Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Where the brains are

Maybe somehow the fact that the Trump administration is backward-looking, braindead, simply stupid in a public policy sense is why big US corporations seem to be seeing wisdom in appearing smart.
  • Item: Amazon raises its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all its employees. Derek Thompson offers a range is explanations for Amazon's move. Maybe the company is responding to the pressure a full employment economy puts on companies to raise wages when workers might have a choice to go elsewhere. Maybe Amazon hopes that setting a higher industry standard will thin out its competitive environment by stressing weaker companies which can't afford to match its wage rate. Maybe it's all about selling Jeff Bezos as a good guy, one step ahead of anti-trust attacks. In any case, Amazon's move is strategic, evidently the product of long term calculations, neither merely unimaginative nor impulsive.
  • Item: Nike makes Colin Kaepernick the face of a major corporate branding campaign. The company has made a bet that an activist hero of the struggle for racial justice can be the future of sales of sports consumption apparel and shoes. It knows its market; it knows among whom growth is possible; it relishes the heat it takes from grumpy old white men who aren't part of its market. It's strategic and bold in a self-interested way.
Has all the smarts in this country moved into high tech retail? The present moment makes one wonder.

1 comment:

Rain Trueax said...

Corporations have to make money. They do what it takes. One thing about Amazon is they're not the only ones on upping wages. Apparently, our high unemployment rate is forcing businesses to pay more in competition to get the workers they need. One of the retailers hired early for Christmas workers to be sure they had them. I think Nike looked at who bought their products and used that as well as maybe a sense of what was right. Why not both-- but businesses don't operate as charities, and they can't force people to pay for their goods. It might not sound idyllic but it's the reality for business.

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