Tod’s Life Lessons For You to Hate On #3: Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Avatar

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

98 Responses

  1. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    I think this is true insofar as conservatives tend to support entrenched power interests and progressives tend to support new power. This is all kind of embedded in those very descriptive labels, though.Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    If conservatives are, as my thesis proposes, all about supporting the norms of culture with an eye towards building a strong community, then endorsement of the already-successful seems clear. Wal-Mart is to be praised — its success is a direct result of compliance with prevailing norms.

    If liberals are, as my thesis proposes, all about equalizing power and standing, then of course the small startup, seeking success is praiseworthy. Once it achieves economic power and standing and a place at the table where the norms are written, it no longer needs the support of liberals, and therefore no longer deserves that support.

    Consider Ben & Jerry’s. Once it was a liberal icon, but now I’ve heard people on the left accuse the company of selling out. Conservative culture warriors, however, no longer feel the need to abashedly sneak the pint of Cherry Garcia into the checkout line, because it turns out Cherry Garcia is really, really delicious ice cream no matter what your politics are.

    Another random thought: is there a correlation between politics and susceptibility to things like the Prosperity Gospel? Like @chris said in a different thread yesterday, John Oliver totally DESTROYED those folks on this week’s show!Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Burt Likko: is there a correlation between politics and susceptibility to things like the Prosperity Gospel?

      My Magic 8-Ball says “Most Likely”Report

    • Avatar maurinsky in reply to Burt Likko says:

      I think, as always, attributing thoughts to “the left” is a challenging endeavor. There are always those lefties who enter backlash phase once something is really successful, but I think anyone who thinks that Ben & Jerry’s has “sold out” simply because they are successful is not being rational – Ben & Jerry have sent out emails on behalf of Move On petitions just this week – I think I got one about the Iran deal from them.

      Nike was a popular upstart until you start hearing about the child labor that makes the shoes – I think it’s not the success but what is revealed about making a product using mass production and keeping a particular price point in mind that made people part ways with Nike.Report

    • I just don’t get the appeal of Cherry Garcia. I like a lot of the other flavors, just not that one.

      #noaccountingfortasteReport

  3. Avatar zic says:

    Life Lesson #3: The degree to which someone sits on the Left or Right of the political spectrum is a surprisingly good indicator of how that person feels about the success of others.

    I don’t know about this; I can think of all sorts of exceptions. Conservatives love, for instance of Stephen Colbert (the character) vs. Stephen Colbert (the comedian). I think perhaps the theory places too much emphasis on financial metrics as the measurement unit of choice. But I’m still pondering it; and as a rule of thumb, it’s a good guideline so long as one expects lots of exceptions to prove the rule.Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Sooooo… liberals are hipsters, or hipsters just tend toward being liberals?Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I sort of agree with Christopher and Burt but don’t think you have it quite right with liberals.

    Lots of liberals still use and love Apple products. Maybe lots of liberals own Nike sneakers but this seems harder to quantify in a meaningful sense. Who are you talking about when you say liberals? Likely or actual Democratic Party voters or upper-middle class urban or inner-ring suburban professionals who make up various levels of the cultural elite in the United States?

    The sneaker shop down the road from me has a line out the door every weekend for some new limited release sneaker. These sneakers are usually limited edition Nikes. Demographically and probability speaking, the young men who shop at this store are more likely to pull the lever for the Democratic Party.

    They are large cultural walls between this cohort and the upper-middle class urban liberal who gets angry at stories about sweatshop labor and Erik Loomis’ Out of Sight thesis. Liberals tend to dislike corporations for sweatshop and labor abuses, not because they are big.

    Though I admit (because I am one of them) that there is something about certain segments of urban, upper-middle class, professional culture that does like things for perceived or actual rarity. The local restaurant with a line out the door has appeal because of skill but also (and possibly unconsciously) because of the limited number of seats at a time and the fact that reservations are booked a month in advance or you need to wait two hours.

    This goes for a lot of things probably when it comes to clothing (the brand that is only purchased at boutiques instead of big chains), furniture (the local design center over IKEA), entertainment (almost all prestige TV has a very small but highly desirable demographic watching it. Mad Men gets talked about all the time but the numbers watching Mad Men were always much smaller than those watching the NCIS shows.) Now I do think there are aesthetic and quality differences that come with going upbrand but there could be an unconscious separation going on.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      In general, I don’t think most low-SES Democrats have much in common, ideologically, with high-SES Democrats.Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      “Likely or actual Democratic Party voters or upper-middle class urban or inner-ring suburban professionals who make up various levels of the cultural elite in the United States?”

      Doesn’t this comment refer to the same people?Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      The sneaker shop down the road from me has a line out the door every weekend for some new limited release sneaker.

      Seriously? I have mentioned before that I lack the collecting gene, but I sort of get the idea of collecting something you independently have affection for: comic books, baseball memorabilia, etc. But sneakers?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Richard Hershberger says:

        @richard-hershberger

        Yeah, sneaker’s are a big thing. Now these don’t look like your ordinary set of New Balances or Chucks. A lot of guys also do it as a business where they well immediately put them on ebay because the sneakers are usually only released in urban markets.

        They call themselves sneakerheads:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/17/business/a-thriving-market-where-air-jordans-are-blue-chips.html

        Though the guys I see line up for long waits tend to be less white and suburban. A friend of mine asked them once about sneakers and got an answer that these kicks are “art you can wear.” I can’t argue with that logic.Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Didn’t you mention that you yourself got some flack from someone or other for spending a lot on a pair of shoes?Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Brandon Berg says:

            @brandon-berg

            I have spent money on shoes that people would consider big amounts. The most I spent was about 310 dollars for a pair of shoes that was originally retailed at 620 dollars. My most expensive pair of shoes originally retailed for 850-900 dollars but I got it on super-sale for about 149 dollars.

            I think there is a lot of heated debate about whether guys should be into clothing or not. There are obviously lots of guys who do care about clothing and stores that cater to them. And there seems to be a lot of guys who think being a guy means absolutely not giving a fuck about clothing what so ever. Hence something where a friend told me that her husband only paid about 80 dollars for a suit.

            A lot of guys seem to pride themselves on a “I don’t give a fuck” attitude and I find this perplexing.

            I am also interested in what I call “price barriers”. A lot of people seem to have barriers that say “Item X should not cost more than Y” without any care about uniqueness, aesthetics/design, craftpersonship, etc.Report

            • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              I routinely spend about $200 for footwear. But by “routinely” I mean every three to five years, when I replace my Redwing boots that I wear pretty much every day. They would last longer if I actually took proper care of them. I am happy to pay for quality: not because I get excited by, or even casually interested in, boots; but because by paying for quality I can go for longer without having to think about them again. (As an aside, I have heard complaints that Red Wing is letting its quality slip, but I haven’t had any problems with the model I routinely buy. But it wouldn’t surprise me of there is a new generation of owners looking to cash in quick.)Report

  6. Avatar nevermoor says:

    I think what it amounts to is that liberals have higher expectations of successful companies.

    Some guy who owns an auto repair shop may not be in a position to buy environmentally-friendly consumables, or otherwise comport himself in ways I would prefer. Indeed, he may be struggling to get by at all, and therefore be someone I would want to give my business on that basis.

    Apple, however, has more money than they know what to do with, so when they do something I disapprove of there isn’t really much of a counterpoint beyond “not doing it is better for our shareholders.” I think that’s where liberals and conservatives tend to disagree most harshly, as I think the viability of that explanation is somewhat unfortunate, while my sense is conservatives find it honorable.

    I disagree that liberals disapprove of success itself, though it is certainly true that the successful are more often criticized (and, of course, more often feel targeted because we like progressive taxation)Report

    • Avatar John Howard Griffin in reply to nevermoor says:

      This is a good point that clarifies things, I think.Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to nevermoor says:

      +1 to what @nevermoor said.

      If you’re five guys, living on ramen and sleeping in your office, I’ll give you a pass on what you’re doing, even if I don’t agree with it all. But, if in the case of Apple or Nike, when you have more money than God, yes, I expect you to do more.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to nevermoor says:

      nevermoor: not doing it is better for our shareholders

      I hear this justification a lot, along with the words “legally bound” &/or “fiduciary duty”, which seems convincing enough at first, except then you see similar companies actually spending the resources to do X, which seems a pretty blatant snub to those shareholders.

      So exactly just how legally obligated/duty bound is a company to maximize shareholder value? Seems there is a whole lot of room in there to maneuver.Report

      • Avatar Zac in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        IMNSHO, this country truly started going off the rails as soon as we started caring more about shareholder value than stakeholder value.Report

      • I seem to recall reading that the concept of “only the shareholders matter” became a thing in the 1960s, starting with Milton Friedman and the rest of the U of C economists. OTOH, since that period also coincides with the beginning of the decline of dividends (which were just as good for the shareholders as a share price increase) and the rise of stock options as compensation (for which dividends are worthless, only the share price matters), it seems to me that in practice the shareholder thing could have been just a ruse the CxOs used so they could loot the company.

        As an economist friend says, “If the CEO’s compensation plan is an annual salary of a million dollars, an annual bonus of a million stock options that vest over a short period, and a twenty million dollar retirement package if the company is sold, no one should be surprised if the CEO’s efforts turn out to look like putting lipstick on the pig for a few years and then selling it.” I might add that said CEO is likely to privately root for the Fed to blow asset bubbles, since a 25% increase in the share price due just to the bubble makes the options valuable.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

          What? Incentives matter? No, leaders only do what is best for everyone & if they benefit, that is merely a happy coincidence.Report

        • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Michael Cain says:

          Friedman also provided the escape hatch for “everything must be to increase shareholder value.” We wondered how a corporation could justify, for example, supporting the local symphony. The answer is that the corporation’s name, or even better yet logo, appears somewhere in conjunction with the symphony–on the program, for lower level support, or over the front door to the hall, for higher level support. In other words, philanthropy is verboten, but marketing is just peachy. In practice, this gives a Board of Directors that wants to engage in philanthropy an excuse, and removes the excuse for the Board that doesn’t.

          It also reinforces the notion that if a corporation is a person, it is a sociopath–and indeed is required to be a sociopath. What is interesting is the pushback against the idea of corporations writing into their rules that they aren’t sociopaths. The horror.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        So exactly just how legally obligated/duty bound is a company to maximize shareholder value? Seems there is a whole lot of room in there to maneuver.

        You didn’t ask me, but I’d answer it like this. A company is legally obligated to maximize share holder value. And there is a lot of room to maneuver since the recourse for (ostensibly) violating the law is an actual court case.Report

        • “Maximize shareholder value” is a pretty tricky phrase. Which shares, the special ones that hold 51% of the votes or the ordinary ones that represent 98% of the capital? Over what time frame? In what form (eg, share price increase versus a steady stream of dividends)? Does that goal justify going farther into the gray areas on accounting? How should other risks be treated?Report

        • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Stillwater says:

          A company is legally obligated to maximize share holder value.

          Actually, a publicly traded company has an obligation to maximize *profits*, not shareholder value. (By which is meant ‘stock price’.)

          Those are not exactly the same thing. There are plenty of decisions that companies can make that would increase the stock price, at least in the short term, while providing negative profits and doing actual harm to the company.

          Companies not only have no obligation to do those things, they have an obligation *not to*.

          Of course, in reality, they often do those things anyway, because they operated by CEOs whose bonuses are set by stock prices.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DavidTC says:

            a publicly traded company has an obligation to maximize *profits*, not shareholder value

            Yes, good point (in the sense that I – who am not a lawyer – agree, anyway). And good subsequent points as well. Plenty of wiggle room in there for shenanigans.Report

          • Actually, a publicly traded company has an obligation to maximize *profits*,

            No. A company focusing on growth (Oracle and Amazon being the examples that come to mind) might well forsake profits in the short term in order to accomplish that, without in any way violating their fiduciary responsibilities.Report

            • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Mike Schilling says:

              You’ll notice a distinct lack of any time frame in what I said.

              A publicly traded company has a duty to maximize profits. That’s it. That’s the entire duty. There is nothing stopping them from investing *now* in order to have more profits years or even decades later.

              And, as Saul said, this is immensely hard to sue over anyway.Report

        • Avatar Damon in reply to Stillwater says:

          How do companies maximize shareholder value?

          Isn’t that up to the SHAREHOLDERS to decide if the company/BOD is doing, and how to do it, not some outside party?Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Damon says:

            Except, as Saul notes below, shareholder voice is a lot of bark, with little bite.

            Unless you own a significant percentage of that stock, then I bet your voice is heard a bit more loudly.Report

            • Unless you own a significant percentage of that stock, then I bet your voice is heard a bit more loudly.

              Or special classes of stock, with many votes per share. That practice used to be rampant in the cable TV industry, where a small number of closely held shares had >50% of the votes. And yes, it’s legal. Caveat emptor: the existence of those privileged shares is public knowledge, so you knew what you were getting when you bought your ordinary (powerless) shares.

              The cable industry was also full of examples of another share-voting scam. There were large numbers of cross-ownership deals between the cable companies and the content companies. Traced back far enough, there were cases where a majority of the voting shares in large publicly-traded companies were controlled by a handful of people, or even a single individual.

              Working in the cable industry made me rather cynical about corporate control.Report

            • Avatar Damon in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

              Gee, I recall seeing dozens of shareholder petitions from various companies I own stock in (for retirement) desiring to change certain practices..all across the spectrum…environmental, union, buy america, etc.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater says:

          @stillwater

          Suing a corporation (or other business entity) for bad business decisions that lower profits and shareholder value is really, really difficult. Courts give businesses a large amount of deference in their business decisions. Hence the ability to give fuck-up CEOs, golden parachutes and no amount of rage can do anything about this.

          The best attempts at suing are when minority shareholders are frozen out because courts will just demand the majority shareholders buy the minority at a fair market value.Report

          • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Suing a corporation (or other business entity) for bad business decisions that lower profits and shareholder value is really, really difficult. Courts give businesses a large amount of deference in their business decisions. Hence the ability to give fuck-up CEOs, golden parachutes and no amount of rage can do anything about this.

            I kinda wish this wasn’t true, actually. Not because stockholders should be suing corporations for *bad* business decisions, mistakes are not breaches of duty. But they should be able to sue for ones that deliberately jerk the stock price up for two months while hurting the company long term.

            That is actually a pretty clear violation of stockholder rights. Stockholders have a right to a return on investment if the company makes one. They don’t have some sort of right for the company to enable them to sell their investment to third parties for more than it is actually worth.

            In fact, it’s hard for me to figure out how a company has any sort of duty towards their stock prices *at all*. It seems to basically be the same sort of ‘PR’ justification that charity is…bad stock prices makes a company look bad. And I guess if they’re going to *issue* more stock, okay, I can see an argument higher is better for the company than lower.

            But bumping up the stock prices at the expense of the company is, quite literally, a group of stockholders (the ones planning on selling their stock) stealing from the company. It’s no different than you ordering all corporate computers junked…because you want to grab them from the trash and resell them.

            The problem is it’s nearly impossible to prove what is going on, and by the time is *is* possible, those jackasses have sold their stock and cashed out their stock options. (Because that was the entire point of that.)Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to DavidTC says:

              That’s something that also bugs me about current corporate practices, the obsession with stock price. Once the stock is issued & sold, the price means nothing significant to the company unless they are planning a buyback or planning on selling owned shares to raise capital. The day to day, or even quarterly performance is interesting, but not valuable.

              Unless your & Mr. Cain’s posit is in play, that power players are looking to cash out.Report

              • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                That’s something that also bugs me about current corporate practices, the obsession with stock price.

                As I like to say, it’s like if sports worked by every single team being fixated on their *odds* that bookies set on the next game, and how many people had bet on them, including members of the teams themselves, despite the obvious conflicts of interest that could cause. It’s completely insane, and has no actual relevant toward advancing their goal of ‘winning games’.

                Once the stock is issued & sold, the price means nothing significant to the company unless they are planning a buyback or planning on selling owned shares to raise capital. The day to day, or even quarterly performance is interesting, but not valuable.

                Buyback’s are interesting in themselves. I can’t quite figure out any legal justification for them at all. How does spending that money help the company at all?

                Unless your & Mr. Cain’s posit is in play, that power players are looking to cash out.

                If only it was actually that simple, that they were looking to just sell.

                There is a specific sort of investor, often a powerful board member, that wants the stock to go up and down while the value of the company remains the same, and it’s best if they can actually *predict* this.

                Now, of course, insider trading is illegal.

                But what *isn’t* illegal is making sure you have more stock than you really want, and hiring a hotshot CEO, and giving him a *lot* of stock options and bonuses that make him really really rich if the stock price is 20% higher in exactly two years, regardless of the damage he does to the company

                And, hey, guess what you can do in two years with that extra stock?

                And then, you can either get out before the damage he did becomes obvious, or just sorta cut back on the stock ownership until then, and then, near the bottom, buy more stock and *do it all again*.

                It’s literally a pump and dump scam, except the company is fundamentally good and a reasonable investment, and the person doing this really *does* own some stock in the thing they’re not intending to sell…well, not this time around. As the company becomes more and more unsound due to poor decisions, more and more stock gets sold, and at some point they move on to another company.

                I’m convinced more than a few of them don’t actually understand what’s going on, that they, like a large amount of investors out there, do not actually understand how businesses should operate, and think stock prices actually reflect the fundamental soundness of a company, so *of course* anything that raises stock prices helps the company…the market has *spoken*.Report

  7. Avatar John Howard Griffin says:

    Mr. Kelly, you repeat the following line twice in the post. Yet, there is not a similar (both sides do it) line for the conservatives.

    There are exceptions, of course, the most notable being entertainers who go very far out of their way to support liberal causes. Still, as indicators go it’s fairly accurate.

    I wonder why that is. There are certainly some entertainers who go very far out of their way to support conservative causes. Off the top of my head I can think of several dozen, including an entire “news” network.

    It is particularly interesting to me, because the first instance references conservative bias and the second instance references liberal bias, yet the same thing is said in both instances (which I interpret as being lightly negative to liberals).

    Why is it written in this way? You are making a point, whether you realize it or not. What is the (hidden) point you are trying to make?Report

    • Avatar aarondavid in reply to John Howard Griffin says:

      I think Tods hidden point is that no matter how successful Micheal Moore is, conservatives will still hate him. And liberals will still support Micheal Moore, no matter how successful he is.Report

      • Avatar John Howard Griffin in reply to aarondavid says:

        False. I do not support Michael Moore and I am a liberal. QED.

        Next argument!

        (You didn’t really even read my comment enough to understand it fully, did you, aarondavid?)Report

        • Avatar aarondavid in reply to John Howard Griffin says:

          Well that was a general response to the idea that Tod is putting forward. Now, I am reading what you wrote again, and I would say the exact same thing. Maybe my reading comprehension sucks.Report

          • Avatar John Howard Griffin in reply to aarondavid says:

            Ok, I’ll write slowly. Maybe that will help.

            I wrote that Mr. Kelly wrote about conservatives, and then said “entertainers who support liberal causes”.

            Then Mr. Kelly wrote about liberals, and then said “entertainers who support liberal causes”.

            Either it’s a typo (he meant “conservative entertainers” in the first part, for a both sides do it spin).

            Or, he meant liberal in both cases. Which is a fairly large slam on liberals, because he’s ignoring all of the conservative entertainers. And any conservative will spout about how Rush Limbaugh is much more popular than any liberal, and how Fox News wins every demographic for every ratings period by miles.

            That seemed odd to me. So, I asked Mr. Kelly about it.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to John Howard Griffin says:

      When conservatives support a successful entertainer who goes out of the way to support conservative causes, that’s not an exception to the rule that conservatives generally have a favorable view of successful people.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    “Should we replace what works with something that sounds a lot better?”

    If your response is “Yes, the sky is the limit!”, you are probably progressive.
    If your response is “No, we’ve already discovered something that works!”, you are probably conservative.

    (Which also explains why “the haves” tend conservative and “the have nots” tend progressive.)Report

  9. Avatar aarondavid says:

    I think @burt and @christopher-carr nail it basically, and further that is in many ways why most things break down into progressive/conservative.

    This is also why I am a libertarian.Report

    • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to aarondavid says:

      I think libertarianism is the ultimate “equality of opportunity” ideology in response to the central progressive/conservative dichotomy.

      I was having a conversation with my oldest daughter last night about what is fairness. She was upset that I was “helping” her younger sister win a spelling game that we were all playing, saying it was unfair. I told her that sometimes it’s best for everyone, sometimes it’s best for the family, if the “best” person doesn’t always win.Report

  10. Avatar Kolohe says:

    So where does Hillary Clinton fall on this heuristic?Report

  11. Tod,

    Maybe you should switch it around a bit and say

    How someone feels about the success of others illustrates the degree to which someone sits on the Left or Right of the political spectrum

    That’s basically the same thing you said, but it seems to work more as a “diagnostic” than as an assertion about two categories of people. When I read your OP, I thought, “that sounds right, but it doesn’t seem to apply to me.” So maybe it’s not that I’m on the neoliberal (or whatever term you want to use) side of the spectrum and therefore really tend to judge “successful” people harshly. Maybe it’s that I tend to judge successful people harshly and therefore I’m more liberal than I thought I was. (However, Chris above might be onto something when he suggests that libertarians hold to the “left” view on this issue. And I do lean libertarian. But for me, it’s not quite the “quality” as it is I believe most “successful” people owe their success to A LOT of things beyond their control and therefore usually don’t deserve the praise that some people heap on them.)

    Finally, your example of entertainers isn’t really an exception. Your point is about how people judge others, not themselves.Report

  12. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    How about a different formulation: How you feel about how success is achieved demonstrates where you sit on the Left-Right spectrum. If you think that success comes from consolidating the efforts of many, you’re on the Left. If you think that success comes from individual effort, you’re on the Right.

    Note that both can be talking about the same person doing the same things. It’s more a question of whether you were a good manager who put everyone where they needed to be for success to happen as a natural outcome, or whether you were a hard worker who pushed everyone where they needed to go for success to be brought into existence.Report

    • Avatar Zac in reply to DensityDuck says:

      DensityDuck:
      How about a different formulation:How you feel about how success is achieved demonstrates where you sit on the Left-Right spectrum.If you think that success comes from consolidating the efforts of many, you’re on the Left.If you think that success comes from individual effort, you’re on the Right.

      I think this point is worth exploring, although I have a question: what if someone thinks it’s both?Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Zac says:

        I’m not sure there can *be* a both. Either you think that success happens because of a team, or you think that success happens because of individuals (who might be working on a team and contributing to a shared objective, but are doing so as unique and irreplaceable entities).

        Sort of, do you think there exists an ideal team in which any member could be replaced without making the overall objective impossible? Or do you think that is an impossible idea?Report

  13. Avatar Stillwater says:

    People on the Right are more likely to judge the merits of a person or a company simply on the metric of how successful that person or company is.

    Well … umm … yeah! (Did anyone ever disagree with this?) Folks on the right believe that success is the material revelation of hard work and bootstrap pulling. Ie., that success not only tracks effort, it follows from it. Sorta like rain follows the plow.Report

  14. Avatar Kazzy says:

    This piece makes much more sense if you’re talking about Liberals and Conservatives… not liberal people and conservative people. I mean, Apple and Nike are and “The Apprentice” was hugely popular without drawing support from only one said of the aisle. Maybe there was a slight skew — which I guess still supports the general argument — but I think most people don’t think that hard about consumption choices unless they are the sort of person who wants it to be known how hard they think about consumption choices.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

      What’s more, as I said above, it’s not at all clear that “success” is the reason why some people on the “left” might dislike Nike or Apple. The reason for both those company’s falls from grace on the “left” are well known, and while success magnifies them, it isn’t itself the cause.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy says:

      “popular on the left” doesn’t mean “left-aligned” or “left-supporting”. Whole Foods is a notable example.Report

  15. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    That is a surprisingly large novelty check for a $180,000 jackpot.Report

  16. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    Here’s a thought to ponder – what if lots of this rhetoric, whether it’s praising Walmart or trashing Apple – isn’t meant so much to have an effect on those institutions as it is meant to identify the speaker and to dramatize their attitude toward power.

    Speech of this sort is meant to identify one with a particular group and to bring the speaker some status within that group. People who don’t like the speech become “out group” and don’t matter.

    This is probably more active and powerful when people are being critical than it is when they are praising. Because bad is stronger than good, and being critical makes the speaker look smart.Report

  17. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    BTW these look like the most somber and serious lottery officials in the history of mankind.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *