Miller, Jeremy JMILLER at ci.albany.or.us
Mon Jul 1 17:08:58 PDT 2002

Too broad, I say. :)

A good description of our current mega-corporations... actually of any
non-privately or employee owned company when you get down to it.

But how about those other businesses?

Of course many fit that same description.

But I believe there are some that don't.

> (Let me just clarify that, by "business", in this context, I meant
> something like "capitalist firm".  I think that was 
> understood.

You're going to have to clarify this one for me a little further, as to
whether or not it includes what I'm describing.

>  I want to make it clear that we're not just using any old definition of 
> the term, but a very specific one.)

I'm seeing if it matches mine. If not, OK. :)

> A business is, by its nature, selfish, greedy, and 
> destructive.  It is not a hammer, but a hammer swinging at eye level,
wielded by 
> those who intend to crush skulls.

But what if the owner (and any partners) have no such intent?  To explain, I
revert back to this:

> > A business is something that is created by investors to make money
> > back for the investors.  That's all it is.

This from the original poster... I took issue with this assertion long ago
when it first came up.  I disagree that this definition meets all (or even
most) cases.

Many businesses are an attempt by a person (or group of persons) to make a
living doing something besides labor for someone else.  In other words, to
labor for themselves or each other.  Doing something they are skilled at,
and probably enjoy.  Profit is simply a term for the income beyond expenses.
Which is the income that the person (or group) relies on to meet their
needs.  (The existence of a pool of money called "profit" doesn't always
mean that it is excess beyond supporting the needs of the people involved.
It often isn't.)  I don't have stats, but have heard that the majority of
businesses are small businesses, and might meet or come close to this
definition.  I know some that definitely do.

Of course, some will want to "outgrow" this stage, and a few eventually
become behemoths that might  be unrecognizable to the founders.

> Jobs are just the exploitation of labor for the benefit of 
> the few.  If
> the trade between laborer and business-owner were equitable, 
> there would
> be no room for profits.  A business REQUIRES profits and, therefore,
> requires exploitation.

What about employee owned and operated businesses, where the laborers and
the owners are the same?  They exist, in various forms.  This is the sort of
thing I'm talking about.

> That's where you're mistaken.  Trade is a tool that can be 
> used for good or evil (though, like, say, a thermonuclear device, the good

> uses are few and very specific while the temptation inherent in the power
it brings
> makes evil uses much more likely).

Sounds good to me.

>  A business implements trade for evil.  

But not neccessarily always...

> A business is not just a tool, but a tool with intent and purpose.

Declaring it evil requires an assumption of a given intent and purpose. :)


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