Radically Inept
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
  "Why do I kill for you?"

This post started a few days ago under the title of "Corporate malfeasance". I was going to discuss Alternative Radio : Marjorie Kelly : The Divine Right of Capital, which though I wasn't able to listen to in its entirety (errands, a flat tire, a flat spare, etc), I was able to hear Ms Kelly make two points that I felt worth posting: 1) Corporations are inherently class biased (all paraphrasing here, listen if you want true accuracy). They favor the rich by structure. Those that can afford to invest are protected, and labor is exploited by the very definition and structure of legal corporations. As she points out, every business school teaches that the purpose of a corporation is to provide maximum return to the investors. Since labor is classified as costs, the corporation endeavors to minimize the costs of labor; and since profits, paid to the share holders, are considered returns on investment, corporations are legally supposed to screw labor for the benefit of the wealthy who can buy the stock. The wealthy are supposed to get wealthier, and the laborers are supposed to get as little as possible. 2) Environmental costs, as overhead, are supposed to be passed on as societal costs as much as possible. If environmental remediation is overhead, the more that that can be passed onto the surrounding communities, the more profits can be passed on to the wealthy.

While both of those points might really be common sense, I had never heard them cited so succinctly. If you can do the streaming video, you probably should. She says it better.

The other thing I was going to include in this post, was a discussion of the
Finance Committee Hearing - FDA, Merck and Vioxx: Putting Patient Safety First?
C-SPAN: Senate Hearing on Vioxx Prescription Drug (11/18/2004). And, it flat re-enforces what Ms Kelly was discussing above, but goes further. Why should Merck, or any other corporation, be able to kill people for profit? Really, if Merck knew that these drugs were dangerous to the very sector of the population most likely to use them, than shouldn't that at least fall under negligent homicide, if not murder? Sadly, I expect those that made the decisions that led to in excess of a 100,000 strokes, heart attacks, and deaths, to get away with it. The 'corporation' will pay a fine, but the people who made the decisions...Well, they'll retire wealthy.

Oh, for the five other drugs on the market that Dr. David J. Graham thinks should be studied, move to the 1hr 50 min 18 sec mark on the video (which I haven't figured out a way to link to directly). His testimony is very revealing on how bought our regulatory system is. Orrin Hatch? Well, I'm not sure what to make of his tone, and I really should, but won't, try to find out how much his campaigns have been supported by the pharmaceutical industry.

If you didn't already know, this will convince you, I am a C-Span junkie. It's not actually corporate, but it is a great discussion of how pervasive fraud, plagiarism, etc. Pervades our country: C-SPAN Store -- Past Imperfect: Facts, Fictions, Frauds.

But, I am going to move forward, at least I think it is forward. I have spent a lot of time posting on information, the value of information, and attempting to find a definition for value. But I have been doing it from an economic, if Radically Inept, point of view. I have now decided to go more toward a sociological perspective. Probably just as Radically Inept, but a different form.

Why do people kill for you? I think in early historical, pre-historical, terms, it would have been to benefit the family group. Then, perhaps expanded to include tribal groups and your village. I mean we all would fight to protect our family, and to the degree that our families survival was ensured by the survival of the tribe or village, well, the progression would have made sense.


I am planning on doing more thinking down this road - what makes people willing to kill and die for each other. I think there is something here, I'm just not sure what, though I suspect at least part of it to be that the powerful have figured out a way to use our basic drives against us for their own purposes. And, I think it ties into the very economic system I've been trying to understand. At it's base, I think, is obviously greed on the part of those who hold power, but I suspect exploring the pattern, and over laying on the economic pattern, will be like studying 'black holes'. You can't actually see the black hole to study it, but be looking at the effects and affects surrounding it, you might gain a deeper understanding.

I'm going to go ahead and post this not because the piece is worthy, but I think the links I cited above are.

Expect more posts in this area - Why do I kill for you? 
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