Re: Selfishness Report

From: Forrest Bishop (
Date: Mon Jan 28 2002 - 00:58:12 MST

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Subject: Re: Selfishness Report

> Mr. Bishop quoted:
> <<"What collectivists refuse to recognize is that it is in the self-interest
> of every businessman to have a reputation for honest
> dealings and a quality product. Since the market value of a going business is
> measured by its money-making potential, reputation or
> "good will" is as much an asset as its physical plant and equipment...." [pp
> 118] >>
> What came immediately to mind is the love-affair of the German businessman,
> during the 3rd reich with business practices that that were both collectivist
> and based on reputation. This may have nothing to do with todays business
> mentality, or it may be a warning that human behavior is not so maleable.

One can discover the face of the Virgin Mary in the topography of *any* blueberry muffin- a general result from information theory,

> <<"Government regulation is not an alternative means of protecting the
> consumer. It does not build quality into goods, or accuracy
> into information. Its sole ["contribution"] is to substitute force and fear for
> incentive as the "protector" of the consumer. The euphemisms of government
> press releases to the contrary not withstanding, the basis of regulation is
> armed force. At the bottom of
> the endless pile of paper work which characterizes all regulation lies a
> gun...">>
> Yes. Perhaps a substitute is the (collectivist?) mobilization of the consumer
> against the production of inferior goods and services. This would require
> people purchasing such en mass, as to damage a corporation sufficiently to
> either destroy the corporation or to force change. Color me dubious, on this
> particular proposal.

I wasn't able to parse the meaning of the above. A boycott may produce the desired result. If it is grounded in reality, as they are
occasionally, the result is a net positive benefit for all but the producers of the "bads".

> <<Other methods may be brought to bear, as in a barroom brawl.
> Thus, treating others with the modicum of respect that characterizes
> civilization is more than simply a homily to good manners.>>
> Glorp! I disagree. The [reason] is (even though I am unqualified to be an
> economist or a financial analyst) I distrust the inherent wisdom of
> corporations.

The "others" referred above to are individual human beings. Corporations, which are legal fictions without any physical
manifestation, do not have inherent wisdom- individual humans (and animals) do. No financial analysis required to see this.

> When the recent downturn began, the corpration managers seems
> to have dusted off their olf business plans, on what to do for a recession.
> The 1970s and 80's answer: layoffs! Unfortunately while Motorola and Cisco
> (for example) were covering their asses, in this manner, they merely
> deepended the downturn into a recession. Collectively, these companies
> successfully disemployed so many people, that less have discretionary income
> to purchase goods and services.

  Motorola, Cisco, IBM, Lucent, JDS Uniphase, ATT, Noika, Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, Arthur Anderson, Texas Instruments, Hyundai,
Bethleham Steel, Enron, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Compaq, Cineplex Odeon et al, Ericson, Freightliner, Paccar, and so forth were each,
in their own ways, producing more of a product than the market could bear. In many cases, part of the product mix included
irrational accounting, market manipulations in concert with statist central planners, and poor econometric modeling, exacerbating
the collapses. In all cases, concentration of credit in the hands of the statists has resulted in the largest combined speculative
mania (bubble) in history by every measure, and a misallocation of scarce resources (malinvestment). Enron is simply one tiny
  The layoffs of people hired to produce unwanted goods (or "bads") is an entirely expected, natural consequence of capital
liquidation. To keep them on would put what's left of the firm at risk of bankruptcy and dissolution, eliminating the jobs of
everyone. The alternative, which is far preferable, is to allow wages and salaries to *fall* to their market-clearing prices. Then
there would not be unemployment- yet another exhibit in the horror chambers of collectivist Statism.


Forrest Bishop
Chairman, Institute of Atomic-Scale Engineering

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