Thursday, July 21, 2005

bloodsucking for fun and profit

Sometimes it is nice to see the face of the virgin in a gimme cup. And then, sometimes it is nice to see the face of Satan in a NYT article.

The article in question is about Costco. Costco is famous for paying its CEO a reasonable salary, as such things go, and doing the same for its employees. The latter policy has pissed off certain Wall Street poobahs.

Emme Kozloff, for instance:

“Emme Kozloff, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, faulted Mr. Sinegal as being too generous to employees, noting that when analysts complained that Costco's workers were paying just 4 percent toward their health costs, he raised that percentage only to 8 percent, when the retail average is 25 percent.

"He has been too benevolent," she said. "He's right that a happy employee is a productive long-term employee, but he could force employees to pick up a little more of the burden."

And here is a Deutsche bank hoodlum:

“Costco's average pay, for example, is $17 an hour, 42 percent higher than its fiercest rival, Sam's Club. And Costco's health plan makes those at many other retailers look Scroogish. One analyst, Bill Dreher of Deutsche Bank, complained last year that at Costco "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."”

Dreher and Kozloff are obviously sick with that sickness unto death that is the Bush culture. LI however, wishes them no other ill than a compensation package and a health plan like a Walmart greeter’s, children who hiss and spit at them in their old age, and a lifetime of permanent nightmares in which they wander, penniless, through the ruins of a country that they have made a career of debauching, chased by the people they have systematically shit upon who are armed with a healthy quantity of good dreamtime steel pipe. From all of us at LI, at least, they have our undying hatred. We just want them to pick up a “little more of the burden” of the inequality they have spread around with such abandon.


Roger Gathmann said...

harry -- a bit cynical this morning, eh?
Here's a question for you. Would it be worth while or a waist of time to find Ms. Kozloff's email address and post it and urge letters to be written to her in a polite tone, urging her to employ her talents where they could be more useful - or would that be pointless harrassment? I'm honestly not sure. I'm not into pointless harrassment. But obviously we have to experiment with new, and sometimes stupid, forms of resistance if we are going to change anything in this culture. What do you think?

Roger Gathmann said...

I should watch my waist, eh?

Roger Gathmann said...

Paul, I knew your Chestertonian side would kick in sometime!
Thanks for the comment. As we know from Solow and Schumpeter, what counts, in capitalism, is growth, and growth is about human capital -- since it is humans who do things like invent technology, new services, etc., etc. It isn't about screwing the worker for such as Ms. Kozloff.

Biden's foreign policy: let's bet everything on authoritarianism!

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