Nerdfighters

This is one of those image versus reality questions.  It's not just about corporate branding.  It's more about the concept that organisations promote the ideal of how they want to be percieved but for whatever reason (let's discuss that too) they sometimes seem to do the opposite.

Like Apple's "Don't be evil" motto and yet whatever we might think of Mike Daisy's comments about Foxconn,  Apple products do have a history, like many mass manufactured goods, of being produced on the cheap by people who aren't being treated fairly.

And what about BP changing their logo to some environmental thing, after all that oil got spilled in the Gulf of Mexico?   Maybe they learned their lesson.  Or maybe it's just PR.

Then there's the issue of people who support what the cause actually represents, rather than what institutions built up around the cause actually do in practice.

For example, a religion.  I'm not trying to pick on just one religion here, but it's easier to work with ones we know more about.  Christianity is "Be nice like Jesus"  in it's image, and many Christians try to live that way.  Respect to those brothers, amirite?  But then there's the Pope and other religious leaders going around and telling people in AIDS ridden countries not to use condoms, and making a big deal over why gay's shouldn't get married.

Organisations not representing the actual cause....but people do

Maybe I've demonstrated my point....or maybe I'm missing some data. What do you think?

Tags: PR, awesome, causes, marketing, organisations, people., suck

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Basically... yea.

I was hoping for a bit more of a debate.  But okay, sure why not.

CD about the welfare system here. If you make below a certain amount of money per person you qualify for financial aid. Sometimes housing help and food help, and medical help. Right now (only because they finally changed the rules) you have to have a job and work a certain number of hours to receive it. Sounds great right? But itr holds you back. Obviously most people who receive help make minimum wage. Many will not work over 30 hours a week because that is all they need to receive help. Therefore they  won't get promoted because they won't work when needed. You have to realllly be sorry not to get promoted while working at KFC. There were people that worked for over a decade and not gotten a promotion because of that. If they didn't get someone else's money they would have worked. As it is they don't need to. I started off just explaining and ended up using my wife as an example. She was a manager for KFC and made OK money when I got sick. 

I question the logic of a welfare/social security system that only pays people who already have a job.  What about all the people who don't?

yup.

I don't remember all the specifics. There is also unemployment which is different and you can get welfare while recieving it. But after that runs out you have to get a job or be on social security. Social security is an insurance that is mandatory and run by the govt and is a ponzi scheme and doesn't pay much. You can recieve welfare while recieving social security.If you are recieving social security you are supposedly disabled or older than me and retired. It is often abused here.

That sounds confusing.  In AU we have a central body called Centrelink where you go whether or not you're disabled, retired or unemployed.  There are specific qualifications for either, it's means tested for one thing, age barriers are another, and with disability there's medical back-up.  Unemployment benefits continue for as long as you're not above the income threshold and follow the red tape, job search requirements and stuff like that.  So we get some people who are on "the dole" for life, but that's not always because they're bludgers.  The payments are so small you can really only afford to live in the countryside where there usually aren't jobs anyway.  Disability is difficult to get and may involve job searches as well but they're less likely to cancel your payments if you've missed an appointment. With that, I'm starting to wonder if the Disability Insurance Scheme they're talking about bringing in here is similar to what you're talking about?

Well here is definately different from there. Here social security is insurance. In fact the tax is called FICA. The FI part stands for federal insurance. Except for the disability part it is a scam. You are supposed to pay till retirement age then die. The retirement age is based on the life expectancy. It used to be 65 but noe is 70 something. They are raising the retirement age to match. You shouldn't be dependent on just social security. It just doesn't pay enough.

I'm confused.  Are you saying that disabled people pay the government insurance, in the hopes that they might get some of that money back as a sort of pension?  That sounds like an f-in stupid idea to me.  We pay taxes and that's where the dole money comes from.  People complain about it but the disabled people at least don't pay for their income with money they don't have.

Organisations not representing the actual cause....but people do

I think that's it, essentially. It's the difference between individual and collective action. Individually, none of us would go out and create a system in which, to use your Apple example, we exploit thousands of the world's poorest people in order to get our luxury items at fractionally cheaper prices. Collectively, however, we all contribute to and perpetuate such a system. Individual morality is one thing; collective moral responsibility, especially where money is involved, is a very different kettle of fish.

It never ceases to amaze me when some of these executives, usually on retirement but not always (thinking Bill Gates here) go to great lengths to do good in the world.  Like with Bill Gates, he and Melinda are doing some really cool stuff to combat malaria, like they'd both said "we've reached that point where we just can't justify spending money on things that aren't philanthropic".    I think there have been computers donated to poor people as well, and internet access.  Which is obviously, a fantastic resource to have access too + 1000 points.  And yet there were issues of attempts and monopoly, anti-trust and so forth with Microsoft, even when Bill was the boss.  So I can see what you mean.  Is Bill individually a "bad guy"?  Probably not, but, in the context of the group (Microsoft) some of the things were not so great.

Which goes back to the question - why?  Why does this happen?  Are we able to put on our moral blinkers when it's "someone else's problem"?  Is it the normal structure and operating principles of the corporation, i.e.  profit motive?  Is it something else?

I suspect it's related to the same sociopsychological impulses that cause the bystander effect - diffusion of responsibility, basically. In the same way that 38 people stood and watched Kitty Genovese be brutally murdered, and all assumed that someone else had already called the police, hundreds and thousands of shareholders and employees think that, 'yes, the system is flawed, but I didn't create it and it's not my personal responsibility to fix it.  And yes, maybe I feel a little bit guilty, but as one of X million I only carry X millionth of the blame, and I can live with that'.

To some extent I think it's also a collective action problem for the real decision makers, the executives and CEOs. If everyone acted together, each individual would benefit. If an individual acts alone, that individual will suffer a loss (their company's profits will probably fall, and they may lose their jobs without achieving any real change). In this situation there's also the issue of the different kinds of benefit and loss - the benefit of acting would be moral, for lack of a better word, while the loss would be financial. How highly do shareholders value morality? Not very, it seems.

Assuming that's true, the solution would be in somehow personalising and individualising moral responsibility, as well as pulling decision-makers out of the CAP trap. I'm not sure how you could realistically do that, though...

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