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"The CEO of Sears Fails His Company by Believing in Ayn Rand and the Invisible Hand"


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#1 AnBr

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 09:58 PM

https://evonomics.co...ears-jon-haidt/

Five years ago, Eddie Lampert, the chairman of Sears Holdings after Sears merged with Kmart, reorganized the company so that each business unit functions like an autonomous company, with its own president, board of directors, and profit-and-loss statement. According to a profile of Lampert by Mina Kimes in Bloomberg Businessweek:


“Lampert runs Sears like a hedge fund portfolio, with dozens of autonomous businesses competing for his attention and money. 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 company’s leaders were told to act selfishly, he argued, they would run their divisions in a rational manner, boosting overall performance.”


The results have been disastrous, in part because Lampert was ideologically committed to the metaphor of the invisible hand and the associated idea that people are purely selfish. Ideology is a lens – it makes some things more visible, others less so. Lampert’s ideology prevented him from seeing that he was destroying the invisible band – the bond that forms around groups that can trust each other and work together toward shared goals. Evolution is a different lens – one that we believe brings unparalleled focus and resolution when examining complex human systems. A brief look through the evolutionary lens would have made it obvious how dysfunctional Lampert’s reorganization was likely to be.
“Trump’s a stupid man’s idea of a smart person, a poor man’s idea of a rich person & a weak man’s idea of a strong man.”

— Fran Lebowitz


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

— Carl Sagan


Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#2 baw1064

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 10:11 PM

Sometimes the Invisible Hand gives you the finger!
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” --Dr. Seuss

#3 Rich T Bikkies

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 03:57 AM

 baw1064, on 03 March 2020 - 10:11 PM, said:

Sometimes the Invisible Hand gives you the finger!

That never happened to me; it smacked me on the botty!
Reality is a hallucination caused by alcohol deprivation.

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#4 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 11:37 AM

Lampert may have failed Sears, but he did very well for Lampert.
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#5 LFC

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 01:12 PM

Damn, AnBr, this one must really hit a raw nerve for you since you posted the exact same link in July 2017 and in May 2018. Of course to be fair Lampert has proven himself to be an idiot, an unintentional takedown of Randian economics, and a massive douchebag so I personally have no problem with resurrecting this on the regular to remind people how awful he and his stupid economic views really are.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

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#6 AnBr

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 03:09 PM

It just percolated up through my feeds and while I remembered what happened to the company, I had forgotten the article. If it has any extra resonance with me is just because I have a few friends that are hard core libertarians and this is a perfect example of how their reasoning fails.
“Trump’s a stupid man’s idea of a smart person, a poor man’s idea of a rich person & a weak man’s idea of a strong man.”

— Fran Lebowitz


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

— Carl Sagan


Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#7 LFC

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 04:05 PM

 AnBr, on 04 March 2020 - 03:09 PM, said:

It just percolated up through my feeds and while I remembered what happened to the company, I had forgotten the article. If it has any extra resonance with me is just because I have a few friends that are hard core libertarians and this is a perfect example of how their reasoning fails.

I think it was Traveler who said or quoted something to the effect of "Nobody can foul their own nest like a libertarian."
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#8 golden_valley

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 04:34 PM

 LFC, on 04 March 2020 - 04:05 PM, said:

I think it was Traveler who said or quoted something to the effect of "Nobody can foul their own nest like a libertarian."

No government telling them how not to foul their own nest! Freedom!

#9 MSheridan

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 12:55 PM

Speaking in glittering generalities, libertarians distrust their fellow men and women. I think this is fairly sensible. Again, speaking generally, they don't want to have societal strictures imposed upon them. I think this is is perfectly understandable. They also somehow think, at least the ones I have met or corresponded with do, that shrinking government will allow them to maximize their personal freedoms. I am sorry to say I think this is utter bunk. It is true that governments can impose many more burdens than they lift, but this is not inevitable. No person is capable of defending all of their interests alone and some people are less capable or utterly incapable of defending any of their interests. Properly constituted governments can and should look out for the interests of their citizens and, at least some of the time, do this by restricting the freedom of their citizens to oppress others. I think poor libertarians have been convinced to adopt a philosophy directly opposed to their own interests and even their own liberty, and rich libertarians want the benefits of society with none of the costs.

Generally speaking, of course.

#10 golden_valley

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 01:31 PM

 MSheridan, on 05 March 2020 - 12:55 PM, said:

No person is capable of defending all of their interests alone and some people are less capable or utterly incapable of defending any of their interests. Properly constituted governments can and should look out for the interests of their citizens and, at least some of the time, do this by restricting the freedom of their citizens to oppress others.

This! Libertarianism might work in countries that are agriculturally based and sparsely populated. There are few people around so one's actions don't harm others. As population grows there is simply more need for government.

#11 AnBr

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Posted 05 March 2020 - 04:19 PM

 golden_valley, on 05 March 2020 - 01:31 PM, said:

This! Libertarianism might work in countries that are agriculturally based and sparsely populated. There are few people around so one's actions don't harm others. As population grows there is simply more need for government.

Perhaps less need, but certainly not no need. Without government agriculture would be largely inconsequential in much of the southwest. Without government getting their product to market would be a huge challenge. Hell, without government they wouldn't even have electricity.
“Trump’s a stupid man’s idea of a smart person, a poor man’s idea of a rich person & a weak man’s idea of a strong man.”

— Fran Lebowitz


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

— Carl Sagan


Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937





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