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Synapse
November 12 2012, 06:32:18 PM
It seems to me, that not everyone is aware that making money is not by itself a valuable or laudable exercise. Steve Jobs and at least someone from the HBR agrees with me:
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/10/steve_jobs_and_the_purpose_of.html

However, in case you don't already agree, I'll argue it:

I'll put out a hypothesis for you: What people and organizations should do is add real value to yourself and society by creating happiness, knowledge and growth in people and society at large.
Is that in dispute? I don't think it should be. Remember though that money is not interchangeable with happiness, knowledge or growth, it's only a tool which might get you those things if well spent.

Making money and adding value to your life and society are not always the same thing. Being rich is not valuable in and of itself. Therefore the only reason capitalism doesn't fold in on itself and fail miserably is that making money is usually aligned with the former, otherwise everyone would rapidly agree that money had no alignment or value towards things they really wanted in life.

This comes up often in the discussion of what a "for profit" company should do, and here is where people might think I go off the rails a little bit.

Consider two corporations, one (company A) which thinks it's doing the world a great service and one (company B) that really doesn't care as an organization except to make money.
Company A knows it is having a positive impact on the world and in addition it's feeding and housing its employees. Further, its employees might potentiallly go out and spend their salaries making even more value in the world. Great success.

Company B is only feeding and housing its employees while spending huge amounts of their time generating no real value. It's left to those employees to go and spend their own incomes separately to make positive impacts in the world, but since the basic equation of working is that a worker's time is more valuable than their salary (else the company would have no profit) the net potential of this company is ALWAYS less than the first.

I'll put down here a second crucial hypothesis: There are enough real value generating projects in the world to employ everybody currently employed.

Given that I believe in both hypotheses being true, I must conclude then: A "for profit" company that doesn't honestly think it's adding knowledge or happiness to the world is literally wasting the resources it has when they could be spent in another company that actually generates value for the world. We'd be better off as a society if that company closed and its employees went off to work for (or found) another company that generates real value.

Nicho Void
November 12 2012, 06:52:18 PM
Remember though that money is not interchangeable with happiness, knowledge or growth, it's only a tool which might get you those things if well spent.
Here's the flaw in your reasoning, imo. The whole, "money doesn't buy happiness" argument is nice in Disney films and social justice classes, but it's not true. Money does buy happiness. Labeling it as a tool doesn't deflect from the truth. Sure, we can get into a discussion about behavioral psychology and why people want what they want in our society, etc, etc, but we're going to end up at the point where we accept that today's global society is a materialistic one. Forget happiness, you can barely survive in this world without money.



Company B is only feeding and housing its employees while spending huge amounts of their time generating no real value. It's left to those employees to go and spend their own incomes separately to make positive impacts in the world, but since the basic equation of working is that a worker's time is more valuable than their salary (else the company would have no profit) the net potential of this company is ALWAYS less than the first.

Assuming that a worker's time is more valuable than their salary is completely wrong. If I work for a company for $10 an hour and making one Widget takes one hour, does a for profit company sell Widget X for $10? Of course not. There is a markup, I.E. the amount a company makes in profit on an item. That is where the company gains value and where paying employees equal or more than what they produce because viable.



I'll put down here a second crucial hypothesis: There are enough real value generating projects in the world to employ everybody currently employed.

This is a hypothesis, so I won't really big into you for it, but you seem to have skipped a dozen or so statements that would lead up to a point such as this. If those jobs exist to employ people that are currently employed by non value generating companies (lets say half of all business), who does that work now? How are companies with these mystery positions able to continue operating? Why is there 8% unemployment if all these jobs are around?

Synapse
November 12 2012, 07:31:33 PM
I'm having trouble taking you seriously with that avatar.

Stop trying to feel edgy and modern by dismissing "money doesn't buy happiness." At least that's the only explanation I can think of for why you think it does. It doesn't. Money doesn't buy happiness and not just in the way that hammers and wood don't build houses. At least you can build a house with hammers and wood if you use it right, but even used ideally, no amount of money is going to buy you good ideas worth living for or someone who genuinely cares about you. Those are just two essential components of happiness that money doesn't even give you more options for. You can buy people to pretend your ideas are good and that they really like you but you'll always know really why they are there.

Money covers needs, and happiness is above needs, not part of them. Don't confuse having your needs for food, shelter, transport and entertainment met with being happy, they aren't the same thing, not even close. There are a lot of unhappy people in the world with their needs completely met, and it's not surprising because meeting your needs is mostly a question of money, happiness is more complicated.


Assuming that a worker's time is more valuable than their salary is completely wrong. If I work for a company for $10 an hour and making one Widget takes one hour, does a for profit company sell Widget X for $10? Of course not. There is a markup, I.E. the amount a company makes in profit on an item. That is where the company gains value and where paying employees equal or more than what they produce because viable.

You're confusing what a company will pay you with the actual value of what you produced in that hour. That's why If you did all the production and selling of that product and sold it for $12 but got paid $10 by the company, you should quit and just make them on your own and keep the $2. Your time is worth more then you're being paid for it. The extra goes into organization of people and profit.


This is a hypothesis, so I won't really big into you for it, but you seem to have skipped a dozen or so statements that would lead up to a point such as this. If those jobs exist to employ people that are currently employed by non value generating companies (lets say half of all business), who does that work now? How are companies with these mystery positions able to continue operating? Why is there 8% unemployment if all these jobs are around?

Asking "who does that work now" is making me :psyduck:. You'd have to assume that all needs are being perfectly met in the world to say that someone is currently doing all needed work. People are inefficient and the world is inefficient. We have systems like capitalism because it makes "everybody do what you want" didn't result in an efficient system either. The current system is still inefficient. That's why there are jobs out there that would generate happiness and value and money that no one is doing.
So long as there is unhappiness and time, there is probably a job someone hasn't found yet connecting them. 8% unemployment is a lot of both.

Nicholai Pestot
November 12 2012, 07:59:35 PM
Write that post again without all the ad hominem's, or you aren't worth debating with.

Hast
November 12 2012, 08:11:41 PM
Yes, please keep in mind that this is the serious business forum and if you don't play nice I'll tell soffles.

Sofia Roseburn
November 12 2012, 08:49:36 PM
Guess who he told.

Nicho Void
November 12 2012, 08:49:44 PM
Write that post again without all the ad hominem's, or you aren't worth debating with.
It's fine. I'll try anyway.


I'm having trouble taking you seriously with that avatar.

Pot, meet kettle.



Stop trying to feel edgy and modern by dismissing "money doesn't buy happiness." At least that's the only explanation I can think of for why you think it does. It doesn't. Money doesn't buy happiness and not just in the way that hammers and wood don't build houses. At least you can build a house with hammers and wood if you use it right, but even used ideally, no amount of money is going to buy you good ideas worth living for or someone who genuinely cares about you. Those are just two essential components of happiness that money doesn't even give you more options for. You can buy people to pretend your ideas are good and that they really like you but you'll always know really why they are there.

Well the problem here is that "happiness" is a completely abstract term. My "happiness" is likely different than your "happiness", just like my taste in women is likely different than yours. To make a blanket statement saying that money can't buy happiness is flawed logic. Details below:



Money covers needs, and happiness is above needs, not part of them. Don't confuse having your needs for food, shelter, transport and entertainment met with being happy, they aren't the same thing, not even close. There are a lot of unhappy people in the world with their needs completely met, and it's not surprising because meeting your needs is mostly a question of money, happiness is more complicated.

It's very simple to say happiness is above needs when we belong to a culture in which our needs are met. If we take away our ability to eat, or get medical care, or heat our houses when its cold, I imagine our (in this case your) definition of happy would be altered radically. We have the luxury of searching for more profound happiness because money makes it possible. We're not spending our days worrying about where to hunt or how we'll get enough wood to last the winter. That in itself makes me happy.





You're confusing what a company will pay you with the actual value of what you produced in that hour. That's why If you did all the production and selling of that product and sold it for $12 but got paid $10 by the company, you should quit and just make them on your own and keep the $2. Your time is worth more then you're being paid for it. The extra goes into organization of people and profit.

This statement and your original statement, "the basic equation of working is that a worker's time is more valuable than their salary (else the company would have no profit)" are gross simplifications that don't begin to scratch the complexity of any real world company. If you truly think that all workers work for less than what they're worth, then why, like you say, doesn't everyone quit and work for themselves? I'm guessing you're confused about what "worth" means in economic terms. You're probably overlooking how companies bring people together that have complementing but exclusive skill sets to create something that is more valuable as a whole.



You'd have to assume that all needs are being perfectly met in the world to say that someone is currently doing all needed work.
I had to assume a lot of things, because you threw out a mind boggling claim with zero evidence to support it. What is the current global workforce number? How many of those are in "real value producing companies" and how many are not? Where are these real value jobs located? How would the transition from greedy company to real value company be handled? Are there corresponding jobs at current promotional level, or do people have to start at the bottom.

I realize I'm being overly specific, but your claim is so sweeping in it's scope that it's impossible to address in any meaningful way. I might as well say, "there are jobs on the moon for every currently employed person in the world".



People are inefficient and the world is inefficient. We have systems like capitalism because it makes "everybody do what you want" didn't result in an efficient system either. The current system is still inefficient. That's why there are jobs out there that would generate happiness and value and money that no one is doing.

I can agree with you here. Sure there is inefficiency, but to somehow then make the leap to "everyone currently employed could find a job in a real value company" is...incredibly optimistic at best.

Edit:

Not every company decides to float on the market, so you are really only examining a segment of companies in existence. Also, annual dividends that are good for short term investors are not always what the long term investors want. Also some investors want the business to achieve goals that are different from just share price or annual dividend.

Your premise essentially presumes a binary that doesn't exist.
I was going to get here sooner or later. :p I couldn't agree more.

Mike deVoid
November 12 2012, 08:50:29 PM
Not every company decides to float on the market, so you are really only examining a segment of companies in existence. Also, annual dividends that are good for short term investors are not always what the long term investors want. Also some investors want the business to achieve goals that are different from just share price or annual dividend.

Your premise essentially presumes a binary that doesn't exist.

Synapse
November 13 2012, 09:28:09 AM
Write that post again without all the ad hominem's, or you aren't worth debating with.
It's fine. I'll try anyway.

I appreciate your patience. I should have kept the avatar comment out and I'm well aware mine has a similar effect.

Hast and Sofia, if you want to point out particular ad-hominems I'd like to resolve them but beyond perhaps the avatar comment and a nasty tone I took I'm not seeing particular attacks on nicho himself. I'm not seeing them so I'd appreciate your help.

Edit: re-reading my post for the third time maybe people felt this was an attack on Nicho specifically "no amount of money is going to buy you good ideas worth living for or someone who genuinely cares about you." It was meant to be a generalized you meaning myself, or him, or any given person, to illustrate that I think such things are not purchasable. I have no idea if this is what ruffled feathers but I guess on skimming the post and not knowing me people might think I'd make an insult like that ( I wouldnt. )



Not every company decides to float on the market, so you are really only examining a segment of companies in existence. Also, annual dividends that are good for short term investors are not always what the long term investors want. Also some investors want the business to achieve goals that are different from just share price or annual dividend.

Your premise essentially presumes a binary that doesn't exist.
Mike, my premise begins with publicly traded companies but isn't limited to them. Whether publicly traded or not people will point out that the purpose of a company should be "to make money" which both kind of investors, long or short, will likely agree on. I'm not even convinced it's limited to companies. I've met my fair share of people who were completely sure that being rich was their end-state for life beyond which they needed no further ambitions.

..and my premise is not (it bears repeating) about demonizing profit motive. It does a lot of good in the world. What I am trying to state is that there are needs that cannot be met by money alone and that our system does comparatively little to incentivize the meeting of those needs the way it does incentivize filling material needs, when I believe it could be doing both.


Well the problem here is that "happiness" is a completely abstract term. My "happiness" is likely different than your "happiness", just like my taste in women is likely different than yours. To make a blanket statement saying that money can't buy happiness is flawed logic. Details below:
Yes "happiness" is an overstretched and difficult word to use. In fact I'm stuck specifically stretching it way further here. Would you like to suggest a different one? I considered utility but I don't have the philosophy background to know all the implications and the common meaning actually obscures what I'm trying to say. We do the best with the words we have.

I can be more specific though. I'm using happiness to stand for things like having dream to strive to complete, a creative outlet we find fulfilling, or friends and the time spent with them. I'm also talking about group happinesses, for which peace is a good example. Although your happiness may be different than mine I do believe the majority of people want these things. I'd be very skeptical if you said you didn't want friends. I'd be even more skeptical if you said friends were not generally wanted by most people. Money might help you make aquaintances but it will not make you friends at the end of the day. In some cases people are too busy making money to the point that they ignore the things I listed and are surprised to find they are unhappy as a result.

I think we could get more out of our corporations if our individual and corporate life incentivized the meeting of non-material needs as much as we use it to meet material needs. Some companies are explicit today that they feel they are making people happier and better off with what they do, but I don't think we should assume that just because something makes money that it's making the world better or its people happier.



It's very simple to say happiness is above needs when we belong to a culture in which our needs are met. If we take away our ability to eat, or get medical care, or heat our houses when its cold, I imagine our (in this case your) definition of happy would be altered radically. We have the luxury of searching for more profound happiness because money makes it possible. We're not spending our days worrying about where to hunt or how we'll get enough wood to last the winter. That in itself makes me happy.

Yes it's very simple and yes it makes me happy too. That doesn't make the things beyond basic needs valueless or contribute to an argument that we should not seek them, though.

I'm out of time to debate further today. I still believe that your time is worth more to the company employing you than you are paid. I'm well aware that a lot of that value comes from working together and isn't part of each individual, but as part of that group, your time is worth more than what you were paid. I don't think that point materially affects my argument so I'm going to drop it and we can discuss more interesting parts of the debate instead.

Zeekar
November 13 2012, 09:51:34 AM
Remember though that money is not interchangeable with happiness, knowledge or growth, it's only a tool which might get you those things if well spent.
Here's the flaw in your reasoning, imo. The whole, "money doesn't buy happiness" argument is nice in Disney films and social justice classes, but it's not true. Money does buy happiness. Labeling it as a tool doesn't deflect from the truth. Sure, we can get into a discussion about behavioral psychology and why people want what they want in our society, etc, etc, but we're going to end up at the point where we accept that today's global society is a materialistic one. Forget happiness, you can barely survive in this world without money.



I haven't read this thread but just want to comment on this.

Money actually really doesn't buy happiness. And I'm not talking from any romantic disney perspective either. Research shows that as soon as you hit the spot of comfortable living ( so the stress of having to constantly worry if you will have the money to cover next months bills and what will you eat,... ) making more money will not make you feel all that better about your life.

Lallante
November 13 2012, 05:41:31 PM
It seems to me, that not everyone is aware that making money is not by itself a valuable or laudable exercise. Steve Jobs and at least someone from the HBR agrees with me:
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/10/steve_jobs_and_the_purpose_of.html

However, in case you don't already agree, I'll argue it:

I'll put out a hypothesis for you: What people and organizations should do is add real value to yourself and society by creating happiness, knowledge and growth in people and society at large.
Is that in dispute? I don't think it should be. Remember though that money is not interchangeable with happiness, knowledge or growth, it's only a tool which might get you those things if well spent.

Making money and adding value to your life and society are not always the same thing. Being rich is not valuable in and of itself. Therefore the only reason capitalism doesn't fold in on itself and fail miserably is that making money is usually aligned with the former, otherwise everyone would rapidly agree that money had no alignment or value towards things they really wanted in life.

This comes up often in the discussion of what a "for profit" company should do, and here is where people might think I go off the rails a little bit.

Consider two corporations, one (company A) which thinks it's doing the world a great service and one (company B) that really doesn't care as an organization except to make money.
Company A knows it is having a positive impact on the world and in addition it's feeding and housing its employees. Further, its employees might potentiallly go out and spend their salaries making even more value in the world. Great success.

Company B is only feeding and housing its employees while spending huge amounts of their time generating no real value. It's left to those employees to go and spend their own incomes separately to make positive impacts in the world, but since the basic equation of working is that a worker's time is more valuable than their salary (else the company would have no profit) the net potential of this company is ALWAYS less than the first.

I'll put down here a second crucial hypothesis: There are enough real value generating projects in the world to employ everybody currently employed.

Given that I believe in both hypotheses being true, I must conclude then: A "for profit" company that doesn't honestly think it's adding knowledge or happiness to the world is literally wasting the resources it has when they could be spent in another company that actually generates value for the world. We'd be better off as a society if that company closed and its employees went off to work for (or found) another company that generates real value.

Theres so many flaws in this I dont know where to begin.

The most gaping one is you are assuming Company A and Company B will be equally successful. In reality, Company A will (in most cases, economic theory dictates) be outcompeted by Company B and eventually become insolvant or be the victim of a takeover. In any event, Company B is likely to end up employing a lot more employees, and you haven't added in the fact that Company B shareholders may spend their dividends on good causes AND those dividends are taxed (in proper countries).

But the success difference is the key one that undermines your argument.

In any case, the directors of a company in most jurisdictions have a legal duty to maximise value (note: not dividends) for their shareholders. There is still room to argue that socially good behaviour could lead to economically beneficical results in the long term (reputational dividend, premium brand value, etc) but your argument fails on its own merits.

Lallante
November 13 2012, 05:44:26 PM
Remember though that money is not interchangeable with happiness, knowledge or growth, it's only a tool which might get you those things if well spent.
Here's the flaw in your reasoning, imo. The whole, "money doesn't buy happiness" argument is nice in Disney films and social justice classes, but it's not true. Money does buy happiness. Labeling it as a tool doesn't deflect from the truth. Sure, we can get into a discussion about behavioral psychology and why people want what they want in our society, etc, etc, but we're going to end up at the point where we accept that today's global society is a materialistic one. Forget happiness, you can barely survive in this world without money.



I haven't read this thread but just want to comment on this.

Money actually really doesn't buy happiness. And I'm not talking from any romantic disney perspective either. Research shows that as soon as you hit the spot of comfortable living ( so the stress of having to constantly worry if you will have the money to cover next months bills and what will you eat,... ) making more money will not make you feel all that better about your life.

Link to research backing up this point. My understanding is its bollocks and there is a direct correlation between income/hour and happiness for people who work the same number of hours.

Inb4 you link to a study that doesn't control for number of hours worked.

Smegs
November 13 2012, 06:48:23 PM
Adding monetary value to investors does appear to be the secondary goal of all floated companies (initially anyway) as far as i am aware. Keeping the company alive is primary btw (even to the extent of fucking over said investors for the short term). Keeping it in significant profit (closely linked with investor hand outs) to grow is possibly third. Helping the social masses .... le fuck? I don't think this even enters the minds of the board at any point, ever.

Money = happiness ...... maybe. Beyond a certain point though its just a dick swinging contest between the greedy fucktards at the top of the heap. Although I agree with Nicho when 'happiness' is used as a value its difficult to quantify, but having enough money to live comfortably (by which i mean afford enough food, heating etc) would indeed contribute heavily to happiness.

Also as an aside. If a person is focussed on making money, for no end product apart from making more money to the exclusion of all else, would they be a fairly sad individual (not the same as a lonely or stupid individual. Money begets money ... and hangers on, and gold-diggers, and scheisters, and people who consider money is a good replacement for a good attitude, etc) or an enlightened successful individual?

Zeekar
November 13 2012, 07:47:33 PM
Remember though that money is not interchangeable with happiness, knowledge or growth, it's only a tool which might get you those things if well spent.
Here's the flaw in your reasoning, imo. The whole, "money doesn't buy happiness" argument is nice in Disney films and social justice classes, but it's not true. Money does buy happiness. Labeling it as a tool doesn't deflect from the truth. Sure, we can get into a discussion about behavioral psychology and why people want what they want in our society, etc, etc, but we're going to end up at the point where we accept that today's global society is a materialistic one. Forget happiness, you can barely survive in this world without money.



I haven't read this thread but just want to comment on this.

Money actually really doesn't buy happiness. And I'm not talking from any romantic disney perspective either. Research shows that as soon as you hit the spot of comfortable living ( so the stress of having to constantly worry if you will have the money to cover next months bills and what will you eat,... ) making more money will not make you feel all that better about your life.

Link to research backing up this point. My understanding is its bollocks and there is a direct correlation between income/hour and happiness for people who work the same number of hours.

Inb4 you link to a study that doesn't control for number of hours worked.

Link to yours. Inb4 your doesn't even exist.

(if i find it ill link it)


#EDIT: It might be this one but honest to god i dont remember, it has been a while since I read this stuff:

http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S15/15/09S18/index.xml?section=topstories
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2019628,00.html

Lallante
November 14 2012, 03:28:16 PM
Remember though that money is not interchangeable with happiness, knowledge or growth, it's only a tool which might get you those things if well spent.
Here's the flaw in your reasoning, imo. The whole, "money doesn't buy happiness" argument is nice in Disney films and social justice classes, but it's not true. Money does buy happiness. Labeling it as a tool doesn't deflect from the truth. Sure, we can get into a discussion about behavioral psychology and why people want what they want in our society, etc, etc, but we're going to end up at the point where we accept that today's global society is a materialistic one. Forget happiness, you can barely survive in this world without money.



I haven't read this thread but just want to comment on this.

Money actually really doesn't buy happiness. And I'm not talking from any romantic disney perspective either. Research shows that as soon as you hit the spot of comfortable living ( so the stress of having to constantly worry if you will have the money to cover next months bills and what will you eat,... ) making more money will not make you feel all that better about your life.

Link to research backing up this point. My understanding is its bollocks and there is a direct correlation between income/hour and happiness for people who work the same number of hours.

Inb4 you link to a study that doesn't control for number of hours worked.

Link to yours. Inb4 your doesn't even exist.

(if i find it ill link it)


#EDIT: It might be this one but honest to god i dont remember, it has been a while since I read this stuff:

http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S15/15/09S18/index.xml?section=topstories
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2019628,00.html

Key quote from the second article that is the clear flaw in the arguement made in the first article:


Before employers rush to hold — or raise — everyone's salary to $75,000, the study points out that there are actually two types of happiness. There's your changeable, day-to-day mood: whether you're stressed or blue or feeling emotionally sound. Then there's the deeper satisfaction you feel about the way your life is going — the kind of thing Tony Robbins tries to teach you. While having an income above the magic $75,000 cutoff doesn't seem to have an impact on the former (emotional well-being), it definitely improves people's Robbins-like life satisfaction. In other words, the more people make above $75,000, the more they feel their life is working out on the whole. But it doesn't make them any more jovial in the mornings.



The point is if you just test happiness by asking people "how happy have you been recently", or some more specific varient, they will just compare their recent happiness with their long term happiness. someone who has lived a life of bliss will report they have been "less happy" when their bliss is slightly lower than normal. Someone living in abject misery will report that they have been "more happy" when the previous day they didn't go hungry. This doesnt mean they are actually more happy than the blissed out person, just that their baseline for such statements is much lower.

Synapse
November 14 2012, 05:41:52 PM
http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S15/15/09S18/index.xml?section=topstories
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2019628,00.html

Key quote from the second article that is the clear flaw in the arguement made in the first article:


Before employers rush to hold — or raise — everyone's salary to $75,000, the study points out that there are actually two types of happiness. There's your changeable, day-to-day mood: whether you're stressed or blue or feeling emotionally sound. Then there's the deeper satisfaction you feel about the way your life is going — the kind of thing Tony Robbins tries to teach you. While having an income above the magic $75,000 cutoff doesn't seem to have an impact on the former (emotional well-being), it definitely improves people's Robbins-like life satisfaction. In other words, the more people make above $75,000, the more they feel their life is working out on the whole. But it doesn't make them any more jovial in the mornings.



The point is if you just test happiness by asking people "how happy have you been recently", or some more specific varient, they will just compare their recent happiness with their long term happiness. someone who has lived a life of bliss will report they have been "less happy" when their bliss is slightly lower than normal. Someone living in abject misery will report that they have been "more happy" when the previous day they didn't go hungry. This doesnt mean they are actually more happy than the blissed out person, just that their baseline for such statements is much lower.

Is anyone surprised that reported happiness is relative? I'm not sure how that sits as a flaw in any of the studies. I'm not convinced I see a link between the princeton study and this so called "clear flaw" in it. What I'm reading there is that if we ask someone how much time they should spend in moment-to-moment happiness as their income rises, they would say they expect both daily and longterm happiness to be closely tied to income, but surveying people who actually have that income it isn't borne out. People's expectations for the impact of a higher income don't actually come true for those with a higher income.

Maybe you're saying that people with higher incomes are coming from more privileged lives on average and that therefore they aren't going to report their daily happiness going up, because they've always lived life in that income bracket? I'm not convinced that people report their day to day happiness with the rest of their past happiness taken into account. Why wouldnt it instead be based on a comparison to last year or even last week? As the listed studies showed, reporting your daily happiness was influenced pretty strongly by whatever you thought about most recently. Forget the rest of their past life...respondents seem hugely impacted by the last 30 seconds. If that's the case then it doesn't matter your background, the longer you spend at a high income the less its effect will be, meaning it's not actually the income making you happy.

We could do such a study with people who came from poor families or backgrounds and then got to be rich but I expect the results would still show the daily happiness of the richer folks wasn't impacted.

Futhermore both studies show that above some point in the $75k-100k range there really is no further impact on either kind of happiness, which is really exactly the point. There are big components to both which are not influenced by money which will be ignored or downplayed by a society fixated on income as a reading of either longterm or shortterm happiness. People expect them to be tied when (at least beyond a certain point) they aren't.

To tie this back to my original post, a company that returns higher dividends to its investors may have almost no impact on their happiness (considering investors are likely over the 75k mark already). If that company's output isn't raising the general welfare much either, then you're left with only employee raises as it's best impact on net happiness. Considering that happiness (and the subset of happiness that comes from income) is only a part of raising the standard of life (which includes things like education, leisure time, creative output, and relationships[only one of these 4 is positively correlated with income]) it seems to me we could get a bigger bang out of improved incentives.

CastleBravo
November 14 2012, 06:45:07 PM
Money doesn't buy happiness and not just in the way that hammers and wood don't build houses. At least you can build a house with hammers and wood if you use it right, but even used ideally, no amount of money is going to buy you good ideas worth living for or someone who genuinely cares about you. Those are just two essential components of happiness that money doesn't even give you more options for. You can buy people to pretend your ideas are good and that they really like you but you'll always know really why they are there.

Money can't buy happiness, but it does enable you to pursue it.

Synapse
November 14 2012, 11:20:05 PM
Money doesn't buy happiness and not just in the way that hammers and wood don't build houses. At least you can build a house with hammers and wood if you use it right, but even used ideally, no amount of money is going to buy you good ideas worth living for or someone who genuinely cares about you. Those are just two essential components of happiness that money doesn't even give you more options for. You can buy people to pretend your ideas are good and that they really like you but you'll always know really why they are there.

Money can't buy happiness, but it does enable you to pursue it.

Absolutely true. I'm not advocating we abandon it. It's been a great success.

Lallante
November 15 2012, 09:26:57 AM
I want to see a study that follows individuals at different points in their life and sees how their individual happiness changes as their income changes.

I'm pretty confident it will show it increases as their income does.

I certainly know that everyone I've ever discussed this with is happier than they were with a lower income.

Navigator Six
November 15 2012, 12:30:02 PM
The problem with "shareholder value" today is that many people equate it with "short-term shareholder value". There's no reason that has to be the case. The longer-term you think, the more intangibles such as employee satisfaction, perception of your business (via, say, trying to materially impact the world in a positive way), and other things like that matter. It's much harder to measure value at those distances though, and there's a lot more debate about whether or not you're doing something useful, thus there's less discussion of them.

Lallante
November 15 2012, 12:54:14 PM
I think quite a lot of companies look 5+ years forward. The problem is externalities (or lack of pricing them in) really. Whats the point of keeping your employees happy if its cheaper and more effective to work them to the bone then replace them when they quit?

Zeekar
November 15 2012, 01:01:00 PM
I think quite a lot of companies look 5+ years forward. The problem is externalities (or lack of pricing them in) really. Whats the point of keeping your employees happy if its cheaper and more effective to work them to the bone then replace them when they quit?

Because it is not. Unless you are working in a field where you need high amount of unskilled workforce. Construction for example. In for example IT ( higher end part at least ) you wont make it with that kind of attitude.

Lallante
November 15 2012, 05:31:49 PM
I think quite a lot of companies look 5+ years forward. The problem is externalities (or lack of pricing them in) really. Whats the point of keeping your employees happy if its cheaper and more effective to work them to the bone then replace them when they quit?

Because it is not. Unless you are working in a field where you need high amount of unskilled workforce. Construction for example. In for example IT ( higher end part at least ) you wont make it with that kind of attitude.

Except it often is, in any profession where work is commoditised or split into discrete transactions and therefore requires little/no continuity. This includes very high skilled workers like bankers - most investment banks have a 30%+ fee-earning staff turnover rate a year!

Hast
November 15 2012, 08:31:43 PM
I'm just glad I work in a company that is

1. 100% employee owned
2. Everyone has an equal share (and get an equal share of the profit)
3. a turnover of less than 2%
4. a goal of having the best place to work, not to make the most money. (Although making money is a big part of making it the best place to work)

sometimes it feels like socialist utopia.

Zeekar
November 15 2012, 09:02:22 PM
I think quite a lot of companies look 5+ years forward. The problem is externalities (or lack of pricing them in) really. Whats the point of keeping your employees happy if its cheaper and more effective to work them to the bone then replace them when they quit?

Because it is not. Unless you are working in a field where you need high amount of unskilled workforce. Construction for example. In for example IT ( higher end part at least ) you wont make it with that kind of attitude.

Except it often is, in any profession where work is commoditised or split into discrete transactions and therefore requires little/no continuity. This includes very high skilled workers like bankers - most investment banks have a 30%+ fee-earning staff turnover rate a year!

As currently seen banking is really a bunch of idiots waiting for government bailouts.

Evelgrivion
November 15 2012, 09:05:59 PM
The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

Lallante
November 15 2012, 09:11:49 PM
I'm just glad I work in a company that is

1. 100% employee owned
2. Everyone has an equal share (and get an equal share of the profit)
3. a turnover of less than 2%
4. a goal of having the best place to work, not to make the most money. (Although making money is a big part of making it the best place to work)

sometimes it feels like socialist utopia.

Where is this? That sounds like paradise

Lallante
November 15 2012, 09:12:35 PM
The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

“That's libertarians for you — anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.”
― Kim Stanley Robinson,

“I have always found it quaint and rather touching that there is a movement [Libertarians] in the US that thinks Americans are not yet selfish enough.”
― Christopher Hitchens

Oh, for an honest Libertarian who would say "Yes, in Libertopia we'd have rampant quackery, organ-seizure, baby-selling, slavery in all but name - BUT THAT'S FREEDOM!"
-- Seth Finkelstein

Ort Lofthus
November 15 2012, 11:32:40 PM
I think quite a lot of companies look 5+ years forward. The problem is externalities (or lack of pricing them in) really. Whats the point of keeping your employees happy if its cheaper and more effective to work them to the bone then replace them when they quit?

Because it is not. Unless you are working in a field where you need high amount of unskilled workforce. Construction for example. In for example IT ( higher end part at least ) you wont make it with that kind of attitude.

Just want to clarify the point, if you have a high turnover in construction, you are doing it VERY wrong. Unless you like claims and overruns. A better example of cheap, disposable labor is the fast food industry.

ccpl_fisher
November 16 2012, 02:27:50 AM
I think quite a lot of companies look 5+ years forward. The problem is externalities (or lack of pricing them in) really. Whats the point of keeping your employees happy if its cheaper and more effective to work them to the bone then replace them when they quit?

Because it is not. Unless you are working in a field where you need high amount of unskilled workforce. Construction for example. In for example IT ( higher end part at least ) you wont make it with that kind of attitude.

Just want to clarify the point, if you have a high turnover in construction, you are doing it VERY wrong. Unless you like claims and overruns. A better example of cheap, disposable labor is the fast food industry.
Much better example. This is also why you can't get wtf you want from a fast food restaurant half the time. When I look at a stock, I look not at share values increasing, but in dividends. Share price is fickle, and is way to dependent on external factors. A company can report a revenue increase of 5% and a profit increase of 6%, and have its share prices fall because the masses expected better numbers. A company can control its own profits much better and pay it out as dividends.
I know this is a simplistic and rather naive view, but when I buy stock of a company, I feel I am buying a piece of the company, and I own a small sliver of its physical assets and intellectual property.

Hel OWeen
November 16 2012, 09:22:01 AM
When I look at a stock, I look not at share values increasing, but in dividends. Share price is fickle, and is way to dependent on external factors. A company can report a revenue increase of 5% and a profit increase of 6%, and have its share prices fall because the masses expected better numbers. A company can control its own profits much better and pay it out as dividends.
I know this is a simplistic and rather naive view, but when I buy stock of a company, I feel I am buying a piece of the company, and I own a small sliver of its physical assets and intellectual property.

It don't consider this to be a naive view. To few people seem to do their math right. Especially in time like these, with low-to-almost-zero interest rates on saving accounts and the like, looking into stocks with reliable dividend payments is viable alternative. If you do the math, interest gained via dividends often outperform typical saving accounts.



A company can report a revenue increase of 5% and a profit increase of 6%, and have its share prices fall because the masses expected better numbers.


There has been a prominent example in Germany, where a company's CEO didn't want to play that game anymore: Porsche. Porsche voluntarily left the stock index MDAX (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MDAX), because the rules required analyst meetings (and reports and outlooks) every three month. Porsche's CEO at that time, Wiedeking, justified this decision by arguing (paraphrased) "How can a company develop and implement long-term plans & strategies, that might lead to short-term losses due to necessary investments, when analysts demand raising profits every three month and set the stock to "sell" if not pleased to their liking?". Keep in mind that leaving a stock index has consequences, because of all those funds and bonds mimicking those indices and are therefore required to hold company shares. Leaving such an index means that those shares will be sold, resulting in an almost automatic decline in share value.

Also, the German constitution has a prominent paragraph about property and how it should be used. That's Article 14, para. 2, which reads "Eigentum verpflichtet. Sein Gebrauch soll zugleich dem Wohle der Allgemeinheit dienen.". That translates to "Property entails obligations. Its use shall also serve the public good."

Keorythe
November 17 2012, 02:05:55 AM
I think quite a lot of companies look 5+ years forward. The problem is externalities (or lack of pricing them in) really. Whats the point of keeping your employees happy if its cheaper and more effective to work them to the bone then replace them when they quit?

Because it is not. Unless you are working in a field where you need high amount of unskilled workforce. Construction for example. In for example IT ( higher end part at least ) you wont make it with that kind of attitude.

IT is actually a prime example of a saturated job market where replacements are easy to come by. Even high end is no longer safe from that. Job hopping has become too commonplace. The quote below stands pretty true. Two years at a company is a big thing now.

“It used to be that people would stay at a company for life, but nowadays, if you’ve been in a company two years, you’re the seasoned professional,” he says. “Some even think if you’ve been at a company for five years, you should move on. That it’s too long.”
http://excelle.monster.com/benefits/articles/3643-job-hopping-career-killer-or-savior

Sacul
November 18 2012, 01:03:14 AM
I think quite a lot of companies look 5+ years forward. The problem is externalities (or lack of pricing them in) really. Whats the point of keeping your employees happy if its cheaper and more effective to work them to the bone then replace them when they quit?

Because it is not. Unless you are working in a field where you need high amount of unskilled workforce. Construction for example. In for example IT ( higher end part at least ) you wont make it with that kind of attitude.

IT is actually a prime example of a saturated job market where replacements are easy to come by. Even high end is no longer safe from that. Job hopping has become too commonplace. The quote below stands pretty true. Two years at a company is a big thing now.

“It used to be that people would stay at a company for life, but nowadays, if you’ve been in a company two years, you’re the seasoned professional,” he says. “Some even think if you’ve been at a company for five years, you should move on. That it’s too long.”
http://excelle.monster.com/benefits/articles/3643-job-hopping-career-killer-or-savior

Richard Sennet: The corrosion of character
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Sennett

Aea
November 18 2012, 04:56:00 AM
I think quite a lot of companies look 5+ years forward. The problem is externalities (or lack of pricing them in) really. Whats the point of keeping your employees happy if its cheaper and more effective to work them to the bone then replace them when they quit?

Because it is not. Unless you are working in a field where you need high amount of unskilled workforce. Construction for example. In for example IT ( higher end part at least ) you wont make it with that kind of attitude.

IT is actually a prime example of a saturated job market where replacements are easy to come by. Even high end is no longer safe from that. Job hopping has become too commonplace. The quote below stands pretty true. Two years at a company is a big thing now.

“It used to be that people would stay at a company for life, but nowadays, if you’ve been in a company two years, you’re the seasoned professional,” he says. “Some even think if you’ve been at a company for five years, you should move on. That it’s too long.”
http://excelle.monster.com/benefits/articles/3643-job-hopping-career-killer-or-savior

I don't understand this logic. If the IT industry had a highly saturated job market and replacements are easy to come by then that means that demand far out-strips supply. This is motivation for individuals to not switch jobs constantly as the chance to find a better one is slim. I don't know what you classify as IT, there's traditional IT and then there's Engineering / Architecture / Product Development and they're fairly distinct in terms of career and job-market outlook. The demand for skilled Software Engineers at this moment far outstrips supply, which is why poaching is so common place and switching jobs happens often. In this particular (and very very small) segment I find that most people don't switch jobs solely for higher earning potential. This is probably one of the few industries where personal happiness takes a front seat once you have engineers realize their important and value. I've know many many more people who switched because of environment and working on more interesting / difficult problems then money.

Mike deVoid
November 18 2012, 10:14:34 AM
Re: happiness. You should google the Harvard Study of Adult Development. Here's just one link I found: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/02/decoding-keys-to-a-healthy-life/

Tiny
November 18 2012, 12:30:13 PM
The whole Money buying happiness thing is really beside the point when it comes to how the directors of a company should direct that company to behave. The job of a board of directors is to do whatever the hell the majority of the shareholders want, making money is generaly what they want.

Changing the minds of the shareholders, given that most of them are fund (pension, hedge and whatnot), seems like it won't work and overthorwing the whole cpaitalist system with blood and fire generaly leads to an even worse situation.

If you don't like what big compaines do, stop buying their stuff. Grow your own food, stop driving a car and etc, :effort: or stfu.

Synapse
November 19 2012, 10:05:40 PM
The whole Money buying happiness thing is really beside the point when it comes to how the directors of a company should direct that company to behave. The job of a board of directors is to do whatever the hell the majority of the shareholders want, making money is generaly what they want.

Changing the minds of the shareholders, given that most of them are fund (pension, hedge and whatnot), seems like it won't work and overthorwing the whole cpaitalist system with blood and fire generaly leads to an even worse situation.

If you don't like what big compaines do, stop buying their stuff. Grow your own food, stop driving a car and etc, :effort: or stfu.

Broaden your thinking a bit. Maybe thats what shareholders want a company to do, but above both them and the company.... is it what society wants them both to do? Our current chosen system says yes that's what they should both be doing.

Company and shareholder behaviors aren't driven by natural laws of monetary physics or raw human nature. There's a human designed system making all this happen, and we often forget that people just like us made that system. It shouldnt be above our purview to consider improvements to it.

Tiny
November 21 2012, 01:01:48 AM
The whole Money buying happiness thing is really beside the point when it comes to how the directors of a company should direct that company to behave. The job of a board of directors is to do whatever the hell the majority of the shareholders want, making money is generaly what they want.

Changing the minds of the shareholders, given that most of them are fund (pension, hedge and whatnot), seems like it won't work and overthorwing the whole cpaitalist system with blood and fire generaly leads to an even worse situation.

If you don't like what big compaines do, stop buying their stuff. Grow your own food, stop driving a car and etc, :effort: or stfu.

Broaden your thinking a bit. Maybe thats what shareholders want a company to do, but above both them and the company.... is it what society wants them both to do? Our current chosen system says yes that's what they should both be doing.

Company and shareholder behaviors aren't driven by natural laws of monetary physics or raw human nature. There's a human designed system making all this happen, and we often forget that people just like us made that system. It shouldnt be above our purview to consider improvements to it.

I don't think I need to broaden my thinking here.
I was pointing out that the problem is so deeply entreched in our 'system of the world' to do much on a macro scale, reduce your contribution to the system and go from there, that's what I've been doing.

Aea
November 21 2012, 05:28:10 AM
The whole Money buying happiness thing is really beside the point when it comes to how the directors of a company should direct that company to behave. The job of a board of directors is to do whatever the hell the majority of the shareholders want, making money is generaly what they want.

Changing the minds of the shareholders, given that most of them are fund (pension, hedge and whatnot), seems like it won't work and overthorwing the whole cpaitalist system with blood and fire generaly leads to an even worse situation.

If you don't like what big compaines do, stop buying their stuff. Grow your own food, stop driving a car and etc, :effort: or stfu.

Broaden your thinking a bit. Maybe thats what shareholders want a company to do, but above both them and the company.... is it what society wants them both to do? Our current chosen system says yes that's what they should both be doing.

Company and shareholder behaviors aren't driven by natural laws of monetary physics or raw human nature. There's a human designed system making all this happen, and we often forget that people just like us made that system. It shouldnt be above our purview to consider improvements to it.

I don't think I need to broaden my thinking here.
I was pointing out that the problem is so deeply entreched in our 'system of the world' to do much on a macro scale, reduce your contribution to the system and go from there, that's what I've been doing.

To be quite honest, this sounds like a polished version of the off-the-grid Philosophy, which usually has quite a bit of tin-foil involved. I'm not sure how this can be justified, there is great value to civilization, far more then one could have segregating yourself from it. Also the corporate capitalism system that we know now isn't that entrenched, fifty years ago it was radically different, and one hundred years ago it was barely recognizable. The system has been involved in some horrible things and always tries to push the boundaries of acceptance, but I think you'll find that it has been wrangled and formed into something tolerable in the name of workers right, etc.

Tiny
November 24 2012, 04:43:20 PM
The whole Money buying happiness thing is really beside the point when it comes to how the directors of a company should direct that company to behave. The job of a board of directors is to do whatever the hell the majority of the shareholders want, making money is generaly what they want.

Changing the minds of the shareholders, given that most of them are fund (pension, hedge and whatnot), seems like it won't work and overthorwing the whole cpaitalist system with blood and fire generaly leads to an even worse situation.

If you don't like what big compaines do, stop buying their stuff. Grow your own food, stop driving a car and etc, :effort: or stfu.

Broaden your thinking a bit. Maybe thats what shareholders want a company to do, but above both them and the company.... is it what society wants them both to do? Our current chosen system says yes that's what they should both be doing.

Company and shareholder behaviors aren't driven by natural laws of monetary physics or raw human nature. There's a human designed system making all this happen, and we often forget that people just like us made that system. It shouldnt be above our purview to consider improvements to it.

I don't think I need to broaden my thinking here.
I was pointing out that the problem is so deeply entreched in our 'system of the world' to do much on a macro scale, reduce your contribution to the system and go from there, that's what I've been doing.

To be quite honest, this sounds like a polished version of the off-the-grid Philosophy, which usually has quite a bit of tin-foil involved. I'm not sure how this can be justified, there is great value to civilization, far more then one could have segregating yourself from it. Also the corporate capitalism system that we know now isn't that entrenched, fifty years ago it was radically different, and one hundred years ago it was barely recognizable. The system has been involved in some horrible things and always tries to push the boundaries of acceptance, but I think you'll find that it has been wrangled and formed into something tolerable in the name of workers right, etc.

Got a plan then?, which political party will sort us out? Who will sort this mess out?
If you have a way please share is not I'll stick to trying to minimise the damege I'm involved in.

Aea
November 24 2012, 09:22:07 PM
The whole Money buying happiness thing is really beside the point when it comes to how the directors of a company should direct that company to behave. The job of a board of directors is to do whatever the hell the majority of the shareholders want, making money is generaly what they want.

Changing the minds of the shareholders, given that most of them are fund (pension, hedge and whatnot), seems like it won't work and overthorwing the whole cpaitalist system with blood and fire generaly leads to an even worse situation.

If you don't like what big compaines do, stop buying their stuff. Grow your own food, stop driving a car and etc, :effort: or stfu.

Broaden your thinking a bit. Maybe thats what shareholders want a company to do, but above both them and the company.... is it what society wants them both to do? Our current chosen system says yes that's what they should both be doing.

Company and shareholder behaviors aren't driven by natural laws of monetary physics or raw human nature. There's a human designed system making all this happen, and we often forget that people just like us made that system. It shouldnt be above our purview to consider improvements to it.

I don't think I need to broaden my thinking here.
I was pointing out that the problem is so deeply entreched in our 'system of the world' to do much on a macro scale, reduce your contribution to the system and go from there, that's what I've been doing.

To be quite honest, this sounds like a polished version of the off-the-grid Philosophy, which usually has quite a bit of tin-foil involved. I'm not sure how this can be justified, there is great value to civilization, far more then one could have segregating yourself from it. Also the corporate capitalism system that we know now isn't that entrenched, fifty years ago it was radically different, and one hundred years ago it was barely recognizable. The system has been involved in some horrible things and always tries to push the boundaries of acceptance, but I think you'll find that it has been wrangled and formed into something tolerable in the name of workers right, etc.

Got a plan then?, which political party will sort us out? Who will sort this mess out?
If you have a way please share is not I'll stick to trying to minimise the damege I'm involved in.

What mess are you referring to? This latest "great recession" is nothing more another in a series of economic fluctuations that is somewhat regular? I don't see it ending the world personally.

Tiny
November 28 2012, 03:42:29 PM
-Pyramid removed here-

What mess are you referring to? This latest "great recession" is nothing more another in a series of economic fluctuations that is somewhat regular? I don't see it ending the world personally.

By mess I wasn't thinking 'end of the world as we know it' more the fixation on profit slowly fucking up so much.

There's lot's of people on this planet and most of them want more stuff, I can't see this ending well however we go but having a bunch of people legaly obliged to put short term profits ahead of anything certainly dosn't help. I wasn't trying to sell some off-grid life style, if I was doing it on my high power gaming PC over a paid for internet connection would be totaly taking the piss.

The OP was about stoping corporations from putting profit above all else, I was just trying to say 'that ain't gonna happen, deal with it' but the deal with it part was grow food and ride a bike.