON that is going to hard at the administration. Kev is TRE delicious.

GMllz said...

Ralph Waldo Emerson. Classic transcendentalist. Whatever, he's old school B. Self-Reliance is his most prominent essay.

"There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried."
-Emerson

http://www.emersoncentral.com/selfreliance.htm

The tax is avoidable, 15% tax if you hold for longer than a year, but I rarely hold for longer than an hour.

Yea I'mma check for son's blog so I can get a better understanding of alternate views. FYI, I'm no libertarian, or democrat and I'll never be a McCain. Anyway I have tickets to this movie that's coming out in a few days. You might be interested in seeing it yourself. Another biased documentary......

http://www.agorafinancial.com/iousa.html

Model Minority said...

OHHH LORD.

I OWE USA.

Real spit.

Where my ticket at? Shooot.

hiphoplives-mrk904 said...

hand out turkeys to tame the mobs.

capitalism is the crack game!!

Model Minority said...

Hands out turkeys...Ohlawd

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