124 Slices
Medium 9781576754634

Chapter 13 Setting the Rules of the Game

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

One of the most pernicious claims the corporatocracy makes is that business flourishes best in a perfectly “free” market. And when business flourishes, they say, all of society does better. It’s the old trickle-down philosophy that inevitably produces a nation of peons.

Always get suspicious when you see the words free market. Let’s go back to the story of Mrs. Flores, whom you met in chapter 2—the woman who lost her job at Levi Strauss when that venerable American company closed all of its factories here in the USA and moved them overseas.

Cons argue that “productivity” is responsible for the loss of American jobs. They love to quote nineteenth-century economist David Ricardo (1772–1823) as saying in his 1817 work On Wages, “Labour, like all other things which are purchased and sold, and which may be increased or diminished in quantity, has its natural and its market price.”

Thus, they say, it’s natural that American wages should have been in a free fall ever since Bill Clinton signed NAFTA and GATT: America’s roughly 100 million workers now have to compete “on a level playing field” with 5 billion impoverished people around the world. Offshoring is simply the normal extension, they say, of Ricardo’s classic view of economics.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781576756270

Chapter 11 Learning the Legend

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant
facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values.
For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and
falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.


In part II of this book, you learned how the brain processes senses into feelings and feelings into thoughts. In part III you learned that we can guide those feelings through techniques like anchoring, future pacing, the learning trance, and framing. With each code you crack, you have moved from being an unconscious communicator to a conscious one and from being an incompetent communicator to a competent one.

The next and last step to cracking the code is to become an unconsciously competent communicator. As such you will master the art of political persuasion as well as the science. Once you master this last section of the communication code, you will move from being able to persuade the person sitting next to you to being able to persuade large groups of people.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781576757611

Medicine for Health, Not for Profit

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

From Screwed: The Undeclared War against the Middle Class

ANDY STEPHENSON WAS AN ACTIVIST, A VIGILANT WORKER ON behalf of clean voting in America. He worked tirelessly to help uncover details of electronic voting fraud in the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections. He devoted years of his life to making America a more democratic nation.

But in 2005 his friends had to pass the hat to help pay for surgery to save him from pancreatic cancer. The surgery cost about $50,000, but the hospital wanted $25,000 upfront, and Andy was uninsured.

We are the only developed democracy in the world where such a spectacle could take place.

Dickens wrote about such horrors in Victorian England—Bob Cratchit’s son, Tiny Tim, in need of medical care that was unavailable without a wealthy patron like Ebenezer Scrooge—but the United Kingdom has since awakened and become civilized.

Even the tyrants of communist China provide health care to their people, a bitter irony for the unemployed American factory workers they’ve displaced and for the poorly insured Wal-Mart workers who sell their goods.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781605095592

CHAPTER 10 Protecting Corporate Liars

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

With yearly revenues of over $9 billion, NIKE has the resources to spread their corporate message far and wide. Do they also have the Constitutionally protected right to distort or misrepresent the truth for commercial gain?

Corporations are not people, and the First Amendment should account for their unique motivation: sales.

—Congressman Dennis Kucinich, writing about the Supreme Court case Kasky v. Nike1

THE FIRST DIRECT SHOT ACROSS THE BOW OF THE DOCTRINE OF A CORPORAtion’s “right to lie” by using its “personhood” to claim First Amendment “free speech” rights came in April 1998, when Mark Kasky, a California political activist, noticed that Nike was engaged in what he considered to be a deceptive greenwashing campaign. Kasky had long been a runner and wore Nike shoes, so he was particularly distressed when he saw Nike’s communications director, Lee Weinstein, publish a letter in the San Francisco Examiner in December 1997 that said, in part, “Consider that Nike established the sporting goods industry’s first code of conduct to ensure our workers know and can exercise their rights.”2

See All Chapters
Medium 9781605095592

CHAPTER 25 A New Entrepreneurial Boom

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

To widen the market and to narrow the competition is always the interest of the dealers.... The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted, till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention.

It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.

—Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chapter XI

FOR SOME PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY THE YOUNG AND THE OLD, THE LOCAL MALL or big-box retailer or superstore is an important part of their social lives. They get exercise by walking up and down the aisles, greet friends they see only there, and have a special and often inexpensive meal. They notice what’s on sale and what’s new in stock, making both intentional purchases and the occasional impulse buy.

See All Chapters

See All Slices