Saturday, May 19, 2012

May 19th, 2012

     Why does Burger King put up a B. King store somewhere? We could also say McDonalds or Starbucks, since there are so many of them all of these stores. Do they put up stores only in the interest of that particular store's making a profit? It is, it seems to me, also the case that they put up stores so no one else can put up a store there. Notice that this reality fits the definition of "competition" because if you stop the other guy from getting a store you are certainly "competing." It is clear: that is competition. Even if nobody wants to come in to your store or if your store happens to not quite even break even, even. Nevertheless it is competition. This is so, since the store is still continuing the "competition" with say, McDonalds. It is still competing. This kind of competition could be with anybody at all -- anyone who would try to put up a store on that corner. Does this sound like reality? Is this a little bit how business works? Probably.
     Next, ask why is what has just been said a "critical" approach? Because it departs from the normal, accepted standard, and the normal, accepted standard understands business activity as something that creates benefit, as it creates a "good." That good could be the store's profit. It could any benefit whatsoever, for example benefit in having satisfied customers (buyers). But in this case we say, in non-standard fashion, that B. K. "competes" merely by refusing to grant the desires of others, e.g. McDonald, Wendy, Starsky-Buckowski, Johnny, or Bobbie --- to have that particular spot. What happened in this case is that the store does not give anyone a better hot dog. It does not achieve better service to the public, or give them a better service, or help the public in any way. Neither do they help themselves, if by that we mean that there is a profit. Of course, "profit" can mean a profit in money, or in what they call "same-store sales" or whatever it is, or it can mean a benefit. This is what the semantic meaning of "profit" is. As noted, this idea of having a benefit can mean many things, but the point is that it does not give a benefit to anyone, not even the normal business profit: it does not give anything good to the public while at the same time accomplishing the feat of not generating a profit! It no food gets made, no money comes in. They just occupy a space on the street corner. But the critical difference is that this kind of competition seems to create a different kind of story, making it a "critical" way to frame capitalism and competition. This seem to be a situation of no benefit at all, in general, except, and only except (I believe), if we consider the probably either weird or illusory benefit of the company getting satisfied in a determination to "dominate." That corner?! For the BK company to have their store on (alt. word would be: clogging) that location. Then Burger King now rules or dominates or char-broils the world. Which makes who happy? I know what the business crowd wants to say...dominates the Market. This is the wrong meaning of the world "market." I am beginning to believe that the word "market" really just means the world itself and all the persons. So, they do not dominate the/a market. All I see left is the company's individual desire for power. I do not see any real capitalistic or market (or economic) situation at all, in the special case of a business only wanting to control a competitor by having so many stores. So, maybe ----- McDonalds is not capitalist!!!! Or it means  that such a company as BK or McDonalds, Wendy's, etc. is not capitalist in the sense of the spreading out into the society of opportunity or of a sharing of the wealth.
     This all helps us reach the conclusion that what we really want when we talk about economics is the benefit of everyone. For instance, notice the lack of interest we would have a particular kind of argument. The argument that corp. "X" defeated corp. "Y", in the specific case where the event did not sell any more product or make any other gain (need I say "growth"?) is not interesting.

     For further evidence that this is a good argument...  ...observe a street promotion. Sat. May 19th, in Chicago.
     There was a D. J. He played music. Lyric: "let's do it tonight/we may not get another chance." This is what we see. Meantime, a smiling young lady is handing out flyers promising payment of $75.. to anyone who opens a "direct deposit" type of account. The D. J. has one of those T-shirts with a "gothic" design. It says "Affliction," in fancy, ornamental letters. In sum, the bank's promotional event is a "friendly" attempt to do business, at the same time that music is stating, "Let's do it tonight / we migh not get tomorrow"  Basically something like that.  "Capitalism." "Economics." "Competitioin." Is it expansion, or is it "Affliction"? Investing for a return, or defeating others?
Good questions?

    All this is "helped" (not by the Beatles but) by Deirdre McClosky's observations about "rhetoric," from 1985. Everything is rhetoric. All the arguments are "slanted." So, it isn't the punk rockers or persons in T-shirts that say "Malaise" who are slanted. It is the economists who are punks. It is the economists who are perverse. McClosky forgot to say that. But that does not mean, if we allow ourselves to follow the argument, that is does not turn out to be true. I find McClosky a good writer, by the way. I have not read her later works. One can't read everything. But, based on the Wikipedia "leaked" info I clicked at, she seems to have, over time, arrived at som ething similar. "argument"? "rhetoric" ?
     So you are giving away free hot dogs (it is so). You are promoting your bank (at a cost of $75.oo per customer plus a thousand for the entertainment?!!). When you are doing it, your free stuff is also taking away the business of Bacci Pizza less than a block away (they charge money for their food).

     The resilient point, or real question, here, is that of whether you are benefitting persons.
And yes, Bobbie dear, it's that simple. And we like Gays; That is the nature of our  times.

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