Cutting Dividends vs Greed

Since the internet boom in the late 1990’s, and early 2000’s businesses have gone, one of two ways, they either cut their dividends for technological long term investments, or become greedy off a culture of consumerism in a capitalist market.

 

Here are two prime examples of the actions and consequences of these actions:

Kodak: In the early 2000’s these two companies noticed that the physical world was becoming closer and closer to the digital world. Now these two companies were the leaders in film for domestic picture making, and were making a TON of money. I mean…come one the majority of people in America love to take pictures and share the memories that they have experienced with friends and loved ones in photo albums and collages. One day last year I talked with a hot dog stand guy on Maynard st. Ann arbor Michigan on the University of Michigan campus about this topic, and he gave me a history on the film industry because he used to be a part of it during this time period. Polaroid, the company with the pictures that come out and you “shake” to come into color, was the first to research putting pictures online. However not too many people were investing in the project at the time and it got sidelined. Some how Kodak picked the project up, and decided to cut their dividends(i.e. money) for the a short time, and invest in going digital. Fast forward a few years later, and Kodak is still a LEADING household name in the film and photographic industry, and in a nutshell, made back the money they invested PLUS some. In addition switching to a digital format help save some trees as well! 🙂

 

The BIG 3 {Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler{at the time Daimler Chrysler}:

I am from Detroit “Motor” City, and I saw and felt first hand the opposite and equal reaction from the business decisions that the BIG 3 made on the economy. The BIG 3 were selling cars left and right, and the American auto industry was booming such as Kodak was in the late 1990’s early 2000’s. The newest form of transportation in the auto industry was SUV’s. It was the “koolest” thing out because it was like a car and truck combined, and soooooo roomy. In all the hip-hop videos all you would see were SUV’s like GM’s Cadillac Escalade, a luxurious model. These SUV’s were a “convenient” way to travel for road trips during the summer. Especially since gas was around a $1 per gallon (Those were the days LOL). Yet after the traumatic 9/11 event, gas prices rising world wide, and the economy starting to run down into a recession, the BIG 3 still decided to make money off of cars will low gas mileage in order to compete overseas as they claimed. Yet, with the plague of global warming becoming more apparent, companies like Toyota, and Honda did what American car companies didn’t do, cut their dividends and invest in fuel efficient cars, and cars that run off clean gases. In the end, the people of America started moving toward foreign cars not just for their style but for their cost effectiveness and quality. This made the BIG 3 plummet down, and people who worked for these three companies started to get laid off tremendously, senior workers were forced to retire early and take a buyout plan, and many people lost their homes(especially in the Motor City)! Fast forward 10 years later and the BIG 3 were bailed out by the government, and are just now starting to get back on their feet and into making better cars. 

Now it is obvious that Kodak did the quote on quote “right thing” and that the BIG 3 did not. However companies have in within all their rights to focus on the business making profit since that is their technical purpose, rather than the well being of people. This is even backed by the Constitution of the United States in accordance to the right of having a free market and the the right of the pursuit of happiness(sarcasm).

 

Yet where do we truly draw the line on the pursuit of happiness and profit when the constitution also say, on has the right of  the pursuit of happiness as long as it does not infringe/hurt others, and people end up in in poverty and the country is broke, all because company leaders and owners don’t take responsibility for their choices on how to they make money? Really American companies and the U.S. government that backs them up legally….. Where do we draw the line, or do we just make it up as we go, and end up lying to yourselves, and us the people, out of convenience and then get so confused, that you all don’t even know when you’re lying?

 

THAT IS THE QUESTION!

 

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