First, the WGA is on strike. I’ll post three Twitter threads at the bottom of this post that are worth reading. As noted before, I support them.
And I think the John Rogers post below is worth thinking about. Because we collectively through our values and our laws create the world we live in.
If you criticize a company for taking steps to maximize its share price you will often hear something along the lines of “well, they HAVE to do that because they have a duty to their shareholders.”
But the point that is often missed in that is that we as a society have created the rules that drive that. And we could change them.
We could make it a law that corporations must provide value to their shareholders while also taking into account long-term profitability and viability.
Because a nice little bump in today’s share price is meaningless if you suck all liquidity out of your company so that it’s bankrupt in two years.
And a nice little bump in today’s share price is meaningless if you create such brutal working conditions that you lose the people who make that company what it is. If you drive away your talent with poor compensation and relentless work demands, you will lose value long-term.
A nice little bump in today’s share price is also meaningless if you so mismanage the natural resources you rely on for that business that you once again deprive that company of what it needs to be a long-term viable business.
I would also argue that the type of extremely high CEO compensation we see should not be treated as a good thing, but should be viewed as poor management. If you’re telling me that the CEO of that company is worth $300 million but the people who do the day-to-day work aren’t worth paying a living wage then what you are telling me is that you have mismanaged that company to create a single point of failure. That’s poor long-term management of a company that should get the board that approved it fired if true. If not it’s a grift and they should still be fired for paying someone compensation they don’t deserve. Especially when it comes at the cost of the staff that drive long-term viability for that company.
I remember back in my broker days there was such a thing as “blue chip” stocks that returned a steady, long-term profit. They weren’t sexy, they weren’t flashy, but they delivered value year-in and year-out. And yet we have this environment now that only rewards sexy growth. Big numbers. Even for companies that should not be that type of company. And it’s killing those companies.
It can be frustrating as an individual to know how to counter this hot mess. For me, personally, I’ve shifted from seeing a fancy sports car and thinking, “ooh, nice” to thinking “what a selfish fuck who cares only for themselves”. If we don’t reward people socially for amassing vast amounts of wealth they (may) lose the incentive to do so.
I mean, honestly, does anyone need $300 million let alone $300 million every single year? No. Especially not off of the backs of others.
And I absolutely did call out a friend recently who probably makes over $500K a year when they kept complaining about “rich people” as if they aren’t one. That shit has to stop. Just because one guy has rocket money doesn’t mean that a whole swathe of people aren’t doing very, very well for themselves and couldn’t spare a bit more than a vote every four years.
Oh, and for this case, I canceled my streaming subscription today and won’t be streaming anything while this strike is ongoing. And I’m sharing the thoughts I can with the people I can to maybe take one more chip at that giant boulder that needs to crumble if we have any hope of the world being a good place to live for more than a handful of selfish assholes thirty years from now.
(Oh, and no comments allowed on this thread. I’m not here for anyone out trolling about the strike.)
Here are those Tweet threads: