Don’t Bother Your Pretty Little Head

Don’t Bother Your Pretty Little Head

Jamie Dimon has publicly asked whether or not Senator Elizabeth Warren understands the global banking system. This is, of course, nonsense, but this kind of attack is often used on anyone the financial world considers the naive. And by naive, they mean anyone who doesn’t sympathize with their wants, desires and their ways of making money. As you can see from the quote below from “Think Progress,” Warren taught corporate law at Harvard University and published nine books among other significant qualifications. I agree with her that what upsets the financial world epitomized by the likes of Jamie Dimon isn’t that she doesn’t understand what they do but that she understands all too well what they do.

Of course, Dimon has experience foreign and unique that Warren will probably never have. His firm has agreed to billions of dollars of fines for illegal activities while he was in charge. Leading an institution that has repeatedly broken the law provides a man with a unique take on financial transactions, I’m sure.

Is it naive to question the money making techniques of the giant, “too big to fail” financial institutions? Undoubtedly the denizens of these firms view themselves as job and wealth creators doing God’s work. And who are we that would question that? Let me respond with a question of my own – who are you that your “work” is guaranteed with taxpayer dollars, literally trillions of taxpayers’ dollars? – Who are you that when you make mistakes doing “God’s work,” that the public loans you billions of dollars to save your firms from your own incompetence? Who are you who deliberately and with full awareness of the law break that law, not once but over and over again? And why is it that when you do tens of billions of dollars of damage to this nation and other nations, the worst thing that happens to you is a fine?

That God’s work analogy is in a way correct for these financial institutions do seem to have some kind of divine intervention saving them from failure and jail.

And when investment bankers get this kind of treatment, this loving application of government protection and a gentle massage of warm taxpayer dollars, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we get statements like “I don’t know if she fully understands the global banking system.”

Those of us who don’t get this loving treatment, who lack armies of lobbyists, millions in campaign contributions and never get to play golf with the President, must seem foolish in comparison.

James Pilant

A Bank CEO Said Elizabeth Warren Doesn’t Understand Wall Street. Her Response Was Perfect. | ThinkProgress

On Wednesday, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (D), “I don’t know if she fully understands the global banking system.”

By Thursday, Warren already had a response. Speaking on the Huffington Post’s “So, That Happened” podcast, she said, “The problem is not that I don’t understand the global banking system. The problem for these guys is that I fully understand the system and I understand how they make their money. And that’s what they don’t like about me.”

Warren’s résumé comes with nearly 20 years of experience teaching corporate law at Harvard University, publishing nine books, chairing the Congressional Oversight Panel that oversaw the bank bailouts in 2008 (of which JP Morgan was a beneficiary), and coming up with the idea for and helping to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has already helped consumers avoid numerous predatory lending schemes and recouped more than $4.8 billion through its enforcement actions.

via A Bank CEO Said Elizabeth Warren Doesn’t Understand Wall Street. Her Response Was Perfect. | ThinkProgress.

From around the web –

Explain to me how J.P Morgan after paying out billions in fines due to illegal activity still employs the same C.E.O? Jamie Dimon might very well be one of those non-violent psychopaths who doesn’t care about rules and regulations, only his own ambition and greed. I wish that we had more lawmakers who were as intelligent, principled and courageous as Senator Elizabeth Warren. I couldn’t take Jamie Dimon’s words seriously when he tried to insult Senator Warren, she is a Harvard Bankruptcy Professor, she set up the CFPB, her creation which is helping a lot of people, she is a double threat because she can decipher and translate finance speak so that the people understand, she has lifted the veil and Jamie Dimon hates it. …

Art and Reductionism

Art and Reductionism

I was listening this morning to the music of Paul Van Dyk. He does techno music and, of course, not everyone enjoys that genre. Nevertheless, I find him quite talented and he is also commercially successful. And that got me thinking. Isn’t he one thing under economic analysis  and another as an artist? And this thought began to trouble me. (Here let me give you an example of his work from the people at You Tube) –

As an economic unit, we can discuss him in terms of record sales,  and perhaps check actuarial tables to see how long he might be expected to live and what profits he might generate over that period. But there are other elements that might be considered. For one thing, when I hear the music I want to dance and I know that I want to hear it again. There is a recognition of pieces of music that I have hard before and the knowledge that this music will be incorporated in that greater experience.

Music is an art subject to creativity. So there are standards other than profitability. We know that a five year tapping enthusiastically on a toy piano is not the equivalent of Tchaikovsky. But measured only by monetary standards, the artistic merits of different works melt away.

Here is an example of a once popular song that you might consider as not being on the same level of talent as the one above-

Imagine yourself as a television or a cable executive. If you have a perception of art as an independent value, you are likely to choose Van Dyk over Stevens. But if you have no perception or much more likely you were taught in business school or in an administrative program that only economic value is important than Stevens might be a better choice.

In fact, under Milton Friedman’s reasoning using anything but Stevens should that music generate the most profit is stealing from the shareholders. A firm has no social responsibility to any stakeholder save the shareholders for they are the economic engine of the organization. Considering the actual power of shareholders in the corporate, this is a fairly comical concept. Here, here and here are vivid examples and explanations of shareholder impotence. (In the third entry, while the author hates the idea of shareholder power, he admits they are currently powerless.)

Perhaps, since in fact, the shareholders are a secondary consideration, we should consider the customer, the audience, to be a legitimate stakeholder? Is there any duty under free market fundamentalism or Neo-liberal doctrine to the consumer? No, they are economic units whose interests are to be weighed in terms of profitability. But there is, if you think of the audience as human beings who may be harmed or degraded by kitsch art and enlightened by great art. But if you do a reductionist analysis – if every element of society from art to a new born child is subject to economic analysis and solely to economic analysis, than the audience is a mass of disassociated atoms who may be used in any manner desired. So why not bombard them with schlock? Why not lie or mislead if that is more popular than the truth? Why not encourage them to hate minorities, despise foreigners and think illegal acts by the government are a pretty good deal? It seems to me that adherence to that kind of reductionism, the idea that monetary value and greed are the basic elements of economic life and life in general, will work to nullify all the thousands of years of philosophy and religion and all the other elements of our cultural heritage that support the concepts of morals, ethics and brotherhood.

I understand the breath taking delight of a unified theory that explains everything. And I have met those who explained to me that economic analysis explains everything from child rearing to heroism and finally to all history. There was a book I read once that explained the American Civil War as purely an economic event. However, my perception is that slavery was a major factor and that the horrifying nature of the practice goes far beyond any economic practice. I worry that if a person were to make decision based on purely economic factors, judging human worth only in terms of value, than slavery begins to make a lot sense. I don’t think so.

Besides slavery, 16 hour days, child labor and moving dangerous industries overseas can all be justified economically. Taking logically to its final conclusion, human rights and democracy are serious impediments to economic development. How about a real life example? How about this one, or this one or this one. It often seems that if a local government questions privatization be it nursing homes or charger school, people begin to talk about abolishing it. Have you noticed what happens when local governments do things that anger corporate interests even in the most peripheral ways? How about this one or this one or this one or this one? These examples show cases where people are losing the ability to make decisions for themselves.

I have been told directly that if I judge one form of art, (if memory serves, my specific example was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), as less worth preserving than other art, I’m an elitist. My student seemed to feel that he had won the argument once he trotted out the word “elitist.” While I am cognizant that much of what passed for high art has been discarded over the years and much that was originally derided as trash has been re-examined and reassessed, I don’t worry too much about the “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” being reassessed as better than “Citizen Kane.” There are standards and many of them have stood the test of time. But I have been regarded as a fool and a pathetic one for not recognizing the obvious truth that people are a means to an end, that rules are for the weak and that I was never going to make real money with my attitude. In other words, standards, whatever they may be, art work or relational, are irrelevant. Monetary value is the thing.

I ask you to reflect. What if you have a child? Maybe schlock is okay for everybody else’s children but what about yours? I think you might consider doing what I did and not have television in the house. In my case that was from when my son was eleven to the present. He’s now 21, very well read and very much a gentleman. I believe that decision was important in raising a child with strong moral beliefs.

If you are willing to protect your child from poor taste, bad morals and just wasting their time on broadcast nonsense, and I believe you do – than together we believe there are standards that are important and useful. If that is the case, that calls into question the premises of free market fundamentalism and Neo-liberalism. It can’t be that everything is quantifiable in terms of value and yet there are important standards resting on other rationales.

Can we use economic analysis if there are other values? Absolutely. All we have to do is remember that this form of analysis is just a tool. Sometimes it’s useful. Sometimes it’s not. Applying it to every human endeavor is taking a valuable form of thinking and stretching it beyond its capabilities. But there are many who find this kind of gross simplification persuasive and because of the seductive nature of these ideas to wealthy elites, it has become a powerful tool for remaking civilization in the image of the market. That’s a form of idolatry. There are worthy ideas but this one destroys other ideas, in particular, the concepts of inherent human worth, the precepts of religion and philosophical reasoning. Can you imagine a society purely designed along the lines of a market?

We don’t have to live in a world where everything is economically valued. We can live with truth and beauty, love and honor. And we can use economic concepts for economic problems while remembering there are other ways of thinking and other ways of making decisions.

James Alan Pilant

One Child, One Teacher

One child, one teacher
One Child, One Teacher

12 incredible Malala quotes that will make you want to give her the Nobel Peace Prize all over again –

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”

via 12 incredible Malala quotes that will make you want to give her the Nobel Peace Prize all over again –

The Importance of Teaching

Teaching changes individuals and societies. The idea that human beings who were not aristocrats could improve themselves is an Enlightenment concept(1). This is a relatively new idea in history and hopefully an abiding one.  Those of us who teach have a responsibility to shape minds and character. Many teachers transmit either willingly or unconsciously their own biases. But the real revolutionary act is to transmit the basic skills of a respect for facts and the ability to use reason.

A developed mind, fact and reason oriented, is a lethal weapon against stale tradition, incompetent leadership and, above all, complacency. It tends to activate the mind and invigorate the recognition of self-importance and action.

We live in an age where conspiracy theorists, internet come-ons and manipulative business practices are common. We can try to knock them down one by one or we can seek to create in a student’s mind the intellectual skills necessary for self-defense. The skills that help a student understand the risks are very similar to those enabling them to recognize opportunities, and that empowerment is another goal fulfilled when the student-teacher cooperation toward learning occurs. Remember education is not purely a matter of teaching skill. The student can always choose to past tests and ignore the rest of the content.

An undeveloped mind is a playground for manipulators, whether corporate flacks, PR experts or venal politicians. A critical thinking human can learn to protect himself from scams, false claims and other nonsense.

For an educator, a teacher, that is the mission. To raise a human being from a state of understanding less to understanding more. In itself this is a life and society changing event.

James Pilant


(1) Leading educational theorists like England’s John Locke and Switzerland’s Jean Jacques Rousseau both emphasised the importance of shaping young minds early. By the late Enlightenment there was a rising demand for a more universal approach to education, particularly after the American and French Revolutions.

Power From Below!

Power from Below
Power from Below
Power From Below!

From the Guardian Newspaper.

Swaziland’s royal family have long kept their distance from the paparazzi in a way British royals can only dream about. Not any more, thanks to the rise of Swazi Leaks, an online group determined to expose the opulent lifestyle of Africa’s last absolute monarch.

The movement, inspired by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks, frequently publishes pictures of King Mswati and his family living the high life. One recent post says: “Our taxes pay for the king’s children to party in Los Angeles in the USA, will we struggle to eat here in Swaziland.”

The Little People’s Power

What is meant by “power from below?” It is the ability of those with little economic or political power to actively oppose the current order. One way is by publicizing the flaws of the system. That is what is being done in the article quoted above.

As economic and political power has concentrated in the hands of the one percent, this type of activism is becoming more and more important. It may in the end become the only vestige of democracy remaining.

Net Neutrality

One of the arguments for net neutrality is that if there are fast lanes and slow lanes, the non-commercial side of the net, politics in particular, will operate at a handicap. This is a serious problem. It would take a lively, vital and continually developing medium of democracy and neuter it.

Business interests often find democracy to be an obstacle in their path. Communities seem attached to neighborhood schools. Thus school boards can be a problem when privatizing or “incentivizing” public education. Some towns prefer fracking to not take place within the city limits.  And so companies react by lawsuit, massive campaign contributions and from time to time, simply destroying the elected body, in particular school boards.

Is there a business ethics problem here? In the minds of many corporatists, democracy is the problem. Can you imagine their pleasure in a two lane internet? The first lane for the commercial interests at full speed. The interests of corporate business enshrined. The second lane for the public. The interests of the public consigned to a ratty, ill-used dirt road – the very epitome of second rate.

Often, we get the impression that multi-national corporations prefer the the sweet guarantees of totalitarian dictatorships over the democratic societies where they were born and nurtured. And this in spite of the fact, that the dangers of such deals are well documented.

Is it wrong for a corporation to hamstring the will of the people using its massive financial advantages and its many friends in politics, academia and the church? Sometimes, corporations use their power to secure tax money, evade taxes and other responsibilities. Sometimes they take the regulated and convert it to the unregulated (fracking). Sometimes they blackmail cities and states for one benefit or another.

The Jesse James Theory of Citizenship?

The Jesse James Theory of citizenship is when a corporation desires and expects the protections of a nation state while at the same time declining any responsibility toward the welfare of that same nation state.

Corporations are under the fascinating concept that they are in a real sense, independent nations. Currently under American auspices they are seeking treaty making powers. Having nation status without a geographic presence, or a military might sound ridiculous and it is. What is happening is the desire of the modern corporation to exist between nations without any responsibility save for its own interests.

In times to come, there will be attempts to set up corporate utopias on abandoned oil rigs or perhaps even an island. The power of even the smallest criminal gang to annihilate one of these intellectual exercises is not understood by those who have lived in the protection of an organized society. They understand “the real world.” This is, in spite of its name, a bizarre fantasy where they are the tough, realists who understand how everything works. When these overpaid, over-praised denizens of the skyward reaches of organized societies are casually plundered by “unorganized” societies, the rest of us less favored ones will find it difficult to generate sympathy.

We don’t live together in societies to oppress the creative classes as in an Ayn Rand fantasy. We exist in societies, nation states, because they have demonstrated over hundreds of years the ability to protect their citizens and organize economically. The word, parochial, has been used to describe the attitude of those of us who find the willingness of corporations to abandon a nation a demonstration of a lack of patriotism. But we do consider ourselves Americans, Canadians, Frenchmen, etc. It is a rabid and selfish form of self interest that pushes for this kind of corporate abandonment of national and ethical responsibilities.

Self-interest is not the key to utopia. In morals and ethics the distance between self interest and raw evil is only a matter of scale.

James Pilant

FCC F-bombed 4,377 Times

FCC F-bombed 4,377 Times

FCC F-bombed 4,377 Times

I, too, am unhappy with the recent decisions of the FCC. However, I did not use the F word or any obscenities in my written comments to the regulatory commission. Whether or not this is an effective means of persuasion in this case remains to be seen. But ladies and gentlemen do not use this word outside of the bedroom or during exciting events like a car accident. So, I would counsel my dear readers to avoid such melodramatic choices when writing to the Commission.

In total, there were 1.1 million comments made to the FCC on this topic. According the web site, Tech Crunch, the main topics of the comments were “free speech, ISP’s and anger.”

The website, SingleHop, has what they call “A Neutral Guide to Net Neutrality.” I prefer hotter blood when writing but it is an accurate view of the facts and if you are a student writing on the subject, it would be a good starting point if only for the good references.

I can’t but believe that this is a major business ethics issue. Giving an oligarchy of companies the ability to charge for different speeds is unfair. And as a practical matter, it makes it more profitable to not expand internet speed and band width. The United States is 12th in the world in internet speed. I have complete confidence that with the end of net neutrality we can descend down the ladder a long ways.

At this moment, a free market absolutist is reading this and thinking, “That ridiculous, if anything it is an incentive to increase services. This author is a crude leftist with no understanding of economics.” How about a little history of market manipulation? Here, here, and here, are examples of electric utilities cutting supply to push up prices. For simple price manipulation, I can easily pull up hundreds of citations. I believe in the lessons of history. If historically people have limited supply to make more money, it will be done again. The only way to stop that kind of exploitation is through regulation and in this case, that regulation’s name is net neutrality.

James Pilant

Are Vitamins Useless?

Are Vitamins Useless?
Are Vitamins Useless?

Are Vitamins Useless?

Are vitamin pills even necessary? – The Week

A recent long-term study of more than 400,000 people concluded that “most vitamin supplements [have] no clear benefit” and warned that excess vitamin E and beta-carotene may actually weaken the immune system’s ability to kill cancer cells. “The case is closed,” the study authors wrote. “Enough is enough.”

via Are vitamin pills even necessary? – The Week.

Is it ethical to sell a product which is in general a simple placebo?

In the Wizard of Oz, the fake wizard gives the Cowardly Lion, a horrible tasting concoction. He tells the lion that this “formula” will give him courage. The lion drinks the horrible drink and the wizard asks him how he feels. The lion replies, “Full of courage.”

So, we who spend from a few to hundreds of dollars on vitamins may also be said to be full of it.

How did a literate modern population fall into the same black hole of ignorance that afflicted Americans during the golden age of patent medicine, when laudanum and alcohol laden brews were sold to the masses for incredible profits?

During the nineteenth century, “entrepeneurs” like Lidya E. Pinkham sold millions of dollars of a useless product and established the science of  modern advertising. And she was just one of countless thousands of sellers. In the first half of the twentieth century, John R. Brinkley, Medical Charlatan, sold vials of colored water apparently to boost virility. He had other means of increasing virility which I will happily pass on discussing but if you want to look it up, I can’t stop you. How about “Dr. Isaac Thompson’s Celebrated Eye Water?” It sold for almost two hundred years. When the Food and Drug Act was passed, it was discovered what was in it – opium, alcohol and zinc sulphate. 

But did we learn anything from this as a culture? How come we still hope that some spurious product will make us all better? Is the need for medicine, in a real sense, magic, a human craving?

I’m uncomfortable writing about this. So many people have bragged to me about the vitamins they take and the benefits they experienced. How do you argue with people who experienced real progress because they believed? Placebo effects are in a sense real, in that confidence often has us acting in our own behalf when otherwise we might not.

But is encouraging a placebo effect, a ethical rationale for selling an otherwise useless product?

The Rational Consumer?

In economics, we have the idea of the rational buyer, the human who bases his purchases on knowledge, facts. The idea is that this paragon will always choose the best product. I make fun of this concept all the time since it disregards the very real irrationality that afflicts humanity. But assuming the theory has validity how does the rational human choose the best product when there is an absence of knowledge? – A deliberate absence of knowledge in this case.

The FDA’s permission is not required for the sale of supplements. The Food and Drug Administration can and does regulate the products after they have entered the market. However, the agency has limited resources and is essentially playing the game of “whack a mole” with the sellers.

Let me give you an idea of the problems the FDA uncovers with these products –

FDA Warning on Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss

U.S. Marshals seize unapproved and misbranded drug products at Missouri distributor

Standard Process Recalls Cataplex ACP, Cataplex C, Pancreatrophin PMG (Product number 6650) Lot 114

How is a consumer supposed to understand the dangers of these products when there are literally thousands of them and the regulators can only react to problems?

The vitamin industry sells 12 billion dollars worth of product to Americans each year. The advertisements are everywhere. But no matter how clever the ads, the claims of benefits so convincing, and the assurances of “science,” the majority of these products are useless.

It is wrong to sell products that do not live up to their claims. It’s lying and fraud.

Let’s regulate the industry fully and find out what few items work and throw the rest to the wind.

James Pilant

Obama Lied About Net Neutrality

Obama Lied About Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is a business ethics issue. Are a handful of cable companies able by skillful lobbying and enormous campaign contributions going to be able to end the open internet? The question is one of basic fairness. Will the government allow the regulations to be changed so that small players on the internet (like me) can be placed on the slow track to oblivion while large companies like Netflix have priority for internet use? If the regulations are changed as planned, my tiny voice and millions of others will probably disappear because who wants to wait around while our content loads?

This problem was not supposed to happen. In fact this situation is supposed to be impossible because the President of the United States said it wouldn’t happen.

Many people in the United States, literally millions of them, believed that they elected as President, a man committed to net neutrality. For he did not imply that he was in favor of an open internet, he loudly proclaimed his support and said he would not appoint an FCC commissioner opposed to net neutrality. You can hear that direct statement in one of the You Tube video’s below.

If Obama had been defeated in 2008 or 2012, I would have expected a challenge to net neutrality. It is appalling that after all his honeyed words, his dramatic phrases, net neutrality is on the chopping block.

James Pilant


Watch Obama Lie About Net Neutrality Three Times Below

(I can get you more – do you really need them?)

In the one below he says he is a big believer in net neutrality.

In this one, in 2007, the President says he will take a back seat to no one when it come to net neutrality.

In this one, an interview on MTV, he is asked if he will support net neutrality and pledge not to appoint someone to the FCC who will oppose it.

Doug McMillon, Just Another Associate?

Just Another Associate?
Just Another Associate?

Doug McMillon, Just Another Associate?

McMillon, Wal-Mart’s CEO was at a conference last week and gave the audience an opportunity to ask questions. They asked what he planned to do for his workers, in Wal-Mart speak, associates. Whereupon, he told the assembled multitude that he too was an associate – Ich bin ein Berliner. 

Corporate executives spouting PR points as if they were a revered truth have long been a part of the American scene. Generally, they aren’t actually lying, they are exaggerating, emphasizing certain aspects of a situation, trying to persuade the public that their actions are legal or righteous in some sense. But this one tests the limits of credulity.

McMillon did at one point work for Wal-Mart in their warehouse. He could have said with perfect truth that he had once been an associate, a telling point in an argument, that he is speaking from direct experience. But no, his PR staff undoubtedly explained to him that It would be far more convincing if he could persuade an audience that his company was one big family struggling together against a cruel world of which he was but one insignificant player among many.

But he’s not an associate and only his PR flacks and he find it credible to claim otherwise.

What’s the business ethics of claiming to be just another employee? What’s the business ethics of being a multimillionaire and claiming the mantle of those a bare step above a minimum wage? This is both an organizational and a personal business ethics problem. There can be little doubt that McMillan did not construct the “millionaire CEO as regular worker” ploy. It has too much PR built into it, it feels like an ad campaign. But while both McMillan and an associate are both Wal-Mart employees, there is just too much distance in status and renumeration to make this a viable claim. On the personal ethics level, that McMillon said this knowing that most people would consider it a lie does not speak well of his judgement either.

It seems to me that when your resort to this kind of hollow argument, that you must be flailing around looking for something that might work because what worked in the past, doesn’t sell anymore.

James Pilant
McMillan, Walmart’s CEO Says He’s Just Another Associate—Except He Makes $9.56 Million a Year

Walmart’s CEO made about $10 million last year, but he’s just another “associate,” he says.

From Around the Web.

McMillon is said to be close to the Walton family and reportedly was their choice for Duke’s successor.

Is Google Evil?


Is Google Evil?
Is Google Evil?

Is Google Evil?

I’m Getting Discouraged

Writing is a pleasure for me and a need. I have to write to get some things out. There are things I want to say that I believe are important.  I’ve been doing blogging on regular basis for about five years, more on some sites than others.

It is now pretty obvious that Google has penalized me repeatedly and thoroughly. With the changes Google made in 2012 and 2013, I have been reduced from more than a hundred hits a day to my current average (and falling) of 34 hits a day.

So, I’ve been looking at Google and “Search Engine Optimization.” To say the rules are Byzantine would be a dramatic understatement. What’s more Google changes the rules whenever it feels like and in anyway it feels like.

I want to write. I don’t want to spend hours doing SEO. I like to think I have a life, and the implication of having a life is that you are experiencing it and don’t have time for nonsense. I envision the great authors of history trying to navigate through Google and spending hours on SEO. It was only funny the first time.

What’s getting me in trouble? One thing is my lengthy quotes. I like to talk up my friends’ Blogs, Dan Bodine, Steven Mintz and my colleague, Chris MacDonald and many others. I love telling people about new blogs. I write a paragraph introduction, include two or three paragraphs of one of their articles followed by a direct link (usually I link to both the individual post and their full web site). Google considers this duplicate material and penalizes me heavily for it. So, I’m going through my posts, 2,210 of them, trying to get the quotes reduced to “snippets,” which I’m not sure exactly what is, but am assuming it is a sentence or two with a “…” at the end. I’m told a snippet will not draw unfavorable attention.

There appears to be a bunch of other things I do that were okay in 2012, that are Google penalized now. I am trying to learn the rules. I’m pretty upset. After all, you might think that my 2,210 posts would get me some kind of credit in the first place but no, sometimes I don’t stay on topic, my “brand.” When I talk about a favorite movie or mention something that happened or talk about criminal justice (which I teach), their diabolical rating system says “NOT BUSINESS ETHICS.” And I get penalized. So, I’ve been killing posts that aren’t directly on subject.

I can’t help but believe that I want to write about the important issues of the day and instead I’m playing a maniacal time-eating,role-playing game in which the rules make little sense and change while you are trying to play the game.

Is Google Evil?

I hope not. Maybe all this horrible, horrible things they have done is just an aberration and once I work through it, I will get some search results for all my work. I don’t expect to be treated fairly because Google isn’t going to do that, but a little, tiny bit of fairness is not too much to hope for.

James Pilant

From Around the Web.

From Evil Google to WordPress

Google recently revealed the pitch-black nature of its evil heart …

Why This Site?

076A2032Why This Site?

Why should you read my site and subscribe to it? What makes me different?

Business ethics is usually interpreted in a limited fashion. We talk about “on the job” ethics, that is, personal ethics. We talk about corporate ethics, that is, organizational ethics. And we discuss the ethics of economic systems.

That’s where I live – economic systems. That is where the big crises are.

1. Multinational corporations are on the attack on national sovereignty. They want to be independent of the nations where they exist and want the power to sue and overrule laws.

2. Businesses are continually, often successfully turning public resources into private money.

3. Free market fundamentalists are invading every sphere of endeavor with a doctrine as oppressive and odious as any totalitarian government.

Those are the big issues. They are hard to talk about.

It’s not popular. You don’t get hired as a consultant when you imply that businesses are unpatriotic, that they don’t have a right to public resources and that the free market is not the cure for all that ails society.

But I’m not going to shut up.

Join me – read my stuff. Join me in the struggle for justice and fairness.

James Alan Pilant