Thursday, January 17, 2008


This topic about companies duty being to grow is interesting to me. This ties in with something I came up with a while ago. I prefer to use the term entity, and use it to describe anything that takes in money and uses it to grow. An entity could be a person, a company, or a government. One entity could be a part of another larger entity. Now one thing I hate is the anthropomorphication ($10 word) that people use on things like companies and the Earth (Gaia). People say stuff like the Earth doesn't want us here, or that a company wants to grow. When using these phrases you have to be careful to just be using them as analogy, not to actually be implying that a company has a sentient desire to grow. A company does want to grow, but it's just the results of all the parts that make it up, and the way they interact. I suppose we could debate that a person's conscience is just the result of the parts that make it up, and the way they interact, but that's another debate for another day.

First you understand that any entity that gets money will try to grow, and get more money you can start to understand how entities will interact. Companies and government are supposed to be enemies, balancing each other out, and often they do. This can be compared to any environment where there are forces competing for a limited resource (food, money). At this point I really wish you had read the Dawkins books, because he explains a lot of competition stuff that I'd like to use as analogies. However, to simplify, animals almost always compete for the same resources, but sometimes it's in both their best interests to work together (those fish that clean sharks teeth, ants and some crazy things that live in their colonies breaking up leafs). This is how we can think of entities working. They will do what is best for them, usually that will be at the detriment of other entities, but sometimes that'll be mutual beneficial for both entities.

Again I'd like to remind that an entity is a person, company, government, school, organization, or anything else that collects money and grows. Remember here that taxes are detriment to the individual, but a benefit to the government (some people like to say it hurts one person, but benefits everyone, which is not true, it hurts one, and benefits many, a slight but important difference). In the case of a individual giving up money to a government you can think of it as pure intimidation, the same thing that would make a rat give up food to a tiger (or whatever), you lose a little, but if you resist you lose a lot. Remember that money is power for entities. I'm sure that in practice there are a few other things that give an entity power besides money, but money is easy to measure and see, and it always gives power.

Any entity that gains money will use it to get itself more money. As it gets more and more money it will have more and more ability to gain money. It doesn't matter if it's a person, company, or government it will use it's money to gain money. It's often said that a companies desires is to grow, which matches what I am saying, but I take it to a greater scale, everything desires to grow.

(I want to say Obviously,) The only entities that matter are people. The other entities are made to aid and help the people. Companies and governments are both vastly different organizations, but both tend to reach the same goal. By getting money for many different people they can provide things better than each individual by themselves.

Now that I've (re)explained my entities growing idea, I'm not certain how it ties in with your story. SWA, Continental, the US Govt, and each person, each wanted what was best for them, in some cases this meant working with other entities, in some cases it meant working against them. But in all cases it was only doing what was best for itself, never did any of them have any altruism (opposite of selfish [often used by Dawkins, I didn't know it at first]). To say that SWA has a social responsibility is at the same time true and naïve. Ideally every non human entities only purpose is to better serve humans, but realistically the only thing that any entity does is grow, and help itself.

The key is organizing it, and the environment it works in, so that the only way it can grow is by helping people. Continental found a way to grow so that it didn't have to help people, and it exploited it. The government found a way to grow that didn't require helping people and exploited it (presumably they got money from continental).

To actually address what you said, neither SWA or continental is going out of business. Even after 9/11, and without government subsides (remember subsides is another way to say the government forcing you at gunpoint to give money to someone else). That's the beauty of capitalism, if something is a valuable service people will pay for it, and if there is something people are willing to pay for then someone will provide it. The airlines may have had to drastically slashed prices, but they'd stay in business. Even if they did go out of business providing flights is very valuable, people will pay for it, and someone else would buy the planes and facilities at bankruptcy auctions and provide the service cheaper, and with less waste. That would be bad for the current presidents of the airlines, as they wouldn't be in charge of these new airlines, which means no money for them. Again remember that the presidents are entities, that want their own best interest, not the companies best interest, at the same time the company is an entity that wants it's best interest not the peoples. The CEO's/companies don't care if the people have air flight, they only care if they are providing it and getting lots of money for it.

To restate my main point, had the airlines gone out of business others would have moved in the fill the gap, and done a better job. I guess I didn't really talk about your points, because to me they are all givens. The fact that companies want to grow, and will use the government to do so is nothing new. I'm more interested in how to fix it. And to fix it we must understand the process of how it happens.

No comments:

Post a Comment