Tuesday, November 07, 2017

37.5 - On the nature of capitalism

On the nature of capitalism

I have talked a pretty good number of times about the economy, most recently on how decades of economic stress without gain were for too many among us the crowbar that was used to pry open the restraints they had on their bigotry because blaming those weaker than you is always easier than blaming those more powerful.

But the real issue, of course, and one that I have not addressed often or deeply enough, is the nature of that economy. So without getting into a long dissertation, herewith are three good examples of the nature of our capitalist economy.

Verizon has a program called LTE in Rural America, which relies on a partnership between Verizon and small rural carriers who lease Verizon spectrum in order to build their own networks.

1. In October, Verizon dumped 8500 customers in that program on the grounds that, quoting the company, they "use a substantial amount of data while roaming on other providers' networks and the roaming costs generated by these lines exceed what these consumers pay us each month."

Those customers are spread across rural areas in 13 states.

In other words, it's "We make money on this program but not on every single individual person in it so screw them - you don't make us money, the hell with you."

2. As a reminder of who has to be taken care of first, Bank of America downgraded the stock of the chain restaurant Chipoltle from "neutral" to "underperform" on the grounds of, in the bank's analyst's words, an inability "to get labor below 27 percent of sales." In other words, they're downgrading Chipoltle's prospects on the grounds that the company pays its employees too much.

3. Executives from Papa John's, the official pizza company of the NFL, are blaming player protests for a decline in the league's TV ratings and thus, they claim, for a decline in the company's pizza sales. Company founder and CEO John Schnatter said "We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this," that is, did not "nip this in the bud," a year and a half ago.

In other words, the NFL should have clamped down on a peaceful, nonviolent, and legal use of 1st amendment rights to protest an obvious injustice because the corporation's pizza sales are more important.

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