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Occupy Wall Street (1 Viewer)

bakes

I am the Beer God!
Love how the police say they ware "surrounded" at UCDavis. Yes, of course, cops armed with billy clubs and pepper spray had to feel completely terrorized by a bunch of OWSers sitting in a circle. :lmao:

For those who haven't figured out what they want, try listening to something other than the MSM. :yes:

 

jon_mx

Footballguy
Love how the police say they ware "surrounded" at UCDavis. Yes, of course, cops armed with billy clubs and pepper spray had to feel completely terrorized by a bunch of OWSers sitting in a circle. :lmao:For those who haven't figured out what they want, try listening to something other than the MSM. :yes:
You realize these are campus police? This is like one level above mall cops. Pepper spray is probably one of the most lethal weapon in their arsenal. Oh no, poor OWSers, being held down by the Man. :rolleyes:
 
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Twilight

Footballguy
Not sure where the original is posted. I saw this on FARK

Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi

Linda P.B. Katehi,

I am a junior faculty member at UC Davis. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, and I teach in the Program in Critical Theory and in Science & Technology Studies. I have a strong record of research, teaching, and service. I am currently a Board Member of the Davis Faculty Association. I have also taken an active role in supporting the student movement to defend public education on our campus and throughout the UC system. In a word: I am the sort of young faculty member, like many of my colleagues, this campus needs. I am an asset to the University of California at Davis.

You are not.

I write to you and to my colleagues for three reasons:

1) to express my outrage at the police brutality which occurred against students engaged in peaceful protest on the UC Davis campus today

2) to hold you accountable for this police brutality

3) to demand your immediate resignation

Today you ordered police onto our campus to clear student protesters from the quad. These were protesters who participated in a rally speaking out against tuition increases and police brutality on UC campuses on Tuesday-a rally that I organized, and which was endorsed by the Davis Faculty Association. These students attended that rally in response to a call for solidarity from students and faculty who were bludgeoned with batons, hospitalized, and arrested at UC Berkeley last week. In the highest tradition of non-violent civil disobedience, those protesters had linked arms and held their ground in defense of tents they set up beside Sproul Hall. In a gesture of solidarity with those students and faculty, and in solidarity with the national Occupy movement, students at UC Davis set up tents on the main quad. When you ordered police outfitted with riot helmets, brandishing batons and teargas guns to remove their tents today, those students sat down on the ground in a circle and linked arms to protect them.

What happened next?

Without any provocation whatsoever, other than the bodies of these students sitting where they were on the ground, with their arms linked, police pepper-sprayed students. Students remained on the ground, now writhing in pain, with their arms linked.

What happened next?

Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

This is what happened. You are responsible for it.

You are responsible for it because this is what happens when UC Chancellors order police onto our campuses to disperse peaceful protesters through the use of force: students get hurt. Faculty get hurt. One of the most inspiring things (inspiring for those of us who care about students who assert their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly) about the demonstration in Berkeley on November 9 is that UC Berkeley faculty stood together with students, their arms linked together. Associate Professor of English Celeste Langan was grabbed by her hair, thrown on the ground, and arrested. Associate Professor Geoffrey O'Brien was injured by baton blows. Professor Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, was also struck with a baton. These faculty stood together with students in solidarity, and they too were beaten and arrested by the police. In writing this letter, I stand together with those faculty and with the students they supported.

One week after this happened at UC Berkeley, you ordered police to clear tents from the quad at UC Davis. When students responded in the same way-linking arms and holding their ground-police also responded in the same way: with violent force. The fact is: the administration of UC campuses systematically uses police brutality to terrorize students and faculty, to crush political dissent on our campuses, and to suppress free speech and peaceful assembly. Many people know this. Many more people are learning it very quickly.

You are responsible for the police violence directed against students on the UC Davis quad on November 18, 2011. As I said, I am writing to hold you responsible and to demand your immediate resignation on these grounds.

On Wednesday November 16, you issued a letter by email to the campus community. In this letter, you discussed a hate crime which occurred at UC Davis on Sunday November 13. In this letter, you express concern about the safety of our students. You write, "it is particularly disturbing that such an act of intolerance should occur at a time when the campus community is working to create a safe and inviting space for all our students." You write, "while these are turbulent economic times, as a campus community, we must all be committed to a safe, welcoming environment that advances our efforts to diversity and excellence at UC Davis."

I will leave it to my colleagues and every reader of this letter to decide what poses a greater threat to "a safe and inviting space for all our students" or "a safe, welcoming environment" at UC Davis: 1) Setting up tents on the quad in solidarity with faculty and students brutalized by police at UC Berkeley? or 2) Sending in riot police to disperse students with batons, pepper-spray, and tear-gas guns, while those students sit peacefully on the ground with their arms linked? Is this what you have in mind when you refer to creating "a safe and inviting space?" Is this what you have in mind when you express commitment to "a safe, welcoming environment?"

I am writing to tell you in no uncertain terms that there must be space for protest on our campus. There must be space for political dissent on our campus. There must be space for civil disobedience on our campus. There must be space for students to assert their right to decide on the form of their protest, their dissent, and their civil disobedience-including the simple act of setting up tents in solidarity with other students who have done so. There must be space for protest and dissent, especially, when the object of protest and dissent is police brutality itself. You may not order police to forcefully disperse student protesters peacefully protesting police brutality. You may not do so. It is not an option available to you as the Chancellor of a UC campus. That is why I am calling for your immediate resignation.

Your words express concern for the safety of our students. Your actions express no concern whatsoever for the safety of our students. I deduce from this discrepancy that you are not, in fact, concerned about the safety of our students. Your actions directly threaten the safety of our students. And I want you to know that this is clear. It is clear to anyone who reads your campus emails concerning our "Principles of Community" and who also takes the time to inform themselves about your actions. You should bear in mind that when you send emails to the UC Davis community, you address a body of faculty and students who are well trained to see through rhetoric that evinces care for students while implicitly threatening them. I see through your rhetoric very clearly. You also write to a campus community that knows how to speak truth to power. That is what I am doing.

I call for your resignation because you are unfit to do your job. You are unfit to ensure the safety of students at UC Davis. In fact: you are the primary threat to the safety of students at UC Davis. As such, I call upon you to resign immediately.

Sincerely,

Nathan Brown

Assistant Professor

Department of English

Program in Critical Theory

University of California at Davis

 

IvanKaramazov

Footballguy
'Sigmund Bloom said:
'IvanKaramazov said:
'Sigmund Bloom said:
'oso diablo said:
in other words, government doesn't mess things up, government in the hands of the wrong people messes things up. the NRA should love this argument.
but Big Business had its flaws embedded in its DNA, right?
perhaps if people lived in groups of a few hundred, we could do without government, but otherwise I'm not sure how we humans can function without some people whose full-time job it is to look after the superstructure of our civilization - you know rule of law and personal property and what-not.
Nobody is arguing in favor of abolishing the government. The argument is that unless you keep the size/scope of government severely constrained, it has an inherent tendency to do the kind of stuff you and the OWS people are objecting to. This is NOT just a case of having the "wrong" kind of people in government. A government that gets itself in a position to pick winners and losers is inherently going to find itself with these sorts of people in positions of influence.
big problem require big solutions. constraining the size/scope of gov't on ideological grounds isn't going to get us any closer to solutions because there is nothing in the private sector that is going to solve our many connected problems (poverty, health care, education, and so on). Government is just an apparatus for us to exercise our collective will, no inherent tendencies to do anything really, just what we command/allow it to do.
Well then you shouldn't be complaining when you see a bunch of rent-seeking in the super-sized government that you actively support. You don't get to have one without the other.
 

IvanKaramazov

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
'IvanKaramazov said:
Nobody is arguing in favor of abolishing the government. The argument is that unless you keep the size/scope of government severely constrained, it has an inherent tendency to do the kind of stuff you and the OWS people are objecting to. This is NOT just a case of having the "wrong" kind of people in government. A government that gets itself in a position to pick winners and losers is inherently going to find itself with these sorts of people in positions of influence.
On the flipside, if you constrain government and "let the market work it out" then you've just removed the check on business and spared them the trouble of going through the middle-man.
Maybe, in some cases. All I'm saying is that if you're going to allow an organization of fallible human beings virtually unlimited power, you're going to see that power used for ends that you wouldn't have approved of a priori. I honestly don't see this observation as being at all controversial. Everybody concedes that private-sector firms aren't motivated by altruism, and we can all point to our favorite examples of abuse of government power too. But for some reason, people still cling to the notion that these things are just due to a few bad apples. They aren't. These things happen because positions of power act as bad-apple magnets.Edit: For the record, I don't think the market itself is a panacea. I am, however, probably willing to live with more "market failures" than you are, because I assign a relatively high value to avoiding "government failure," which often arises when we use government to fix problems. Based on what I think I know about your posting history, my guess is that this is probably a key area of disagreement between the two of us -- I think we view the world in somewhat similar terms otherwise.
 
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Soonerman

Footballguy
'Sigmund Bloom said:
'IvanKaramazov said:
'Sigmund Bloom said:
'oso diablo said:
in other words, government doesn't mess things up, government in the hands of the wrong people messes things up. the NRA should love this argument.
but Big Business had its flaws embedded in its DNA, right?
perhaps if people lived in groups of a few hundred, we could do without government, but otherwise I'm not sure how we humans can function without some people whose full-time job it is to look after the superstructure of our civilization - you know rule of law and personal property and what-not.
Nobody is arguing in favor of abolishing the government. The argument is that unless you keep the size/scope of government severely constrained, it has an inherent tendency to do the kind of stuff you and the OWS people are objecting to. This is NOT just a case of having the "wrong" kind of people in government. A government that gets itself in a position to pick winners and losers is inherently going to find itself with these sorts of people in positions of influence.
big problem require big solutions. constraining the size/scope of gov't on ideological grounds isn't going to get us any closer to solutions because there is nothing in the private sector that is going to solve our many connected problems (poverty, health care, education, and so on). Government is just an apparatus for us to exercise our collective will, no inherent tendencies to do anything really, just what we command/allow it to do.
Well then you shouldn't be complaining when you see a bunch of rent-seeking in the super-sized government that you actively support. You don't get to have one without the other.
Stop bringing common sense into this.
 

Tiny Dancer

Footballguy
Maybe, in some cases. All I'm saying is that if you're going to allow an organization of fallible human beings virtually unlimited power, you're going to see that power used for ends that you wouldn't have approved of a priori. I honestly don't see this observation as being at all controversial. Everybody concedes that private-sector firms aren't motivated by altruism, and we can all point to our favorite examples of abuse of government power too. But for some reason, people still cling to the notion that these things are just due to a few bad apples. They aren't. These things happen because positions of power act as bad-apple magnets.
I don't think private firms acting in their own interests are "bad apples." That's what they're supposed to do. In government there actually are good apples and bad apples. I don't think it's too idealistic to think that the good apples can help to constrain the bad apples.
 

guderian

Footballguy
Occupy San Diego has a moment of silence for the guy who shot at the White House.

It's getting to the point where it's not fun to mock these guys because they make it too easy.

 

oso diablo

Footballguy
'Sigmund Bloom said:
'oso diablo said:
in other words, government doesn't mess things up, government in the hands of the wrong people messes things up. the NRA should love this argument.
but Big Business had its flaws embedded in its DNA, right?
perhaps if people lived in groups of a few hundred, we could do without government, but otherwise I'm not sure how we humans can function without some people whose full-time job it is to look after the superstructure of our civilization - you know rule of law and personal property and what-not.
no, i agree that it is the moral character of the people involved that make the difference in government; i just also believe that is similarly true with the people in business.
 

guderian

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
Not really.As Tiny Dancer pointed out, the incentives are entirely different. Business is aligned to create profit. And we shouldn't expect anything else. Instead, we should use constraints of government to ensure that their profit seeking is directed in such a way as to not be socially harmful.
:thumbup: I agree. This is one reason I think the OWS protests need to target the government more than Wall Street, businesses and the wealthy. The business community was pursuing it's role in a capitalist society. One could argue that some went too far, but that's always going to be the case. It's the government that failed in it's role. In fact, it extended it's role from one of constraint to becoming an incredibly large participant.
 

oso diablo

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
no, i agree that it is the moral character of the people involved that make the difference in government; i just also believe that is similarly true with the people in business.
Not really.As Tiny Dancer pointed out, the incentives are entirely different. Business is aligned to create profit. And we shouldn't expect anything else. Instead, we should use constraints of government to ensure that their profit seeking is directed in such a way as to not be socially harmful.
even in the pursuit of profit (an amoral endeavor), moral-minded people will have different actions than non-moral-minded people. Government regulation is not the only way - and i would argue not even the best way - to avoid social harm.
 

pantagrapher

Footballguy
Univ. of Calif., Davis police chief now on leave

By JASON DEAREN | AP – 1 hr 53 mins ago

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The president of the University of California system said he was "appalled" at images of protesters being doused with pepper spray and plans an assessment of law enforcement procedures on all 10 campuses, as two police officers and the police chief were placed on administrative leave.

"Free speech is part of the DNA of this university, and non-violent protest has long been central to our history," UC President Mark G. Yudof said in a statement Sunday in response to the spraying of students sitting passively at UC Davis. "It is a value we must protect with vigilance."

Yudof said it was not his intention to "micromanage our campus police forces," but he said all 10 chancellors would convene soon for a discussion "about how to ensure proportional law enforcement response to non-violent protest."
link
 

Jackstraw

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
Not really.As Tiny Dancer pointed out, the incentives are entirely different. Business is aligned to create profit. And we shouldn't expect anything else. Instead, we should use constraints of government to ensure that their profit seeking is directed in such a way as to not be socially harmful.
:thumbup: I agree. This is one reason I think the OWS protests need to target the government more than Wall Street, businesses and the wealthy. The business community was pursuing it's role in a capitalist society. One could argue that some went too far, but that's always going to be the case. It's the government that failed in it's role. In fact, it extended it's role from one of constraint to becoming an incredibly large participant.
So business has no obligation to have any moral compass whatsoever? If something bad happens its only the fault of the government for not stopping it? And its also the government's responsibility to aniticipate every insane scheme dreamed up in every boardroom or backroom across America? I dunno man. If thats the case then the hammer should be dropped on bad actors to at least pose something of a deterrant.
 

ElGatoLoco

Footballguy
'jon_mx said:
'bakes said:
Love how the police say they ware "surrounded" at UCDavis. Yes, of course, cops armed with billy clubs and pepper spray had to feel completely terrorized by a bunch of OWSers sitting in a circle. :lmao:For those who haven't figured out what they want, try listening to something other than the MSM. :yes:
You realize these are campus police? This is like one level above mall cops. Pepper spray is probably one of the most lethal weapon in their arsenal. Oh no, poor OWSers, being held down by the Man. :rolleyes:
Actually, Genius, they are trained and armed at the same level as local and state police.
 

Card Trader

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
Not really.As Tiny Dancer pointed out, the incentives are entirely different. Business is aligned to create profit. And we shouldn't expect anything else. Instead, we should use constraints of government to ensure that their profit seeking is directed in such a way as to not be socially harmful.
:thumbup: I agree. This is one reason I think the OWS protests need to target the government more than Wall Street, businesses and the wealthy. The business community was pursuing it's role in a capitalist society. One could argue that some went too far, but that's always going to be the case. It's the government that failed in it's role. In fact, it extended it's role from one of constraint to becoming an incredibly large participant.
So business has no obligation to have any moral compass whatsoever?
No better way to change the culture of big business than by looking like a bunch of homeless pieces of garbage on random street corners.
 

Christo

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
Not really.As Tiny Dancer pointed out, the incentives are entirely different. Business is aligned to create profit. And we shouldn't expect anything else. Instead, we should use constraints of government to ensure that their profit seeking is directed in such a way as to not be socially harmful.
:thumbup: I agree. This is one reason I think the OWS protests need to target the government more than Wall Street, businesses and the wealthy. The business community was pursuing it's role in a capitalist society. One could argue that some went too far, but that's always going to be the case. It's the government that failed in it's role. In fact, it extended it's role from one of constraint to becoming an incredibly large participant.
So business has no obligation to have any moral compass whatsoever? If something bad happens its only the fault of the government for not stopping it? And its also the government's responsibility to aniticipate every insane scheme dreamed up in every boardroom or backroom across America? I dunno man. If thats the case then the hammer should be dropped on bad actors to at least pose something of a deterrant.
Business has an obligation to follow the law. Morals are much too ambiguous.
 

oso diablo

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
I just don't see much ethics in an NPV calculation.If you're a company with a market cap of $50MM who wants to drill in the Gulf with a 99% probability of everything going fine and generating $100MM in profits and a 1% probability of tragic loss, causing $1 trillion in subsequent damages to everyone else, you go ahead and roll the dice. You have a 99% chance of tripling up your market cap. And you have a 1% chance of having it all go wrong and declaring bankruptcy. That's why government is necessary to look at the broader social costs.Fwiw, I don't see making the decision to drill there, from the perspective of the company, as an immoral or even bad one. But that's why you need broader interests considered.
business people make big decisions every day that encompass both the economics and the ethics involved. in your specific hypothetical, i would find that an unethical go-ahead, due to the enormity of the downside, surely involving the loss of livelihood of my workforce, not to mention the loss of life.
 

jon_mx

Footballguy
'jon_mx said:
'bakes said:
Love how the police say they ware "surrounded" at UCDavis. Yes, of course, cops armed with billy clubs and pepper spray had to feel completely terrorized by a bunch of OWSers sitting in a circle. :lmao:For those who haven't figured out what they want, try listening to something other than the MSM. :yes:
You realize these are campus police? This is like one level above mall cops. Pepper spray is probably one of the most lethal weapon in their arsenal. Oh no, poor OWSers, being held down by the Man. :rolleyes:
Actually, Genius, they are trained and armed at the same level as local and state police.
So was Barney Fife, except he had to keep his bullet in his shirt pocket. Campus police are near the low end of the totem pole in the scheme of things.
 

Jackstraw

Footballguy
'jon_mx said:
'bakes said:
Love how the police say they ware "surrounded" at UCDavis. Yes, of course, cops armed with billy clubs and pepper spray had to feel completely terrorized by a bunch of OWSers sitting in a circle. :lmao:For those who haven't figured out what they want, try listening to something other than the MSM. :yes:
You realize these are campus police? This is like one level above mall cops. Pepper spray is probably one of the most lethal weapon in their arsenal. Oh no, poor OWSers, being held down by the Man. :rolleyes:
Actually, Genius, they are trained and armed at the same level as local and state police.
So was Barney Fife, except he had to keep his bullet in his shirt pocket. Campus police are near the low end of the totem pole in the scheme of things.
This is video of the Chancelor finally making her exit. The students were silent. I have never seen anything quite like it. Much more powerful than making a bunch of noise in my opinion. She was trying to play the victim and they took that angle from her. http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/11/police-abuse-on-parade-ctd.html
 

Zow

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
Not really.As Tiny Dancer pointed out, the incentives are entirely different. Business is aligned to create profit. And we shouldn't expect anything else. Instead, we should use constraints of government to ensure that their profit seeking is directed in such a way as to not be socially harmful.
:thumbup: I agree. This is one reason I think the OWS protests need to target the government more than Wall Street, businesses and the wealthy. The business community was pursuing it's role in a capitalist society. One could argue that some went too far, but that's always going to be the case. It's the government that failed in it's role. In fact, it extended it's role from one of constraint to becoming an incredibly large participant.
So business has no obligation to have any moral compass whatsoever?
No. And in fact it may be unlawful for them to be "moral" if it is at the expense of the shareholders.
 

Warpig

Footballguy
I think they are pretty much just a bad joke now. I mean, have they accomplished anything positive? I have a friend in KC that is partaking in these protests and she posted pics on her facebook page of them protesting on a bridge. I asked her if they were slinging poo at the passing cars since that seems to be what they have been reduced to.

 

Maurile Tremblay

Administrator
Staff member
Maybe, in some cases. All I'm saying is that if you're going to allow an organization of fallible human beings virtually unlimited power, you're going to see that power used for ends that you wouldn't have approved of a priori. I honestly don't see this observation as being at all controversial. Everybody concedes that private-sector firms aren't motivated by altruism, and we can all point to our favorite examples of abuse of government power too. But for some reason, people still cling to the notion that these things are just due to a few bad apples. They aren't. These things happen because positions of power act as bad-apple magnets.
I don't think private firms acting in their own interests are "bad apples." That's what they're supposed to do. In government there actually are good apples and bad apples. I don't think it's too idealistic to think that the good apples can help to constrain the bad apples.
I think there may be ways to increase the ratio of good apples to bad apples in government. Giving more power to politicians doesn't seem like one of them.
 

Tiny Dancer

Footballguy
I think there may be ways to increase the ratio of good apples to bad apples in government. Giving more power to politicians doesn't seem like one of them.
Even if you're right, I don't think the overall objective is just to minimize the bad apples. My motivation for having the federal government doing stuff isn't to reduce bad apples. I suppose it depends on how much the bad apple ratio increases per amount of power given to the federal government. I'm not sure how easy it would be to quantify that, but my impression is that the ratio probably doesn't increase all that much with each marginal increase in the power of the government.
 

Bonzai

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
Not really.As Tiny Dancer pointed out, the incentives are entirely different. Business is aligned to create profit. And we shouldn't expect anything else. Instead, we should use constraints of government to ensure that their profit seeking is directed in such a way as to not be socially harmful.
:thumbup: I agree. This is one reason I think the OWS protests need to target the government more than Wall Street, businesses and the wealthy. The business community was pursuing it's role in a capitalist society. One could argue that some went too far, but that's always going to be the case. It's the government that failed in it's role. In fact, it extended it's role from one of constraint to becoming an incredibly large participant.
So business has no obligation to have any moral compass whatsoever? If something bad happens its only the fault of the government for not stopping it? And its also the government's responsibility to aniticipate every insane scheme dreamed up in every boardroom or backroom across America? I dunno man. If thats the case then the hammer should be dropped on bad actors to at least pose something of a deterrant.
Business has an obligation to follow the law. Morals are much too ambiguous.
Now I understand why you so strongly support Paterno in the Sandusky scandal.
 

Maurile Tremblay

Administrator
Staff member
I think there may be ways to increase the ratio of good apples to bad apples in government. Giving more power to politicians doesn't seem like one of them.
Even if you're right, I don't think the overall objective is just to minimize the bad apples. My motivation for having the federal government doing stuff isn't to reduce bad apples. I suppose it depends on how much the bad apple ratio increases per amount of power given to the federal government. I'm not sure how easy it would be to quantify that, but my impression is that the ratio probably doesn't increase all that much with each marginal increase in the power of the government.
I don't know whether the ratio of bad apples to good apples increases by very much with each marginal increase in governmental power; but the amount of harm that the bad apples can collectively do probably does increase a fair amount with each marginal increase in governmental power.
 
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Tiny Dancer

Footballguy
I think there may be ways to increase the ratio of good apples to bad apples in government. Giving more power to politicians doesn't seem like one of them.
Even if you're right, I don't think the overall objective is just to minimize the bad apples. My motivation for having the federal government doing stuff isn't to reduce bad apples. I suppose it depends on how much the bad apple ratio increases per amount of power given to the federal government. I'm not sure how easy it would be to quantify that, but my impression is that the ratio probably doesn't increase all that much with each marginal increase in the power of the government.
I don't know whether the ratio of bad apples to good apples increases by very much with each marginal increase in governmental power; but the amount of harm that the bad apples can collectively do probably does increase a fair amount with each marginal increase in governmental power.
In theory the amount of good stuff that the good apples can do would also increase a fair amount.
 

Christo

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
Not really.As Tiny Dancer pointed out, the incentives are entirely different. Business is aligned to create profit. And we shouldn't expect anything else. Instead, we should use constraints of government to ensure that their profit seeking is directed in such a way as to not be socially harmful.
:thumbup: I agree. This is one reason I think the OWS protests need to target the government more than Wall Street, businesses and the wealthy. The business community was pursuing it's role in a capitalist society. One could argue that some went too far, but that's always going to be the case. It's the government that failed in it's role. In fact, it extended it's role from one of constraint to becoming an incredibly large participant.
So business has no obligation to have any moral compass whatsoever? If something bad happens its only the fault of the government for not stopping it? And its also the government's responsibility to aniticipate every insane scheme dreamed up in every boardroom or backroom across America? I dunno man. If thats the case then the hammer should be dropped on bad actors to at least pose something of a deterrant.
Business has an obligation to follow the law. Morals are much too ambiguous.
Now I understand why you so strongly support Paterno in the Sandusky scandal.
Paterno is a business?
 

Bonzai

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
Not really.As Tiny Dancer pointed out, the incentives are entirely different. Business is aligned to create profit. And we shouldn't expect anything else. Instead, we should use constraints of government to ensure that their profit seeking is directed in such a way as to not be socially harmful.
:thumbup: I agree. This is one reason I think the OWS protests need to target the government more than Wall Street, businesses and the wealthy. The business community was pursuing it's role in a capitalist society. One could argue that some went too far, but that's always going to be the case. It's the government that failed in it's role. In fact, it extended it's role from one of constraint to becoming an incredibly large participant.
So business has no obligation to have any moral compass whatsoever? If something bad happens its only the fault of the government for not stopping it? And its also the government's responsibility to aniticipate every insane scheme dreamed up in every boardroom or backroom across America? I dunno man. If thats the case then the hammer should be dropped on bad actors to at least pose something of a deterrant.
Business has an obligation to follow the law. Morals are much too ambiguous.
Now I understand why you so strongly support Paterno in the Sandusky scandal.
Paterno is a business?
Businesses don't make decisions. People do.
 

Christo

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
Not really.As Tiny Dancer pointed out, the incentives are entirely different. Business is aligned to create profit. And we shouldn't expect anything else. Instead, we should use constraints of government to ensure that their profit seeking is directed in such a way as to not be socially harmful.
:thumbup: I agree. This is one reason I think the OWS protests need to target the government more than Wall Street, businesses and the wealthy. The business community was pursuing it's role in a capitalist society. One could argue that some went too far, but that's always going to be the case. It's the government that failed in it's role. In fact, it extended it's role from one of constraint to becoming an incredibly large participant.
So business has no obligation to have any moral compass whatsoever? If something bad happens its only the fault of the government for not stopping it? And its also the government's responsibility to aniticipate every insane scheme dreamed up in every boardroom or backroom across America? I dunno man. If thats the case then the hammer should be dropped on bad actors to at least pose something of a deterrant.
Business has an obligation to follow the law. Morals are much too ambiguous.
Now I understand why you so strongly support Paterno in the Sandusky scandal.
Paterno is a business?
Businesses don't make decisions. People do.
So? The issue was what's the obligation. There was a well defined legal obligation for Paterno. He complied with his legal obligation. He failed in his moral obligation. Paterno and not PSU is suffering because of Paterno's moral failure.
 

Bonzai

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
Not really.As Tiny Dancer pointed out, the incentives are entirely different. Business is aligned to create profit. And we shouldn't expect anything else. Instead, we should use constraints of government to ensure that their profit seeking is directed in such a way as to not be socially harmful.
:thumbup: I agree. This is one reason I think the OWS protests need to target the government more than Wall Street, businesses and the wealthy. The business community was pursuing it's role in a capitalist society. One could argue that some went too far, but that's always going to be the case. It's the government that failed in it's role. In fact, it extended it's role from one of constraint to becoming an incredibly large participant.
So business has no obligation to have any moral compass whatsoever? If something bad happens its only the fault of the government for not stopping it? And its also the government's responsibility to aniticipate every insane scheme dreamed up in every boardroom or backroom across America? I dunno man. If thats the case then the hammer should be dropped on bad actors to at least pose something of a deterrant.
Business has an obligation to follow the law. Morals are much too ambiguous.
Now I understand why you so strongly support Paterno in the Sandusky scandal.
Paterno is a business?
Businesses don't make decisions. People do.
So? The issue was what's the obligation. There was a well defined legal obligation for Paterno. He complied with his legal obligation. He failed in his moral obligation. Paterno and not PSU is suffering because of Paterno's moral failure.
You're really going to make me spell this out?
 

Christo

Footballguy
'Matthias said:
Not really.As Tiny Dancer pointed out, the incentives are entirely different. Business is aligned to create profit. And we shouldn't expect anything else. Instead, we should use constraints of government to ensure that their profit seeking is directed in such a way as to not be socially harmful.
:thumbup: I agree. This is one reason I think the OWS protests need to target the government more than Wall Street, businesses and the wealthy. The business community was pursuing it's role in a capitalist society. One could argue that some went too far, but that's always going to be the case. It's the government that failed in it's role. In fact, it extended it's role from one of constraint to becoming an incredibly large participant.
So business has no obligation to have any moral compass whatsoever? If something bad happens its only the fault of the government for not stopping it? And its also the government's responsibility to aniticipate every insane scheme dreamed up in every boardroom or backroom across America? I dunno man. If thats the case then the hammer should be dropped on bad actors to at least pose something of a deterrant.
Business has an obligation to follow the law. Morals are much too ambiguous.
Now I understand why you so strongly support Paterno in the Sandusky scandal.
Paterno is a business?
Businesses don't make decisions. People do.
So? The issue was what's the obligation. There was a well defined legal obligation for Paterno. He complied with his legal obligation. He failed in his moral obligation. Paterno and not PSU is suffering because of Paterno's moral failure.
You're really going to make me spell this out?
Be my guest. I'd love to see you explain how legal fictions have moral obligations.
 

guderian

Footballguy
So apparently if you are a business its basically a license to be a complete sociopath.
Businesses are composed of people--each with legal obligations and morals. Beyond that businesses are subject to regulations and additional laws. A business is just a legal fabrication--it can't "do" anything. Occupy Wall Street seems to think that businesses are these giant, monolithic entities that are void of humanity--or that their employees just blindly do the bidding of the greedy, evil 1%ers. I think they've watched too many movies. :shrug:
 

Maurile Tremblay

Administrator
Staff member
I think there may be ways to increase the ratio of good apples to bad apples in government. Giving more power to politicians doesn't seem like one of them.
Even if you're right, I don't think the overall objective is just to minimize the bad apples. My motivation for having the federal government doing stuff isn't to reduce bad apples. I suppose it depends on how much the bad apple ratio increases per amount of power given to the federal government. I'm not sure how easy it would be to quantify that, but my impression is that the ratio probably doesn't increase all that much with each marginal increase in the power of the government.
I don't know whether the ratio of bad apples to good apples increases by very much with each marginal increase in governmental power; but the amount of harm that the bad apples can collectively do probably does increase a fair amount with each marginal increase in governmental power.
In theory the amount of good stuff that the good apples can do would also increase a fair amount.
Depends on whose theory. Ludwig von Mises thought that central planners with even the purest intentions would be doomed to make a mess of things because of the limitations on how much information can be acquired or usefully considered by any person or committee (as opposed to a market).In any case, my observations in an American-style democracy lead me to believe that any power given to politicians is more likely to be used for their ends than for ours. I don't think it's because the wrong people are in charge; I think it's because people are in charge. It's human nature to treat one's friends better than one's enemies, and to treat campaign donors as friends. (Isn't that the thinking behind restrictions on campaign contributions?) Even good apples aren't immune from human nature.

 

ElGatoLoco

Footballguy
'jon_mx said:
'bakes said:
Love how the police say they ware "surrounded" at UCDavis. Yes, of course, cops armed with billy clubs and pepper spray had to feel completely terrorized by a bunch of OWSers sitting in a circle. :lmao:For those who haven't figured out what they want, try listening to something other than the MSM. :yes:
You realize these are campus police? This is like one level above mall cops. Pepper spray is probably one of the most lethal weapon in their arsenal. Oh no, poor OWSers, being held down by the Man. :rolleyes:
Actually, Genius, they are trained and armed at the same level as local and state police.
So was Barney Fife, except he had to keep his bullet in his shirt pocket. Campus police are near the low end of the totem pole in the scheme of things.
They all go through the same Academy together in our state, and they have to pass the same standards before they are credentialed to serve as law enforcement officers. They can make arrests in their jurisdiction (campus), and departments can form partnerships with other departments to assist outside of that jurisdiction. I think you are arguing under a gross misperception. Our urban campus is one of the safest places in the city because of a high concentration of uniformed officers, as a result of having a campus police department.
 

Slapdash

Footballguy
So apparently if you are a business its basically a license to be a complete sociopath.
The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits

by Milton Friedman

The New York Times Magazine, September 13, 1970. Copyright @ 1970 by The New York Times Company.

When I hear businessmen speak eloquently about the "social responsibilities of business in a free-enterprise system," I am reminded of the wonderful line about the Frenchman who discovered at the age of 70 that he had been speaking prose all his life. The businessmen believe that they are defending free en­terprise when they declaim that business is not concerned "merely" with profit but also with promoting desirable "social" ends; that business has a "social conscience" and takes seriously its responsibilities for providing em­ployment, eliminating discrimination, avoid­ing pollution and whatever else may be the catchwords of the contemporary crop of re­formers. In fact they are–or would be if they or anyone else took them seriously–preach­ing pure and unadulterated socialism. Busi­nessmen who talk this way are unwitting pup­pets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades.

The discussions of the "social responsibili­ties of business" are notable for their analytical looseness and lack of rigor. What does it mean to say that "business" has responsibilities? Only people can have responsibilities. A corporation is an artificial person and in this sense may have artificial responsibilities, but "business" as a whole cannot be said to have responsibilities, even in this vague sense. The first step toward clarity in examining the doctrine of the social responsibility of business is to ask precisely what it implies for whom.

Presumably, the individuals who are to be responsible are businessmen, which means in­dividual proprietors or corporate executives. Most of the discussion of social responsibility is directed at corporations, so in what follows I shall mostly neglect the individual proprietors and speak of corporate executives.

In a free-enterprise, private-property sys­tem, a corporate executive is an employee of the owners of the business. He has direct re­sponsibility to his employers. That responsi­bility is to conduct the business in accordance with their desires, which generally will be to make as much money as possible while con­forming to the basic rules of the society, both those embodied in law and those embodied in ethical custom. Of course, in some cases his employers may have a different objective. A group of persons might establish a corporation for an eleemosynary purpose–for exam­ple, a hospital or a school. The manager of such a corporation will not have money profit as his objective but the rendering of certain services.

In either case, the key point is that, in his capacity as a corporate executive, the manager is the agent of the individuals who own the corporation or establish the eleemosynary institution, and his primary responsibility is to them.

Needless to say, this does not mean that it is easy to judge how well he is performing his task. But at least the criterion of performance is straightforward, and the persons among whom a voluntary contractual arrangement exists are clearly defined.

Of course, the corporate executive is also a person in his own right. As a person, he may have many other responsibilities that he rec­ognizes or assumes voluntarily–to his family, his conscience, his feelings of charity, his church, his clubs, his city, his country. He ma}. feel impelled by these responsibilities to de­vote part of his income to causes he regards as worthy, to refuse to work for particular corpo­rations, even to leave his job, for example, to join his country's armed forces. Ifwe wish, we may refer to some of these responsibilities as "social responsibilities." But in these respects he is acting as a principal, not an agent; he is spending his own money or time or energy, not the money of his employers or the time or energy he has contracted to devote to their purposes. If these are "social responsibili­ties," they are the social responsibilities of in­dividuals, not of business.

What does it mean to say that the corpo­rate executive has a "social responsibility" in his capacity as businessman? If this statement is not pure rhetoric, it must mean that he is to act in some way that is not in the interest of his employers. For example, that he is to refrain from increasing the price of the product in order to contribute to the social objective of preventing inflation, even though a price in crease would be in the best interests of the corporation. Or that he is to make expendi­tures on reducing pollution beyond the amount that is in the best interests of the cor­poration or that is required by law in order to contribute to the social objective of improving the environment. Or that, at the expense of corporate profits, he is to hire "hardcore" un­employed instead of better qualified available workmen to contribute to the social objective of reducing poverty.

In each of these cases, the corporate exec­utive would be spending someone else's money for a general social interest. Insofar as his actions in accord with his "social responsi­bility" reduce returns to stockholders, he is spending their money. Insofar as his actions raise the price to customers, he is spending the customers' money. Insofar as his actions lower the wages of some employees, he is spending their money. The stockholders or the customers or the employees could separately spend their own money on the particular action if they wished to do so. The executive is exercising a distinct "social responsibility," rather than serving as an agent of the stockholders or the customers or the employees, only if he spends the money in a different way than they would have spent it.

But if he does this, he is in effect imposing taxes, on the one hand, and deciding how the tax proceeds shall be spent, on the other.

This process raises political questions on two levels: principle and consequences. On the level of political principle, the imposition of taxes and the expenditure of tax proceeds are gov­ernmental functions. We have established elab­orate constitutional, parliamentary and judicial provisions to control these functions, to assure that taxes are imposed so far as possible in ac­cordance with the preferences and desires of the public–after all, "taxation without repre­sentation" was one of the battle cries of the American Revolution. We have a system of checks and balances to separate the legisla­tive function of imposing taxes and enacting expenditures from the executive function of collecting taxes and administering expendi­ture programs and from the judicial function of mediating disputes and interpreting the law.

Here the businessman–self-selected or appointed directly or indirectly by stockhold­ers–is to be simultaneously legislator, execu­tive and, jurist. He is to decide whom to tax by how much and for what purpose, and he is to spend the proceeds–all this guided only by general exhortations from on high to restrain inflation, improve the environment, fight poverty and so on and on.

The whole justification for permitting the corporate executive to be selected by the stockholders is that the executive is an agent serving the interests of his principal. This jus­tification disappears when the corporate ex­ecutive imposes taxes and spends the pro­ceeds for "social" purposes. He becomes in effect a public employee, a civil servant, even though he remains in name an employee of a private enterprise. On grounds of political principle, it is intolerable that such civil ser­vants–insofar as their actions in the name of social responsibility are real and not just win­dow-dressing–should be selected as they are now. If they are to be civil servants, then they must be elected through a political process. If they are to impose taxes and make expendi­tures to foster "social" objectives, then politi­cal machinery must be set up to make the as­sessment of taxes and to determine through a political process the objectives to be served.

This is the basic reason why the doctrine of "social responsibility" involves the acceptance of the socialist view that political mechanisms, not market mechanisms, are the appropriate way to determine the allocation of scarce re­sources to alternative uses.

On the grounds of consequences, can the corporate executive in fact discharge his al­leged "social responsibilities?" On the other hand, suppose he could get away with spending the stockholders' or customers' or employees' money. How is he to know how to spend it? He is told that he must contribute to fighting inflation. How is he to know what ac­tion of his will contribute to that end? He is presumably an expert in running his company–in producing a product or selling it or financing it. But nothing about his selection makes him an expert on inflation. Will his hold­ ing down the price of his product reduce infla­tionary pressure? Or, by leaving more spending power in the hands of his customers, simply divert it elsewhere? Or, by forcing him to produce less because of the lower price, will it simply contribute to shortages? Even if he could an­swer these questions, how much cost is he justi­fied in imposing on his stockholders, customers and employees for this social purpose? What is his appropriate share and what is the appropri­ate share of others?

And, whether he wants to or not, can he get away with spending his stockholders', cus­tomers' or employees' money? Will not the stockholders fire him? (Either the present ones or those who take over when his actions in the name of social responsibility have re­duced the corporation's profits and the price of its stock.) His customers and his employees can desert him for other producers and em­ployers less scrupulous in exercising their so­cial responsibilities.

This facet of "social responsibility" doc­ trine is brought into sharp relief when the doctrine is used to justify wage restraint by trade unions. The conflict of interest is naked and clear when union officials are asked to subordinate the interest of their members to some more general purpose. If the union offi­cials try to enforce wage restraint, the consequence is likely to be wildcat strikes, rank­-and-file revolts and the emergence of strong competitors for their jobs. We thus have the ironic phenomenon that union leaders–at least in the U.S.–have objected to Govern­ment interference with the market far more consistently and courageously than have business leaders.

The difficulty of exercising "social responsibility" illustrates, of course, the great virtue of private competitive enterprise–it forces people to be responsible for their own actions and makes it difficult for them to "exploit" other people for either selfish or unselfish purposes. They can do good–but only at their own expense.

Many a reader who has followed the argu­ment this far may be tempted to remonstrate that it is all well and good to speak of Government's having the responsibility to im­pose taxes and determine expenditures for such "social" purposes as controlling pollu­tion or training the hard-core unemployed, but that the problems are too urgent to wait on the slow course of political processes, that the exercise of social responsibility by busi­nessmen is a quicker and surer way to solve pressing current problems.

Aside from the question of fact–I share Adam Smith's skepticism about the benefits that can be expected from "those who affected to trade for the public good"–this argument must be rejected on grounds of principle. What it amounts to is an assertion that those who favor the taxes and expenditures in question have failed to persuade a majority of their fellow citizens to be of like mind and that they are seeking to attain by undemocratic procedures what they cannot attain by democratic proce­dures. In a free society, it is hard for "evil" people to do "evil," especially since one man's good is another's evil.

I have, for simplicity, concentrated on the special case of the corporate executive, ex­cept only for the brief digression on trade unions. But precisely the same argument ap­plies to the newer phenomenon of calling upon stockholders to require corporations to exercise social responsibility (the recent G.M crusade for example). In most of these cases, what is in effect involved is some stockholders trying to get other stockholders (or customers or employees) to contribute against their will to "social" causes favored by the activists. In­sofar as they succeed, they are again imposing taxes and spending the proceeds.

The situation of the individual proprietor is somewhat different. If he acts to reduce the returns of his enterprise in order to exercise his "social responsibility," he is spending his own money, not someone else's. If he wishes to spend his money on such purposes, that is his right, and I cannot see that there is any ob­jection to his doing so. In the process, he, too, may impose costs on employees and cus­tomers. However, because he is far less likely than a large corporation or union to have mo­nopolistic power, any such side effects will tend to be minor.

Of course, in practice the doctrine of social responsibility is frequently a cloak for actions that are justified on other grounds rather than a reason for those actions.

To illustrate, it may well be in the long run interest of a corporation that is a major employer in a small community to devote resources to providing amenities to that community or to improving its government. That may make it easier to attract desirable employees, it may reduce the wage bill or lessen losses from pilferage and sabotage or have other worthwhile effects. Or it may be that, given the laws about the deductibility of corporate charitable contributions, the stockholders can contribute more to chari­ties they favor by having the corporation make the gift than by doing it themselves, since they can in that way contribute an amount that would otherwise have been paid as corporate taxes.

In each of these–and many similar–cases, there is a strong temptation to rationalize these actions as an exercise of "social responsibility." In the present climate of opinion, with its wide spread aversion to "capitalism," "profits," the "soulless corporation" and so on, this is one way for a corporation to generate goodwill as a by-product of expenditures that are entirely justified in its own self-interest.

It would be inconsistent of me to call on corporate executives to refrain from this hyp­ocritical window-dressing because it harms the foundations of a free society. That would be to call on them to exercise a "social re­sponsibility"! If our institutions, and the atti­tudes of the public make it in their self-inter­est to cloak their actions in this way, I cannot summon much indignation to denounce them. At the same time, I can express admiration for those individual proprietors or owners of closely held corporations or stockholders of more broadly held corporations who disdain such tactics as approaching fraud.

Whether blameworthy or not, the use of the cloak of social responsibility, and the nonsense spoken in its name by influential and presti­gious businessmen, does clearly harm the foun­dations of a free society. I have been impressed time and again by the schizophrenic character of many businessmen. They are capable of being extremely farsighted and clearheaded in matters that are internal to their businesses. They are incredibly shortsighted and muddle­headed in matters that are outside their businesses but affect the possible survival of busi­ness in general. This shortsightedness is strikingly exemplified in the calls from many businessmen for wage and price guidelines or controls or income policies. There is nothing that could do more in a brief period to destroy a market system and replace it by a centrally con­trolled system than effective governmental con­trol of prices and wages.

The shortsightedness is also exemplified in speeches by businessmen on social respon­sibility. This may gain them kudos in the short run. But it helps to strengthen the already too prevalent view that the pursuit of profits is wicked and immoral and must be curbed and controlled by external forces. Once this view is adopted, the external forces that curb the market will not be the social consciences, however highly developed, of the pontificating executives; it will be the iron fist of Government bureaucrats. Here, as with price and wage controls, businessmen seem to me to reveal a suicidal impulse.

The political principle that underlies the market mechanism is unanimity. In an ideal free market resting on private property, no individual can coerce any other, all coopera­tion is voluntary, all parties to such coopera­tion benefit or they need not participate. There are no values, no "social" responsibilities in any sense other than the shared values and responsibilities of individuals. Society is a collection of individuals and of the various groups they voluntarily form.

The political principle that underlies the political mechanism is conformity. The indi­vidual must serve a more general social inter­est–whether that be determined by a church or a dictator or a majority. The individual may have a vote and say in what is to be done, but if he is overruled, he must conform. It is appropriate for some to require others to contribute to a general social purpose whether they wish to or not.

Unfortunately, unanimity is not always feasi­ble. There are some respects in which conformity appears unavoidable, so I do not see how one can avoid the use of the political mecha­nism altogether.

But the doctrine of "social responsibility" taken seriously would extend the scope of the political mechanism to every human activity. It does not differ in philosophy from the most explicitly collectivist doctrine. It differs only by professing to believe that collectivist ends can be attained without collectivist means. That is why, in my book Capitalism and Freedom, I have called it a "fundamentally subversive doctrine" in a free society, and have said that in such a society, "there is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud."
 

guderian

Footballguy
'mcintyre1 said:
Occupy DC's proposal to reduce the deficit

For those that keep clamoring for "solutions" from the protesters, there's a start.
A quick look (using their numbers):-$600B of additional taxes per year.

-$222B for ending tax subsidies.

-$108B for ending the wars.

-Save undisclosed amounts for cutting defense spending.

-$20B for "negotiating better prices with big Pharma".

-Slash mortgages to market value.

-Don't rely on private sector for job growth.

-A massive public works project.

-Cut military jobs and convert the spending to other areas.

-"Improved Medicare for All"

-Erase student loan debt.

-Hike taxes for Social Security.

Can we all get a pony too???

So, basically their plan is to hike taxes by well over $800 billion per year, slash the military, dramatically increase discretionary government spending, and wipe out trillions in mortgage and student loan debt. :thumbup:

I don't see how anyone would conclude that their goal is a massive redistribution of wealth in their favor. Greed is good.

 
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