Big Businesses willing to cut profits

We've been talking a lot about what will happen to the financial big dogs in this country with regards to taxes and profits, and the idea of punishing success with supposed redistribution of wealth.

I've been saying for months that the businesses that are posting record profits in the last few quarters, particularly ExxonMobile, should be ashamed of themselves. To look at where we are in our economy and to have any company posting record PROFITS, that's appalling. Oil companies are in a unique position to abuse their near-monopoly status in order to profit off regular people. There's no good reason for any company to be making record profits right now, and there's even less reason for a company making record profits to keep prices that were raised because of rising costs raised after those prices come down.

Anyhow, my point (before I go off on an oil company tirade) is that I just got an email from Wegman's, which is a big grocery store chain in the north east (for those who don't know). They've been named by Fortune Magazine one of the best companies to work for consistently for at least the last five years, I don't rememeber how far back that goes. The email says, and I quote--



During difficult times likes these, it's okay with us if we make a little less
money. And, as always, we are committed to offering the lowest price in the
market on the items most important to families. We hope these savings will
help you enjoy your time with family even more this holiday season.
Lately I've been shopping at another store that's closer to my home, but I think I'll be going back to Wegmans as much as possible now. To me, that's just responsible retail in this climate.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.
That's really great of Wegmans. I wish there were Wegmans here; I'd go out of my way to shop there.
I was just talking about this. I am by no means a financial guru but, and I may be oversimplifying things but: isn' it a bit shady that big business aren't willing to sacrifice record profits for the greater good. Are they hurting or are they just not making as much as they would like? Is that why they outsource overseas? mo money mo oney mo money


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Big companies will usually say they have a responsibility to their shareholders to keep the profits up.

It would be interesting to find out what would happen if a company asked its shareholders whether they would accept a smaller profit. I'm thinking it wouldn't fly.
Big companies will usually say they have a responsibility to their shareholders to keep the profits up.

It would be interesting to find out what would happen if a company asked its shareholders whether they would accept a smaller profit. I'm thinking it wouldn't fly.
Originally Posted by SuZenGuide

Um, no. No it wouldn't. Are you asking them to give up their private jets and caviar, champagne nightcaps? Heck no, just fire some people, that should do the trick. You betcha
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I was just talking about this. I am by no means a financial guru but, and I may be oversimplifying things but: isn' it a bit shady that big business aren't willing to sacrifice record profits for the greater good. Are they hurting or are they just not making as much as they would like? Is that why they outsource overseas? mo money mo oney mo money
Originally Posted by Trenell
Wegmans is a privately held company. This means the only really definable population that holds it accountable is it's employees. Many privately owned companies excuse poor behavior in the community by saying they're looking out for their employees. Publicly owned companies, like Exxon, also have a responsibility to their shareholders. Their shareholders count on them to make a profit. The only incentive they have to reduce their pricing is if they're pricing themselves out of profit. In the oil industry, not only are they making profits, they're making such a huge amount of profit that they can "invest" in keeping the government off their backs and keeping alternatives to their products from getting the attention and research they deserve.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.
[Wegmans is a privately held company. This means the only really definable population that holds it accountable is it's employees. Many privately owned companies excuse poor behavior in the community by saying they're looking out for their employees. Publicly owned companies, like Exxon, also have a responsibility to their shareholders. Their shareholders count on them to make a profit. The only incentive they have to reduce their pricing is if they're pricing themselves out of profit. In the oil industry, not only are they making profits, they're making such a huge amount of profit that they can "invest" in keeping the government off their backs and keeping alternatives to their products from getting the attention and research they deserve.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
aw crap! I knew I was forgetting something.haha


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Not only that, but corporations are set up so that behaving "heartlessly" is just part of their structure. It's almost a legal obligation. "The Corporation" is an interesting (but kind of dry) movie I saw a while ago examining the similarities between corporations, which are afforded the rights of people under the 14th Amendment, and human sociopaths. There's not too much difference. It's no wonder that they and their chief officers go blithely on, raking in record profits while more and more people lose everything.
Not only that, but corporations are set up so that behaving "heartlessly" is just part of their structure. It's almost a legal obligation. "The Corporation" is an interesting (but kind of dry) movie I saw a while ago examining the similarities between corporations, which are afforded the rights of people under the 14th Amendment, and human sociopaths. There's not too much difference. It's no wonder that they and their chief officers go blithely on, raking in record profits while more and more people lose everything.
Originally Posted by Koukla72
HA!! That's spectacular. And so true.

When I was in business school, which wasn't that long ago, we spent a lot of time talking about corporate responsibility. Talking about how a company has to consider the entire community in addition to their stockholders.

The older and more aware I get, the more obvious it is that that was a smokescreen. That's not how it is. The only reason most companies give to charity or anything of that nature now is for a tax break.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.
And we all have to remember that we all are stock holders too. I'm NOT excusing the corruption, greed, golden parachute types but everyone that has a 401K, everyone that has any type of retirement plan that is tied to the stock market is a share holder. This is a big issue that we as a country have to discuss. We are all a part of the corporate machine.
< member since 2006. No idea where 1969 came from.
And we all have to remember that we all are stock holders too. I'm NOT excusing the corruption, greed, golden parachute types but everyone that has a 401K, everyone that has any type of retirement plan that is tied to the stock market is a share holder. This is a big issue that we as a country have to discuss. We are all a part of the corporate machine.
Originally Posted by eche428
Well, yes, that's a lot more than just explicit stock holders, but that's far from all of us. That doesn't include hundreds of thousands of people (millions, maybe? I don't know) who don't have 401ks and stock based retirement plans.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.
We've been talking a lot about what will happen to the financial big dogs in this country with regards to taxes and profits, and the idea of punishing success with supposed redistribution of wealth.

I've been saying for months that the businesses that are posting record profits in the last few quarters, particularly ExxonMobile, should be ashamed of themselves. To look at where we are in our economy and to have any company posting record PROFITS, that's appalling. Oil companies are in a unique position to abuse their near-monopoly status in order to profit off regular people. There's no good reason for any company to be making record profits right now, and there's even less reason for a company making record profits to keep prices that were raised because of rising costs raised after those prices come down.

Anyhow, my point (before I go off on an oil company tirade) is that I just got an email from Wegman's, which is a big grocery store chain in the north east (for those who don't know). They've been named by Fortune Magazine one of the best companies to work for consistently for at least the last five years, I don't rememeber how far back that goes. The email says, and I quote--



During difficult times likes these, it's okay with us if we make a little less
money. And, as always, we are committed to offering the lowest price in the
market on the items most important to families. We hope these savings will
help you enjoy your time with family even more this holiday season.
Lately I've been shopping at another store that's closer to my home, but I think I'll be going back to Wegmans as much as possible now. To me, that's just responsible retail in this climate.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
Exxon also pays record taxes! Why does everyone conveniently ignore that. They provide a needed product that is high in demand and low in supply. Should they not make money? Your logic is failing here. I mean have you worked in business and do you own stock? I'm not being sarcastic I'm really trying to understand how you come to these conclusions.

You can't think of any reasons why oil is making money? Here are an easy one: Developing nations rapidly growing middle class and industry requires more oil.

And you are going to compare that to a grocery store? Those industries could not be less comparable. Seriously?

Here's a link to the taxes Exxon paid.
http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/2195.html
Not only that, but corporations are set up so that behaving "heartlessly" is just part of their structure. It's almost a legal obligation. "The Corporation" is an interesting (but kind of dry) movie I saw a while ago examining the similarities between corporations, which are afforded the rights of people under the 14th Amendment, and human sociopaths. There's not too much difference. It's no wonder that they and their chief officers go blithely on, raking in record profits while more and more people lose everything.
Originally Posted by Koukla72
The Corporation is an interesting documentary. Though I wouldn't put too much stock in it. Who is losing everything with oil. You see no use for petrochemicals? How do you suppose we reached the level of development we enjoy now?
And we all have to remember that we all are stock holders too. I'm NOT excusing the corruption, greed, golden parachute types but everyone that has a 401K, everyone that has any type of retirement plan that is tied to the stock market is a share holder. This is a big issue that we as a country have to discuss. We are all a part of the corporate machine.
Originally Posted by eche428
Well, yes, that's a lot more than just explicit stock holders, but that's far from all of us. That doesn't include hundreds of thousands of people (millions, maybe? I don't know) who don't have 401ks and stock based retirement plans.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
You're right. I didn't mean to imply that everyone has a 401K. And I do agree with what everyone has said here about Corporate greed and in-accountability. I'm just saying that we all as a society (that's the all that I meant) have over the past decades become accustomed to the stock market as a part of our lives. Most people are tied to it whether directly or indirectly. It never used to be that the average person had much interest in the stock market. People's pension funds were not tied into it the way they are now.

What am I trying to say... I'm trying to say that we as a country/culture have created this need for "return on the dollar" from corporations and that it is going to take a lot more than just corporations growing a heart to make change. This is a systemic issue that is a part of most or not all big business now. It is going to take a lot of people from all walks of life making changes to their thinking to get Corporate America to take some civic responsibility. It will not be easy. Does that make sense?
< member since 2006. No idea where 1969 came from.
We've been talking a lot about what will happen to the financial big dogs in this country with regards to taxes and profits, and the idea of punishing success with supposed redistribution of wealth.

I've been saying for months that the businesses that are posting record profits in the last few quarters, particularly ExxonMobile, should be ashamed of themselves. To look at where we are in our economy and to have any company posting record PROFITS, that's appalling. Oil companies are in a unique position to abuse their near-monopoly status in order to profit off regular people. There's no good reason for any company to be making record profits right now, and there's even less reason for a company making record profits to keep prices that were raised because of rising costs raised after those prices come down.

Anyhow, my point (before I go off on an oil company tirade) is that I just got an email from Wegman's, which is a big grocery store chain in the north east (for those who don't know). They've been named by Fortune Magazine one of the best companies to work for consistently for at least the last five years, I don't rememeber how far back that goes. The email says, and I quote--



During difficult times likes these, it's okay with us if we make a little less
money. And, as always, we are committed to offering the lowest price in the
market on the items most important to families. We hope these savings will
help you enjoy your time with family even more this holiday season.
Lately I've been shopping at another store that's closer to my home, but I think I'll be going back to Wegmans as much as possible now. To me, that's just responsible retail in this climate.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
Exxon also pays record taxes! Why does everyone conveniently ignore that. They provide a needed product that is high in demand and low in supply. Should they not make money? Your logic is failing here. I mean have you worked in business and do you own stock? I'm not being sarcastic I'm really trying to understand how you come to these conclusions.

You can't think of any reasons why oil is making money? Here are an easy one: Developing nations rapidly growing middle class and industry requires more oil.

And you are going to compare that to a grocery store? Those industries could not be less comparable. Seriously?

Here's a link to the taxes Exxon paid.
http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/2195.html
Originally Posted by CottonCandyCurls

You just read the parts you like (or, more accurately, don't like) and just avoid any kind of critical thinking, don't you?

I'm not saying they shouldn't make money. I'm saying they shouldn't be making such HUGE profits in such a horrifying economical time.

They should be paying record taxes. But if they were willing to drop their prices (and therefore profits) just a little, the economy at large would pick up. Plus they wouldn't have to pay such high taxes. Everyone would, literally, win. Exxon's win might be more of a moral victory than a financial one, but it'd still be a win.

I never said they shouldn't make money. They should, absolutely. They should be making record sales. It's that they're making record profits that I take issue with. They aren't raising prices because their costs are going up. They're raising prices solely to make gobs and gobs of cash, with no regard for the destruction those high prices are causing for the people who have no choice but to buy their products. Not only have they fostered this nation's addiction to their product, but they're suppressing research and development of alternative fuel sources to prevent this nation from getting unaddicted.

And yes, I understand business. I work for a business and I have a business degree. I also understand that companies have a responsibility over and above pure profit. It seems, though, that some companies have forgotten that.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.
And we all have to remember that we all are stock holders too. I'm NOT excusing the corruption, greed, golden parachute types but everyone that has a 401K, everyone that has any type of retirement plan that is tied to the stock market is a share holder. This is a big issue that we as a country have to discuss. We are all a part of the corporate machine.
Originally Posted by eche428
Well, yes, that's a lot more than just explicit stock holders, but that's far from all of us. That doesn't include hundreds of thousands of people (millions, maybe? I don't know) who don't have 401ks and stock based retirement plans.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
You're right. I didn't mean to imply that everyone has a 401K. And I do agree with what everyone has said here about Corporate greed and in-accountability. I'm just saying that we all as a society (that's the all that I meant) have over the past decades become accustomed to the stock market as a part of our lives. Most people are tied to it whether directly or indirectly. It never used to be that the average person had much interest in the stock market. People's pension funds were not tied into it the way they are now.

What am I trying to say... I'm trying to say that we as a country/culture have created this need for "return on the dollar" from corporations and that it is going to take a lot more than just corporations growing a heart to make change. This is a systemic issue that is a part of most or not all big business now. It is going to take a lot of people from all walks of life making changes to their thinking to get Corporate America to take some civic responsibility. It will not be easy. Does that make sense?
Originally Posted by eche428
Absolutely, and sounds a lot like what I was just saying. You and I agree pretty soundly on this.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.
I am okay with anybody making a lot of money, as long as it's done ethically and legally. There's been a lot of unethical actions by many corporations and fiancial companies and that needs to be investigated.

They do need to look out for their shareholders, employees, etc....but many look out for themselves first. CEO's getting ridiculous amounts of money, bonuses, and all sorts of goodies while the economy is collapsing is at the very least unethical. And they are doing this while receiving bail-out money...that should definitely be investigated. I'm tired of them getting corporate welfare and tax breaks, while we are suffering.

And, no, I'm not talking about socialism or a "redistribution of wealth." I'm talking about making them pay their taxes, making them be accountable to their shareholders, making sure they are being ethical and legal.

I don't oppose a progressive tax either...that isn't socialism or a redistribution of wealth. It is what is necessary in this economy right now.

I cannot understand the mindset of the CEO who gives himself a raise and bonus at this time, while his shareholders are losing money. That is bordering on sociopathic to me.
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I always find it interesting that typically the best companies to work for also have a corporate mindset of doing good by their communities and for their employees. You would think that other corporations would see this correlation. Also, a lot of these companies that have a corporate culture that lends itself to happy employees are also very profitable.
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We've been talking a lot about what will happen to the financial big dogs in this country with regards to taxes and profits, and the idea of punishing success with supposed redistribution of wealth.

I've been saying for months that the businesses that are posting record profits in the last few quarters, particularly ExxonMobile, should be ashamed of themselves. To look at where we are in our economy and to have any company posting record PROFITS, that's appalling. Oil companies are in a unique position to abuse their near-monopoly status in order to profit off regular people. There's no good reason for any company to be making record profits right now, and there's even less reason for a company making record profits to keep prices that were raised because of rising costs raised after those prices come down.

Anyhow, my point (before I go off on an oil company tirade) is that I just got an email from Wegman's, which is a big grocery store chain in the north east (for those who don't know). They've been named by Fortune Magazine one of the best companies to work for consistently for at least the last five years, I don't rememeber how far back that goes. The email says, and I quote--



Lately I've been shopping at another store that's closer to my home, but I think I'll be going back to Wegmans as much as possible now. To me, that's just responsible retail in this climate.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
Exxon also pays record taxes! Why does everyone conveniently ignore that. They provide a needed product that is high in demand and low in supply. Should they not make money? Your logic is failing here. I mean have you worked in business and do you own stock? I'm not being sarcastic I'm really trying to understand how you come to these conclusions.

You can't think of any reasons why oil is making money? Here are an easy one: Developing nations rapidly growing middle class and industry requires more oil.

And you are going to compare that to a grocery store? Those industries could not be less comparable. Seriously?

Here's a link to the taxes Exxon paid.
http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/2195.html
Originally Posted by CottonCandyCurls

You just read the parts you like (or, more accurately, don't like) and just avoid any kind of critical thinking, don't you?

I'm not saying they shouldn't make money. I'm saying they shouldn't be making such HUGE profits in such a horrifying economical time.

They should be paying record taxes. But if they were willing to drop their prices (and therefore profits) just a little, the economy at large would pick up. Plus they wouldn't have to pay such high taxes. Everyone would, literally, win. Exxon's win might be more of a moral victory than a financial one, but it'd still be a win.

I never said they shouldn't make money. They should, absolutely. They should be making record sales. It's that they're making record profits that I take issue with. They aren't raising prices because their costs are going up. They're raising prices solely to make gobs and gobs of cash, with no regard for the destruction those high prices are causing for the people who have no choice but to buy their products. Not only have they fostered this nation's addiction to their product, but they're suppressing research and development of alternative fuel sources to prevent this nation from getting unaddicted.

And yes, I understand business. I work for a business and I have a business degree. I also understand that companies have a responsibility over and above pure profit. It seems, though, that some companies have forgotten that.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
I think you are describing yourself with the critical thinking. You are advocating they lower their profits, which would lower their taxes so they can help everyone out? But those taxes provide revenue that pay for all those entitlements you advocate. Please explain how that works?

My oil company loses more money, the government takes in less money, the consumer supposedly pays less money, the stock in the company goes down so other consumers lose money. How in the hell is that win win? And how does that make the economy pick up?

Did you even go to the link?
I'll simplify and round off the numbers
sales: 400 billion
profit 40 B
taxes: 100 billion
Hello what more do you want? Is this a business or a philanthropy project. You seriously want them to make less than 10% profit?

Oil companies do not make that much money. Compare their profit margins to other businesses. Then consider how much they pay in addition to all those taxes. They pay for the drilling, refining, additives, distribution etc. Their profit margin is pretty low but you want to lower it because you think it will somehow help the economy. When did screwing over shareholders and smaller businesses, reducing government revenue, and making a B2B company lose it's competitive standing improve the economy?

They make a considerable chunk of money from the byproduct business. You would affect the price of a number of other products and industries. That cost has to be passed off somewhere. This is not just fuel for your cars. Gas stations probably make more money selling cheetos and lottery tickets than they do selling gas.

And if you were so concerned about lowering prices for the people you should shift some of your blame to the politicians who push reckeless policies that degrade the value dollar which petro is tied to. You could be mad with the auto industry that drags its feet and sucks the corporate welfare teat while Asia hums along the markets and improves efficiency.

You could also be peeved with all the unnecessary government regulation that artificially inflates the price. They have created a system that makes it is unprofitable to drill in new sources and refine certain types of crude. You could also be mad at all these retarded taxpayer funded subsidies that go to things like wooden toys because Pelosi does not know what a fossil fuel is and would rather appease random environmental lobbies because she just hates Big Oil.

If you like to shop at Wegmans fine. If their emotional appeal works for you, great. But lowering oil prices is not anywhere near the same as lowering prices in a grocery store. They are not arbitrarily raising prices to make gobs of cash. Do you even understand how the price at the pump is set? You might have a business degree but you are letting your ideology cloud your judgment. And you are grossly oversimplifying a complicated business that I don't have the patience or energy to thoroughly break down for you. I too have an MBA, an environmental engineering degree, and a number of acquaintances who have actual experience working in the oil industry.

As usual people are pushing for strange policy ideas on emotion and ignorance but should I be surprised? And why no comment on simple supply and demand or boom and bust cycles. Are those also irrelevant? Should we just sit in a circle and sing kumbaya. Yeah let's just kill our necessary enterprises so we can all feel good. I'm can't help but be sarcastic at this point because honestly you are not making much sense. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Last edited by CottonCandyCurls; 11-07-2008 at 01:48 PM.
I'm not making much sense because you're not paying attention to what I"m saying. I'm done repeating myself on this issue.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because it’s dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that it’s about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.

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