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Ban Share Buybacks


#1

Ban Share Buybacks

Ryan Cooper

American corporations are simply raking in profits. Some are so bloated and cash-rich they literally can't figure out what to do with it all. Apple, for instance, is sitting on nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars — and that's down a bit from earlier this year.


#2

And the Republicans lowered the corporate rate 14%. Bloodsuckers is way to nice of a term for these economic terrorists.


#3

The basic premise of the article is completely wrong. If the companies weren’t buying back shares they would either:

  1. Pay out dividends (which would increase share prices and reward shareholders, not workers); or,
  2. Buy other companies (which on more often than not results in value loss - studies have shown that more than half of business combinations result in the combined value of the company being less than the previous value of the two separate companies).

If the company is not having trouble getting the workers it wants at the wages it is paying, there’s no reason they’re going to increase wages.


#4

US Corporate Law has ALWAYS required that corporations act in the best interests of shareholders…period. Corporations that fail to do so face shareholder law suits that shareholders always win. Shareholder and worker interests are 180 degrees apart.

The only way to benefit workers is by 1) having fewer workers than corporations need, or 2) regulating corporations in a way that benefits workers.

Seeing how most New Deal era corporate regulations, especially anti-trust laws, have been overturned, don’t expect workers to realize any gains.


#5

Read what WWSmith wrote. Also, why is it immoral for a company to work for the benefit of the owners of the company? Isn’t that the point of starting a business? To make money?


#6

Only partly wrong.
I agree that the wrong part is the assumption that they would raise workers wages when there was no reason to do so.


#7

A company is not morally responsible for paying higher wages. It is responsible for making the owner(s) money. Period. The owner(s) decided that in order to make money, they could do so more efficiently by hiring others to create the goods/services instead of the owner(s) doing everything himself/themselves. A freely agreed upon contract is made between the employer and employee over wage compensation. If the employee believes he is worth more than he is being paid, he can negotiate a higher contract or attempt to work somewhere else.


#8

You might want to consider the difference between the terms “morally” and “legally”. I believe you would have been correct using the latter.


#9

One of the biggest myths perpetuated in the 80s was that businesses and corporations are outside the realm of moral societal obligations.

Read Tawney and understand function. Understand that businesses serve Society (not least of which is workers) Society does not serve businesses. The whole evaluation and worth of a business is predicated to the extent that it provides function for society.

The moment that corporations reaches the threshold of causing more adverse harm to the few benefits that they bring, we will kick them to the curb. Additionally that day appears to be fast approaching


#10

Nope. Morally, too. I have no moral obligation as an employer to pay someone above and beyond what we contractually agreed upon. My only purpose as an owner of a company is to make more money than if I completed the task on my own. Period. If someone would rather work for me instead of doing something on their own, we can come to a bargaining table and work out a contract in which I pay him a wage and I take home the net earnings of the company. That’s how a market economy works. The only other forms are varied forms of slavery. If you say that I morally am forced to pay a worker some wage that WiseOwl alone believes to be “fair,” then we no longer have freedom of contract. And if that wage is high enough that I no longer intend on retaining the employment of that worker or cannot expand my business to hire more workers, everyone loses.


#11

Nope. Making money is the moral virtue of a company. I don’t start a company because I have some moral obligation to better society. I do so to make money. As a consequence, society benefits by me freely providing a good or service and society freely choosing to buy that good or service.


#12

Then Society has no moral obligations to support your business, infrastructure, educating the population, police protection, fire protection, etc…etc. We owe you nothing, if through your delusional ignorance you are led to falsely believe that you are bereft of societal obligations, other than selling a product, produced by others.

“Read Tawney and understand function. Understand that businesses serve Society (not least of which is workers) Society does not serve businesses. The whole evaluation and worth of a business is predicated to the extent that it provides function for society”

This goes beyond your delusional greed, however you don’t realize through your greed, you unduly hasten the demise of your own ability to survive and thrive. The irony of which, is kind of sweet.


#13

If you view all externalities as morally acceptable predicates, than your logic is self-consistent. On that issue, it would seem we agree to disagree.


#14

To an extent, I actually agree. While I as a business owner have no immediate obligation to act like a charity to my workers (i.e. pay them more than they would agree to by free contract), “society” has no immediate obligation to buy what I’m selling. If you don’t like my product, you’re free to “discriminate” in the true definition of the word and not buy it. I will swiftly go out of business. However, if you like it and believe that what I am offering to the public is worth more to you than the price I am charging, then you will buy it and we will both be better off.

So in a sense, yes, when I start a business, I owe “society” nothing against my will and “society” owes me nothing against its will. Only freedom of association and contract should dictate decisions from both sides.


#15

The Second Coming of Henry Ford you’re not.


#16

If making money is your only goal, then you should have been a hooker. There’s less overhead.


#17

Henry Ford’s purpose for creating his company was to make money. His purpose for paying his workers more than his competition was to attract and retain better workers…and therefore, make more money. Henry Ford was not the Dalai Lama (thankfully).


#18

An entrepreneur can make far more money than a hooker. Try again.

A consequence of trying to make a lot of money for your business is that you usually have to expand it and hire more workers and/or pay them more so that the best ones stay. For low-skilled labor, that doesn’t apply quite as much, because the necessary skill set doesn’t grow over time, which is why places like Wal-Mart don’t need to pay their workers too much more over time. The best workers will simply leave and get paid more somewhere else and they’re ok with having them be replaced by a new low-skilled worker.


#19

I imagine your lawn maintenance company has a high rate of worker turnover.


#20

True. I haven’t heard @tvorandftc go on antisemitic tirades