I’m about 90% sure the economy is never gonna “improve”
this is capitalism in it’s final form
this is it honey
except, you know, those companies that do a charitable thing for every thing they sell
that’s kinda new and interesting. benevolent capitalism
Pay attention, class: This is what it looks like when one is unwilling to consider new information.
It’s not new information, though. It’s misinformation.
First, it’s not that new.
Did you know that there was a time in U.S. history—which is by definition recent history—when a corporation was generally intended to have some sort of public interest that they served? I mean, that’s the whole point of allowing corporations to form. Corporations are recognized by the commonwealth or state, and this recognition is not a right but a privilege, in exchange for which the state (representing the people) is allowed to ask, “So what does this do for everyone else?”
The way the economy is now is a direct result of a shift away from this thinking and to one where a corporation is an entity unto itself whose first, last, and only concern is an ever-increasing stream of profits. What you’re calling “benevolent capitalism” isn’t benevolent at all. It’s a pure profit/loss calculation designed to distract from—not even paper over or stick a band-aid on—the problems capitalism creates. And the fact that you’re here championing it as “benevolent capitalism” is a sign of how ell it’s working.
Let’s take Toms, as one example. The shoe that’s a cause. Buy a pair of trendy shoes, and a pair of trendy shoes will be given away to someone somewhere in the world who can’t afford them.
That’s not genuine benevolence. That’s selling you, the consumer, on the idea that you can be benevolent by buying shoes, that the act of purchasing these shoes is an act of charity. The reality is that their model is an inefficient means of addressing the problems on the ground that shoelessness represents, and severely disrupts the local economies of the locations selected for benevolence.
(Imagine what it does to the local shoemakers, for instance.)
The supposed act of charity is just a value add to convince you to spend your money on these shoes instead of some other shoes. It’s no different than putting a prize in a box of cereal.
Heck, you want to see how malevolent this is?
Go ask a multinational corporation that makes shoes or other garments to double the wages of their workers. They’ll tell you they can’t afford it, that it’s not possible, that consumers won’t stand for it, that you’ll drive them out of business and then no one will have wages.
But the fact that a company can give away one item for every item sold shows you what a lie this is. A one-for-one giving model represents double the cost of labor and materials for each unit that is sold for revenue. Doubling wages would only double the labor.
So why are companies willing to give their products away (and throw them away, destroy unused industry with bleach and razors to render them unsalvageable, et cetera) but they’re not willing to pay their workers more?
Because capitalism is the opposite of benevolence.
“Charity” is by definition exemplary, above and beyond, extraordinary, extra. “Charity” is not something that people are entitled to. You give people a shirt or shoes or some food and call it charity, and you’re setting up an expectation that you can and will control the stream of largesse in the future, and anything and everything you give should be considered a boon from on high.
On the other hand, once you start paying your workers a higher wage, you’re creating an expectation. You’re admitting that their labor is more valuable to you than you were previously willing to admit, and it’s hard to walk that back.
Plus, when people have enough money for their basic needs, they’re smarter and stronger and warier and more comfortable with pushing back instead of being steamrolled over. They have time and money to pursue education. They can save money up and maybe move away. They can escape from the system that depends on a steady flow of forced or near-forced labor.
So companies will do charitable “buy one, give one” and marketing “buy one, get one” even though these things by definition double the overhead per unit, but they won’t do anything that makes a lasting difference in the standard of living for the people.
Capitalism has redefined the world so that the baseline of ethics is “How much money can we make?” and every little good deed over and above that is saintly.
But there’s nothing benevolent about throwing a scrap of bread to someone who’s starving in a ditch because you ran them out of their home in the first place.
This is one of the best anti-capitalist posts on the entire site.