Is it ok to make a profit?
Let me preface this by saying a little about q/a’s I’ve read on here. It seems a vast number of people are simply against businesses making a profit. I understand this, and here’s my little story.
I ran a business for five years (which was pretty unprofitable). I had a hard time making money, and I had between three and five employees, which ate up all the savings I had and then some. I ended up with about $100K in debt. Even with all that, I found it hard to charge customers what I needed to make the business successful. I learned a great lesson after attending a workshop for the field, where they drilled this into us: It is not just OK, but expected and right to make a profit. After doing this, we started to break even, and finally started making a little profit. I eventually closed the business because I didn’t have the time to run it after taking a job to make ends meet.
Note that I’m not rich. I started the business with a fulltime job, and when I ended, I was working a fulltime job still. I ran the business when I got home from work, which consumed all of my free time and much of my wife’s. It was miserable. Incidentally, when we closed, we had people that called our home wondering if we would still do stuff for them, and we tried the home-business for a while, but it was still too hard on my wife and kids.
Let me say this:
If you work at a job, you are doing something for a profit. You hope to gain something that you couldn’t get without providing services or products, just like a business. You expect to get paid for your services.
The same goes for business. And the profit that the business makes is entirely dependent on what the consumers will pay. It has nothing at all to do with “corporate greed”, unless that product is a particular necessity over which the corporation essentially has a monopoly (like gas and electric prices), but even there it’s not a given.
You must remember that business owners are just people like you who have done something that succeeded. And they’re providing services or products for a profit, just like your job.
I know people have had it drilled into them in the last 40 or so years that corporations are evil, but please, I mean… seriously…. do some homework and figure out what you’d put in their place. Everything that performs trade with another entity is essentially doing the same thing, whether it’s a person, country, business, labor union or anything that buys and/or sells goods and services.
So what do you think?
Is the idea that hospitals are “for profit” wrong? Would we get better service if it was government-run? (remember that government still has to pay for the services, and government doesn’t make money, so it’s really you paying for everything anyway).
Is “Big Oil” really the problem they are being portrayed to be in the media?
Think about it, serious responses please.
ArachDog: Profit is the SOLE reason for the existence of a corporation. It’s either profit or service… and usually, service is an attempt to market, so it’s still profit. If you love a job so much that you’d do it whether you are paid or not, why would you not just do it without pay? Because you need it to live and function. Why does a business cut corners? The same reason people are found sleeping on the job, or don’t do as well as they could when they work. It’s the same principle, and it is no different. The people in the organization are not perfect, just as you and I aren’t. However, I’m inclined to believe in the overall goodness of humanity, and I believe that most people act in a generally moral manner. This means most businesses follow the same model. Either way, it’s not fair to pin up corporations as “evil”, as they are only a product of their employees/owners.
H20 Engineer: The fact that health care is for profit provides this benefit as well; the health care professionals are beholden to their clientele, because that’s how they get paid. Although I see massive problems with the health care system, the actual problem is governmental intervention in the health care industry, which has caused centralization of management (HMO’s), red tape and ridiculous hoops that doctors jump through, and has destroyed the insurance industry with frivolous lawsuits and ungodly payouts (lottery wins) for suits against them. And what makes you think that Government would run healthcare any better than corporations do? Remember that government is just made up of imperfect people too; just one way you only vote for change once every four years, the other you vote every time you open your wallet.
H20 Engineer: One other thing. There is nothing wrong with those executives making their salaries, and their insanely high bonuses. They may or may not manage their companies well, but poorly managed companies fall. And if they are managed well, they are obviously providing a service for which they are able to charge that much. A minimum wage employee is worth only so much to an employer, and the employer needs to make more than that from the employee’s work for it to be of worth for the employer. The same goes for the guy at the top and the bottom.
4rgum3nt: Well thought out and articulated. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I think you have some good points, but you are twisting the word profit from the way I am using it to encompass more things.
As far as profit as just bringing in the dollars, you and I will have to agree to disagree. A business is made to make a profit, to benefit monetarily from goods/services that benefit others. I think in this case both the monetary benefit the business receives and the benefit the client receives encompass your concept of profit.
The military is not profitable, however. In its role as the clean up crew for disasters or other charitable work, it is not the case that it is profitable (itself) though it is beneficial to those they are serving. The government does not receive a benefit; therefore it is not a business but a charitable institution, whose rules do not follow what I’m discussing.
4rgum3nt continued: That said, the military has produced (or enabled an outside group to produce, more appropriately) many things that have benefitted people worldwide, but they are the clients of the servicing corporations, not the corporation.
The problem with the concept of placing hospitals (via the government, aka socialized medicine) where the government wants is that the government is not necessarily worried about whether or not that hospital will be solvent financially. Or if they do, do you really want the government to hold a monopoly over health care? Doctors start businesses, and build hospitals (or used to, before the government stuck their ugly heads in and mucked it up, now it’s HMO’s). Doctors were required to verify that the location was right, that they’d be solvent. And their customers would voice their approval/disapproval by choosing to use that hospital or facility.
Therefore, if the hospital provides good service, it will be used, otherwise another person will come in and capitalize on the first hospital’s poor service and build a separate organization to service the needs the first organization failed to service.
Government intervention discourages businesses from succeeding. Ask yourself how Toyota or other automobile manufacturers must view the government giving billions of dollars in loans to the Big 3, but not theirs. Would that encourage innovation and growth, or would you be more likely to pull out of the US because it is unwise to compete against a government sponsored enterprise? And what about the small guys, like my little store? Wouldn’t it have been helpful to have the government stick its nose in and offer me a few hundred thousand in capital so that I could keep operating? Yes, other businesses may suffer from a Big 3 collapse. However, they’d survive or not based upon their ability to adapt.
4rgum3nt continued: And that’s how businesses function. They’d find a way to survive. I think the Big 3 need to go under, because bailing them out just furthers the business model the unions have forced upon them – one they’ll still be forced to try to salvage years from now.
To answer a question with a question:
What is profit?
If you think profit is bringing in the dollars, Euro, Yen, Pound, Franc, Ringgit et. Al. (What a lot of business thinks profit is – and is one of the reasons for the current bad markets), then NO PROFIT IS NOT OK.
“Man will not live on bread alone”, is in ways saying “You shouldn’t do business/work for just money”.
Profit comes from making life easier.
That is why the military is one of the most profitable government institutions.
With a military, we have defence, men and woman out there in ships, planes and on the ground to intercept the bad guys so you can sleep safely tonight in your home.
The military, testing and invention of new technologies. That have transformed into more than just cargo pants that teens wear, planes we fly and GPS we use to navigate cluttered streets.
In the US, the Corp of Engineers actually built the Mississippi dam system and some of the high ways, and maintain other infrastructure, like the Home Guard for natural disasters.
Almost every nation in the world has to regularly call in the military to help with reconstruction after disasters (floods, earthquakes, storms etc.)
They also train people to be leaders, develop personal skills and tackle problems. That has transplanted to schools of leadership in business.
And all those benefit you and I, because we don’t have to personally raise the cash and give our personal time (that could be used growing crops, making machines, caring for people, organizing peoples finances or what ever we do) to do all those things.
So when you think about a profitable hospital, think about how much harder (and more taxing, in time, cost etc.) if we lost another few hospital beds, or a hospital here and there all together. Or how much more profitable it would be if we put an extra hospital here for this growing population, or trained up so many extra doctors a year.
Poorly managed companies do fall, I agree with that. But also well managed companies fall too when the system around them is falling (or their company is based on the wrong product). That is why Ford and GM are asking for credit lines from the US Federal Government at the moment. So the well managed companies that rely on GM and Ford can survive.
Government intervention, when done correctly brings the biggest profit possible to the people of a region.
For example name a company that could do what the US Treasury did to get Man to the Moon in 1969. And think of everything that we use from that incentive, from Management methods, computer programming and Satellites to Solar cells and Radar advancements (like microwave).
Advancements like that is the real profit, created by thousands of little, medium and humongous companies who were involved in getting those few men and their rockets to the moon. All working for/with the US Treasury.
Women’s Opinion-What do you think about a guy wearing Women’s Mary Jane shoes?
I would like only women and like minded people to respond to this please. Closed minded, insecure, homophobic people need not respond with comments such as “yo you gay dog” “straight fagot”, you just sound uneducated and ignorant.
I am a 27 year old straight male, not bi-curious just straight. A few years ago I found that some women’s shoes are much more comfortable then men’s. Such as Steve Madden loafers that have a 2-2 1/2 inch platform heel so I bought a few different pairs and really liked them and nobody noticed that they were even women’s. I started dating a girl that I am still with and she knew that I wore some women’s shoes and turned out she had some what of a fetish with me wearing them and she started buying me more and more women’s shoes. Long story short I have a shoe collection that would make any woman jealous. Mainly Mary Jane’s, the majority are just plain black and have a 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inch platform heel on them. She bought me some that have as much as a 4 ½ inch platform I wear to clubs for hear but my pants cover them so the only part that is visible is front toe which is tall in itself. As far as Mary Jane’s go, of course that style is very feminine but the shoes that I have are more on the plain conservative side from not looking too girly per se’. I wear them all of the time in the house and out of the house with no issues. I know some people have probably noticed and thought what the f*** but most women that have noticed give me that intriguing smile and tell me it is hot, some even asked if they could trade me shoes. I don’t wear them professionally or at family events but when I wear them out I do not flaunt them, my slacks or jeans cover most of them up but I don’t hide them and I am not embarrassed at all. It can be rather obvious if I am not wearing black socks with the Mary Jane’s but I don’t run up and ask people what they think of my cute shoes, I figure anybody that has a problem with what I wear is there problem, I will never see these people ever again in my life and do not know them so why should I care what they think.
I am very secure with who I am and what I am. I am not a closet freak or anything in that nature and I don’t cross dress at all. I am very good looking and masculine, and a successful real estate professional that is very well respected. I just find women’s shoes to be more comfortable for me, and I just like the way I look. My girlfriend really loves it and tells me not too many guys could pull off wearing the shoes I do and make it look good. What I am looking for are opinions from females and possibly other men that have the same shoe fetish I guess that is what you could call it. I want to see how many women would find it sexually intriguing or okay to see a guy wear women’s shoes (that look good of course, if it looks outrageous the answer is obvious)? Also how many just find it a turn off? I have yet to find a woman that I have met say anything negative about it so please comment and let me know. Thank you.
I’m a guy, and I wish I had the courage to do what you do. I wear some women’s shoes at home, but have never gone out wearing them. The more I hear about people breaking down social barriers, the more courage it give me.
Good on ya!
Do we now have *Government by Distraction*?
This story from the examiner.com, Atlanta is an example but my main question is about tactics and manipulation. Distractions.
Think back on the battle over amnesty for illegals. Once we bacame distracted and moved on, they didn’t give up the fight. They’ve simply ‘attached’ pieces of the original bill to other legislation. Sort of the ‘death by a thousand cuts’ approach.
Cap n Trade, Universal Health Care, etc…these will probably be handled in the same ‘back door’ way once we drop our defenses and become distracted with something like, oh Idon’t know….an investigation of CIA abuse. Just a thought.
for example only…..
In spite of the fact that there is no movement in Congress to re-implement the ‘Fairness Doctrine’ that would silence conservative talk radio, the Obama administration and Democrats on The Hill are working behind the scenes to accomplish that very goal without the Doctrine.
With the appointment of Mark Loyd to the FCC as the nation’s very first ‘Chief Diversity Officer,’ Obama hopes to accomplish the very things that the Fairness Doctrine would mandate.
The main focus would be to force commercial radio stations to offer a ‘diversity of opinion,’ meaning of course that liberals would get equal time to promote their causes and concepts. Rather than get mired in the swampland of rules and regulations concerning how to do that, radio stations will simply cancel programs such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck.
But this is not the only thing Loyd would do as Chief Diversity Officer.
Loyd wants public broadcasting to be the dominant force in radio, overshadowing commercial stations. And, as we have cited before, he would do this by forcing commercial radio stations to pay a fee equal to their entire operating cost to the government in order to directly benefit NPR.
However, more danger lurks just under the surface with regard to Loyd.
Today, we discovered this:
Lloyd draws on his experience lobbying the FCC during the Clinton administration, counseling would-be revolutionaries to follow the tactics used by other left-wing movements, such as the followers of Saul Alinsky and the people who ran the campaign to block Republican Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.
“We understood at the beginning, and were certainly reminded in the course of the campaign,” wrote Lloyd, “that our work was not simply convincing policy makers of the logic or morality of our arguments. We understood that we were in a struggle for power against an opponent, the commercial broadcasters ….”
In addition, Loyd makes it clear that the concepts pushed by extremist Saul Alinsky in his book, Rules for Radicals, would serve as the inspiration for his war on commercial broadcasting:
“We looked to successful political campaigns and organizers as a guide, especially the civil rights movement, Saul Alinsky, and the campaign to prevent the Supreme Court nomination of the ultra-conservative jurist Robert Bork,” wrote Lloyd. “From those sources we drew inspiration and guidance.”
In order to wrest control of broadcasting from private commercial interests to place it under government control, Loyd outlines 6 goals, which include vastly expanding NPR with money collected from commercial radio stations, expanding the FCC by setting up powerful regional hubs, and ‘clear regulations over political commentary and advertising.’
In other words, good-bye freedom of speech.
But Loyd has an answer to critics who cry foul over his plan to muzzle First Amendment rights. He thinks that concern over the First Amendment is ‘exaggerated’:
“It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press,” he said. “This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.”
These examples make it clear that Obama intends to wage all-out war on conservative talk radio, free speech, free commerce through private radio broadcasting corporations, and new government regulations that control broadcast content. The First Amendment is simply an exaggerated concern that gets in the way.
So…Do we now have Government by distraction?
@ David – http://www.examiner.com/x-3704-Columbia-Conservative-Examiner~y2009m8d26-Obamas-diversity-officer-at-FCC-to-use-Alinskys-confrontational-tactics
Thanks people. Gotta go to work but I’m interested in reading your responses this evening.
Man I’m in trouble on this one. Too many good answers to choose from! I know I’m not telling you folks anything you don’t already know. Great answers..thanks! We’re gonna to have to work overtime to beat this crowd. They may be fools but they’re energetic fools!
Excellent question – at first, they underestimated the American people and didn’t expect the outpouring of anger over their proposals. So they are now on Plan B – back door everything, like you said – they’re doing the same thing with the international bankers in secret meetings between Bernanke and Geithner in Belgium and Switzerland.
We’re being deceived and lied to about everything – including their most important issue – global government. Everything that has been going on is merely groundwork for integration into a global system and you are absolutely correct – no First Amendment, in fact, no Constitution – only what the global authority approves, and free speech is not on the agenda!
Is this an example at work where I have to worry about JOB SECURITY?
I am a marketing manager for a family-owned company and I have been working there for almost a decade.
The company’s background consists of just under 100 employees: a) About 10-12 members of upper management, b) 5-10 middle managers, and c) the rest office and warehouse employees – a characteristic of a medium-sized company.
The company itself is a place where nepotism and favoritism run rampant. e.g. Members of upper management are either family members or friends of the owner of the company. And favoritism seems to be in “favor” of employees who aren’t deemed a “threat” or those who “brown-nose.”
To make this long story short, I am a driven time-conscious manager who strives to make sure that the work is completed on time. I also have an assistant who works under me that is very good at what she does. HOWEVER, WHAT CONCERNS ME IS THAT MY BOSS WANTS ME TO CONTINUE TO DEVELOP HER TO ENSURE THAT SHE IS SUCCESSFUL.
Why does that concern me? It is because I’ve been with my company for a long time and my boss has not even granted me responsibilities that are traditional of my title of Marketing Manager.
These duties include, but not limited to: 1) attending management seminars to further my skills, 2) attending trade shows which showcases products in the market that my company can carry, and 3) Budgeting for my department.
I am very confident in my skills but I have a feeling that I have outgrown my position at work and feel that I cannot grow any more since the company is family-owned. The prestigious positions are usually reserved for family and friends anyway. I’ve also had talks with my boss during reviews and certain “down times” at work about how I want to continuously improve as a manager so I can be an asset….But he doesn’t listen. By the way, my boss has a reputation of undermining managers and/or employees he sees as a threat to his employment. He is also a procrastinator who does not accept accountability when he or his undermanagers fail.
He keeps telling me to develop my employee. He even admires my employee to the point that I feel that he is using her as a “veil” to cover up for his mistakes.
TO ALL EXPERTS OUT THERE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED OR ARE EXPERIENCING WHAT I’M GOING THROUGH, IS THIS A JOB SECURITY CONCERN?
IF SO, WHAT SIGNS CAN I LOOK FOR TO FIND OUT IF JOB SECURITY IS SOMETHING TO WORRY ABOUT?
Tricky situation. It could certainly be a job security situation but even worse your boss just might promote the assistant above you if you say the company is prone to nepotism and favoritism. They probably won’t let you go because you’ve been there for so long and you seem to get the job done, however, if you’re not politically savvy or a brown noser who tells the executives what they want to hear then you certainly risk the chance at being cast aside until the company comes up with a reason to downsize. It could be that your boss is intimidated by you and your potential so he will continuously try to suppress your advancement. He could be doing one of two things though – if you look at it optimistically. If you are an excellent marketing guru but a “not so great” manager then it is possible that your boss is trying to round out your experience by having you focus on developing people.
If I were you, I would play the “game” and develop the employee. At the same time try to do your own dose of moderate brown nosing with your boss and start sharing your ideas on how to improve the department/processes etc. This way you continue to show your value. As far as your development, if your employer refuses to invest in your development then you have to do it on your own outside. It sucks but the only person that suffers either way is you. Keep up your skills so that you will always remain competitive in the market place.
There is some reason why your boss doesn’t trust you. All of us encounter some form of this behavior in our careers – even in Fortune 100 companies who are ruled by the “Old boy network.” It’s the exact same thing as working for the type of company you described. Try picking up the book “Working with Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman. It helped me strategize how to go up against the “old boy network” and navigate through the political web. If you’re a heavy reader you can try “The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli as well. Also start looking else where for work, post your resume – stay on top of your game and don’t let anyone shake your confidence.
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The requirements and the places for the job advancement differ from one another, and you can also make job advancements in the game.
On some, you may have to meet certain requirements or complete quests to do so.
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