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damn_registrars's Journal: Ayn Rand, is there anything you cannot destroy? 30

Journal by damn_registrars
We have seen the impact that Randians have had on American politics as they have merged their religion into policy and attempted to turn the clock back to the 1840s. It has been a pretty effective way to suggest the reversion of economic opportunities and even civil rights in the name of "objectivism". We've seen Randians in politics all over the country (including some that have risen to become cult leaders themselves) and heard Randian philosophy on the airwaves all over the place as well.

Unsurprisingly we have Randians rising in the business world as well. One example lies in the current CEO of Sears who was an investment broker that eventually took control of Sears Holdings by way of an external power grab. He was touted as a wunderkind of sorts when he was handling investment accounts before, so certainly he's well qualified to dictate the leadership of a large retailer, right?

Well, not really.

An outspoken advocate of free-market economics and fan of the novelist Ayn Rand, he created the model because he expected the invisible hand of the market to drive better results. If the companyâ(TM)s leaders were told to act selfishly, he argued, they would run their divisions in a rational manner, boosting overall performance.

So how is that working out?

Sears Holdingsâ(TM) sales have dropped from $49.1 billion to $39.9 billion, and its stock has sunk 64 percent. Its cash recently fell to a 10-year low. Although it has plenty of assets to unload before bankruptcy looms, the odds of a turnaround grow longer every quarter

But clearly, it's not for lack of trying, right? As CEO he must be there all the time, right? Wrong. He is known to visit Sears HQ no more than twice a year, due to his "dislike of flying". He spends most of his time at his $40M Florida mansion. Is the leader partying while the empire burns? Just consider what you would do if you had such digs.

Being as each division now manages itself with complete disregard (or even disdain) for other units that effectively operate in the same store, one cannot help but wonder if this is part of why Sears Craftsman tools are increasingly being made in China.

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Ayn Rand, is there anything you cannot destroy?

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  • The redistributors are the ones who destroy, and blame the Randians.
    • I'm pretty sure that the thousands of Sears employees who have lost their jobs would, at the very least, disagree with the first part of your statement.
      • Which invites the question: Why is our notion of capitalism so decayed that Sears employees don't just form their own department store?
        The collectivist notion that we're all sheep, and that society or someone just kind "owes" us a job (did not the Progressive Prophet FDR so speak [wikipedia.org]?) is the source of much, much woe.
        • Which invites the question: Why is our notion of capitalism so decayed that Sears employees don't just form their own department store?

          If you take 30 people who were previously working minimum wage jobs and checked their credit, you likely wouldn't find adequate credit between them to start their own store, regardless of whether you are suggesting a franchise of an existing outfit or a brand new store. It appears you may be trying to invoke something along the lines of the broken "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" argument, but you are preaching it to a case where the people have no boots. Furthermore, not everyone there aspires t

          • It was never enacted or even voted upon.

            Does not necessarily mean that one is "owed" a job as you say.

            Yeah, I suppose if you're willing to ignore the last 70 years of U.S. history, you can say that.

        • Why is our notion of capitalism so decayed that Sears employees don't just form their own department store?

          That's not decay, that's working as fucking intended.

          Oh wait, you're talking about fantasy capitalism.
          • Where "fantasy" means "sodomized by Socialism," sure.
            • Did NOT want to know what kind of porn you watch, thanks.

            • Yes, in fantasy world, capitalism has been "corrupted" by socialism.

              In the real world, Smith baked it into the recipe firsthand.

              Or, in words you can understand, there was no molestation, just original sin. Find something valid to complain about.
              • I just love the way you conflate the theological and the economic. Bravo.
                • I just love the way you conflate the theological and the economic.

                  With libertarians (specifically paullowers) and tea partiers (specifically those closest to the Koch Bros [whether they realize it or not]) those are pretty well interchangeable terms.

                  • Sincere question: what are "paullowers"?
                    • what are "paullowers"?

                      Followers of Lord St. Rev. Dr. Ron Paul. They are, of course, legion on slashdot.

                    • As with any personality (Reagan, Palin, Cruz, Bush) I'm ambivalent on Paul. His strong suit was economics. His foreign policy. . .
                      Well, I suppose as a long-term goal, minimizing U.S. over-reach is worthwhile. The path to get there is fraught with peril. As far as I can tell, Obama's foreign policy is a blend of Paul's non-interventionism and sheer drano-snorting incompetence (Egypt, Libya, Syria, &c).
                    • As with any personality (Reagan, Palin, Cruz, Bush) I'm ambivalent on Paul.

                      Your opinion of him doesn't matter, and neither does mine. The Lord Dr. St. Dr. Rev. Dr. Fr. Dr. Ron Dr. Paul Dr. Dr. Dr. is the most powerful cult leader this country has seen in at least the past 100 years. He has an army of people who are literally willing to die for him. His policies don't matter, only the devotion of his followers. It is truly astonishing how many people support him in spite of the fact that his policies would make their lives far worse (for example I've seen a number of students

                    • is the most powerful cult leader this country has seen in at least the past 100 years.

                      Which probably explains his brace of Presidential election victories.
                      Are you OK? Seriously, you seem increasingly confined to your own private Idaho.

                    • is the most powerful cult leader this country has seen in at least the past 100 years.

                      Which probably explains his brace of Presidential election victories.

                      Just because he is a powerful cult leader doesn't mean he has enough followers to win the presidency. Did David Koresh ever win the white house? Paul has a cult far larger than his, but he needs more than just a large cult to move in to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

                      What's the difference between a cult and a religion? A cult is an unpopular religion. A religion is a popular cult. It's only in the numbers.

                    • "Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Ron Paul party?"
                      That is clearly the tack your über-tolerant Lefty style seems to be taking.
                    • "Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Ron Paul party?"
                      That is clearly the tack your über-tolerant Lefty style seems to be taking.

                      Now you have wandered amazingly far off topic. What are you trying to convince yourself that your point is now?

                    • I'm already convinced that you are false, and arguing in bad faith.
                    • I'm already convinced that you are false, and arguing in bad faith.

                      I had never previously heard of asking questions of the other person as being indicative of "arguing in bad faith". I guess I will have to change to a non-question-based tactic. Being as you are becoming increasingly pudge-like in your tactics as of late, I guess this shouldn't surprise me. I could try to mirror his method by accusing you of lying at every opportunity but I still can't make heads or tails of what that word actually means to him.

        • The collectivist notion that we're all sheep, and that society or someone just kind "owes" us a job...

          The real question is, "Why do we owe it to society to have jobs?"

          • Let me be clear: per the Parable of the Talents, I owe it to the Almighty to work hard.
            • Maybe YOU do. It doesn't mean we do. Not everybody dances to your drum beat.

              • So, if you want to get all pedantic, "we" never owe anyone anything. "We" are never more than a collection of individuals. EVER. "We" has no Borg-like shared state in which neuronic information transfers occur. The big fibber is the one who tries to say "we owe", as though there was ever a capacity to hold or discharge obligations akin to debt against, say, the United States Treasury.
                • Regardless, a humane person does not believe in 'work or starve'.

                  • And a mature person understands your binary formulation's over-simplified.
                    Sometimes a touch of 'hunger' can be quite a motivator to 'work'.
                    • And a mature person understands your binary formulation's over-simplified.

                      I would say binary is better than unilateral. And all claims to "over-simplification" are bogus distractions, more patronizing bullshit cop-outs. Simplicity is where it's at. Adding needless complexity is nothing but an attempt to obfuscate the very simple nature of all motivation. And the insane claim to be above it all when one is simply dominant is the epitome of arrogance, and withholding food from a hungry man and throwing it awa

                    • If you're putting me in the position of defending idiocy such as ethanol subsidies, think again. Distorting markets is actually more evil when Republicans do it, as they like to run around claiming to be traditional capitalists. The rest of your reply was an example of "adding needless complexity," as far as I could tell.

All the evidence concerning the universe has not yet been collected, so there's still hope.

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