Does anyone here think this is really a privacy issue?

I heard an story on NPR the other day that Europeans had found that much of the hamburger they’d been buying was adulterated with pork and horse. Pretty heavily too. You’d think Yahweh or Allah would have let their people know. Apparently horse is good for you anyway, less fat, more protein.
The discussion about food versus profit raises a question: Does the capitalist system do a good job accounting for intangible value? I don’t really have an answer, but the phenomenon of the millionaire franchise owner selling lowest acceptable quality food contrasted to to the failing individual chef/restaurant providing the best food they can make seems worth looking at. Does this system not reward quality endeavors or even undermine them? I don’t really have an answer, or even a strong opinion, but I regret seeing quality and integrity struggle and so often fail. And, the initial post raises a question about how capitalism values service.

And, the initial post raises a question about how capitalism values service.
I could say the same for just about any other economic system out there. Communism and some variants of socialism sound terrific in priciple but don't measure up any better then capitalism in actual practice. Is this the fault of any of those systems in and of themselves? I don't think so. Any system can work if the people who use it are reasonably honest, but the problem is that not everybody is. Even worse, the ones who rise to the top in any of these systems are rarely the idealists and the visionaries but the ruthless robber baron types.

You’re right, I didn’t really mean to pick on capitalism, in many ways it seems to be the best system we have come up with, although when it it mixed with a careful socialist ethic it seems like it might be better for the majority than the unbridled version. It may just be that the esthetes will always suffer from the passions of the masses. And, I don’t mean to say that the masses are wrong in their tastes, that’s not a judgement I would make. And, I suppose people who value wealth above ethics, esthetics, or quality are very powerful because of their stripped down moral sense. I was just hoping someone else would have a better answer than me, one I could get embrace with more enthusiasm.

The problem is not with capitalism, but with uncontrolled capitalism. The idea of offering rewards for innovation and work makes sense. However, the amount of reward should be strictly limited, and the distribution of rewards should be distributed among all the workers according to the value they contribute. We need laws to guide capitalism away from greed and unfairness. We get them periodically, then a different political party gets control and rescinds them.
Occam

the distribution of rewards should be distributed among all the workers according to the value they contribute. Occam
Well there in lies the rub as they say. Who decides that? All workers could argue that they contributed something but obviously some contributed an enormous amount to the success of the company through their creativity and insight. They may have a talent that is rare and only possessed by a few and should be rewarded accordingly. Others made a small contribution by providing better service. Not a rare talent but perhaps not a universal one either. Still others did little more than keep a seat warm. Each will have exaggerated views of his own worth and less so of the worth of others. The current free market system allows the company to reward each worker according to what they see as that workers contribution. I'm not sure that I can see a mechanism whereby this could be done more fairly if merit and contributions are the main considerations. You could of course force a company to take from those who have more and give to those who have less out of proportion to their real worth to the company but I'm not sure if that's fair or even desirable, especially if the high value worker has the option of picking up and going to another company where is talents might be better compensated. We are a global market after all.
One can't help but wonder, if the morale is so low and attitudes made so negative among fast food workers, what the quality of the food they prepare is. Occam
You mean if a Big Mac was prepared by a PhD who makes $200,000, it would be delicious? :smirk: LL. Dissatisfied and resentful kitchen workers and wait staff know how to sabotage a restaurant. "Delicious" doesn't come into it.
Aside from the ethical issues, (I'm completely on the worker's side), I think I'd avoid eating at a place where the staff have little or no access to health care simply because the idea of someone with untreated TB or hepatitis preparing my salad kind of messes with my appetite. If people can't see universal access to healthcare as a right, maybe they could at least see it as an asset to society, like a fire department or public water and sewer systems.
LL. Problem is there are many capitalists (they like to call themselves capitalists, but we all know they're Republicans) in our midst to whom such an idea as something being an asset to society at large is anathema, especially if they think they'll have to pay for anyone else to benefit from it. They'd rather eat contaminated salad than create a decent society. Someone once said a Republican can enjoy a good meal only if he knows someone is starving. I think that's right on the money. It should be expanded to " . . . only if he knows the workers can't get health care."
"The current free market system allows the company to reward each worker according to what they see as that workers contribution." "Each will have exaggerated views of his own worth and less so of the worth of others."
And the result is a CEO making over 500 times the wages of an average worker. Someone once told me about the "neighbor test" to assess whether an action is ethical. Basically, if you'd do it to your next door neighbor it's probably ethical, (if you're not some sort of sociopath). I have no idea how to instill or teach empathy to other people, and probably even less perspective of the validity of my own sense of empathy. Perhaps it is the individuals obligation to demand their humanity be recognized. That's a heavy burden for the underprivileged to have to assume. Still, that seems to be the history of the human race, in political rebellion or labor strife. If you want to someone to recognize you as an equal there is no argument as persuasive as placing a knife against that persons neck. I'd just like the world to be a kinder place than that. I'd saddle up and charge the windmill, but it's late.
I’d saddle up and charge the windmill, but it’s late.
It's never too late. Right behind you man! Been doin' it my whole life. Sancho Panza
And the result is a CEO making over 500 times the wages of an average worker.
I understand what you are saying but the CEO is also in a position to have an impact on the company's bottom line that may be thousands of times greater than that of the average worker for better or worse. Because of that a company is willing to pay far more to get the best CEO than it is to get the best line worker for a given position or the best supervisor. It may not seem fair but as I said, we are part of a global economy and if government were to step in and stop companies from bidding top dollar for the most successful CEO's than someone else will. That will put our companies at a disadvantage and the average workers job in jeopardy. I think society would be far better off if we could change that formula but I just don't see any way to reduce that disparity in wages without affecting our ability to compete.
Aside from the ethical issues, (I'm completely on the worker's side), I think I'd avoid eating at a place where the staff have little or no access to health care simply because the idea of someone with untreated TB or hepatitis preparing my salad kind of messes with my appetite. If people can't see universal access to healthcare as a right, maybe they could at least see it as an asset to society, like a fire department or public water and sewer systems.
LL. Problem is there are many capitalists (they like to call themselves capitalists, but we all know they're Republicans) in our midst to whom such an idea as something being an asset to society at large is anathema, especially if they think they'll have to pay for anyone else to benefit from it. They'd rather eat contaminated salad than create a decent society. Someone once said a Republican can enjoy a good meal only if he knows someone is starving. I think that's right on the money. It should be expanded to " . . . only if he knows the workers can't get health care."You hate life too much, Lois. ;-) Also, republicans probably wouldn't eat salads, it's too frilly.
I heard an story on NPR the other day that Europeans had found that much of the hamburger they'd been buying was adulterated with pork and horse. Pretty heavily too. You'd think Yahweh or Allah would have let their people know. Apparently horse is good for you anyway, less fat, more protein. The discussion about food versus profit raises a question: Does the capitalist system do a good job accounting for intangible value? I don't really have an answer, but the phenomenon of the millionaire franchise owner selling lowest acceptable quality food contrasted to to the failing individual chef/restaurant providing the best food they can make seems worth looking at. Does this system not reward quality endeavors or even undermine them? I don't really have an answer, or even a strong opinion, but I regret seeing quality and integrity struggle and so often fail. And, the initial post raises a question about how capitalism values service.
Good points. I don't go to any of these places - not Applebee's, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, TGIF, Fuddruckers, etc. partially because the food is somewhat poor quality, partially because I don't totally trust the staff not to fart in the order, but mainly I dislike the atmosphere, and the majority of the patrons who go there. I seems to be at odds with most of America though, because they do like these establishments. I suppose a chef who is trying to run their own unique place will attempt to provide a different atmosphere, different menu, etc. and this takes money - which they are probably not making. It really is true that there not much "room for the little guy", and this seems more strongly true in the restauraunt field. So capitialism doesn't do a good job accounting for intangible value,IMO.
I was just hoping someone else would have a better answer than me, one I could get embrace with more enthusiasm.
To do a slight variation of what Winston Churchill supposedly said: "Capitalism is the worst of all possible systems, except for all the others." This is why I try to avoid focusing on institutions or political/economic philosophies. The systems are rarely the problem, but the people who find ways to work them are. It's all about the people involved.

The validity of executive pay is under scrutiny by people with far greater insight than I possess. Dan Ariely, in his book “Predictably Irrational”, has looked at the issue in some depth and I found reference to this study. It may be that the value of executive ability is over rated.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/business/ceos-and-the-pay-em-or-lose-em-myth-fair-game.html?_r=0
I’ve read that in some of the countries where the companies which provide the stiffest competition for U. S. based corporations are located have far more equitable CEO to Worker salary ratios.
This article is from a Catholic publication, believe it or not. (Guess it shouldn’t count :slight_smile: )
http://vox-nova.com/2012/03/03/ceo-pay-ratios/

Aside from the ethical issues, (I'm completely on the worker's side), I think I'd avoid eating at a place where the staff have little or no access to health care simply because the idea of someone with untreated TB or hepatitis preparing my salad kind of messes with my appetite. If people can't see universal access to healthcare as a right, maybe they could at least see it as an asset to society, like a fire department or public water and sewer systems.
Good point.
It may be that the value of executive ability is over rated.
Anybody who watched how and why the economy of the whole bloody planet tanked 5 years ago could have told you that!;-)