Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Corporations are inefficient too

Many so-called conservatives claim that governments are inefficient and corporations are efficient.  There is overwhelming evidence that both forms can be efficient and both forms can be inefficient.

As a prime example of how corporations can be life-threatening see “When You Dial 911 and Wall Street Answers”, New York Times, 2016-06-25, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/26/business/dealbook/when-you-dial-911-and-wall-street-answers.html.

Some corporations are run for the long term; some are run for the short term.  And both can make big mistakes.

Many of us love and rely on our Apple products.  But Apple can screw up big time and take a long time to correct the problem.  My wife’s iPhone 5C stopped charging and we still have six payments left.  When I checked Apple Support for “iPhone not charging", there were 28,136 results!

Two solutions were offered.  One was to hold the home button and the sleep button at the same time.  This did not work for any of the posters.  The other was to take the phone to an Apple Store.  For us, that is a two-and-a-half hour drive away.

We could mail it back to Consumer Cellular.  We do have AppleCare+ on the phone, but I don’t know how long that is good for.  We don’t know if we will have a new phone in a couple of days or a couple of weeks.

Considering how much smart phones become of people’s live, it is not very efficient or customer-friendly that Apple has not found a permanent solution yet.

But a non-functioning phone is generally a nuisance, not life threatening.  Think of the fatal failures of automobiles.  Takata is constantly in the news because of faulty air bags.  On a less life-threatening level, Volkswagen has been called to task because its emissions are far higher than they claimed.

Also think of all the food recalls there have been over the last few months.  Some are caught by the company and consumers are warned.  Others have to be warned by governments.

Ironically, those who use Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” as a justification for “free enterprise” ignore his “This order of men is not to be trusted…”  This order of men is those who live by profit.

The “bottom line” is really what are the ethics and dedication of the people in government or corporations.  Angels and devils are in both.