'Dump Trump': Tens of thousands join global march

'Dump Trump': Tens of thousands join global march
Demonstrators arrive on the National Mall in Washington, DC, for the 'Women's March on Washington' on January 21, 2017 (AFP Photo/Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)

March for Science protesters hit the streets worldwide

March for Science protesters hit the streets worldwide
Thousands of people in Australia and New Zealand on Saturday kicked off the March for Science, the first of more than 500 marches around the globe in support of scienceThousands of people in Australia and New Zealand on Saturday kicked off the March for Science, the first of more than 500 marches around the globe in support of science

Bernie Sanders and the Movement Where the People Found Their Voice

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Hong Kong's grandpa protesters speak softly but carry a stick

Hong Kong's grandpa protesters speak softly but carry a stick
'Grandpa Wong' is a regular sight at Hong Kong's street battles (AFP Photo/VIVEK PRAKASH)
A student holds a sign reading "Don't shoot, listen!!!" during a protest
on June 17, 2013 in Brasilia (AFP, Evaristo)

FIFA scandal engulfs Blatter and Platini

FIFA scandal engulfs Blatter and Platini
FIFA President Sepp Blatter (L) shakes hands with UEFA president Michel Platini after being re-elected following a vote in Zurich on May 29, 2015 (AFP Photo/Michael Buholzer)
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue to stay until 2018

Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue to stay until 2018
The " Fearless Girl " statue on Wall Street is seen by many as a defiant symbol of women's rights under the new administration of President Donald Trump (AFP Photo/ TIMOTHY A. CLARY)

“… The Fall of Many - Seen It Yet?

You are going to see more and more personal secrets being revealed about persons in high places of popularity or government. It will seem like an epidemic of non-integrity! But what is happening is exactly what we have been teaching. The new energy has light that will expose the darkness of things that are not commensurate with integrity. They have always been there, and they were kept from being seen by many who keep secrets in the dark. Seen the change yet?

In order to get to a more stable future, you will have to go through gyrations of dark and light. What this means is that the dark is going to be revealed and push back at you. It will eventually lose. We told you this. That's what you're here for is to help those around you who don't see an escape from the past. They didn't get their nuclear war, but everything else is going into the dumper anyway. … “

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Corporations need a social conscience

The late economist Milton Friedman in 1970 belittled talk of corporate social responsibility as 'pure and unadulterated socialism.' But the world — and companies' influence — has changed since then.

LA Times, By Michael Hiltzik, November 6, 2011

Eminent economist Milton Friedman, who died in 2006, maintained that
society  would benefit as a whole only if managements focused on increasing
profits “within  the rules of the game,” which meant without deception or fraud.
(Robert Durell, Los Angeles Times / June 22, 2006)

American corporations plainly are smarting from the accusation that they've abandoned their sense of social responsibility in pursuit of higher profits.

You can tell that by the defensive indignation with which the business community has greeted President Obama's rhetorical attacks on "millionaires and billionaires." And by Bank of America's defensiveness in spinning the cancellation of its $5 debit card fee as rather an act of consumer altruism. ("We have listened to our customers very closely," a spokesman said.)

Then there are the CEO statements collected by Harvard Business Review for an online forum titled The CEO's Role in Fixing the System, some of which carry the whiff of the heebie-jeebies experienced by ancien regime dandies facing down a torch-bearing mob of Jacobins.

For example, Raymond Gilmartin, the former chairman and CEO of Merck, acknowledged in the forum that corporate behavior in the economic slump had "deepened a widespread public distrust of corporations and capitalism." He proposed that CEOs and boards start acting "as agents of society, rather than shareholders." Starbucks founder Howard Schultz used the same forum to promote his public campaign urging CEOs to step up job creation efforts across the board.

There are many reasons why corporate social responsibility is on the table these days. One is that the sharp rise in business profits since the 2008 crash hasn't produced a commensurately sharp rise in hiring. Occupy Wall Street and its coast-to-coast offspring have catalyzed public disaffection with the gulf between the banking industry's health and its millions of home foreclosures.

Philanthropy experts say corporate giving has ticked up recently, possibly in response to signs of public discontent. One in four major companies surveyed by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, which has current or former top executives from 22 major companies on its board, have increased their giving by 25% or more since 2007. (On the other hand, 21% of the surveyed companies cut their giving by 25% or more.)

"We're seeing a whole new approach in corporate responsibility," Charles Moore, the committee's executive director, told me. Corporations are integrating philanthropy into their business strategies, say, by supporting charitable programs serving their suppliers, customers or markets — PepsiCo paying to train the Mexican farmers who provide it with its corn syrup or Novartis delivering health education in rural India to residents who might end up buying its drugs.

The question always is whether companies undertake these ventures because they're the right thing to do or because they want to look altruistic for marketing purposes. In other words, are improved profits a collateral benefit or the main point?

Some might say that it doesn't matter, as long as you end up with less penurious farmers or healthier peasants. But the danger is that if it's seen chiefly as a PR device, then corporate giving — currently a minuscule one-tenth of 1% ofrevenue among major corporations, according to the committee's latest survey — will be first on the chopping block in economic downturns.

Moreover, the giving-for-giving's-sake model always runs up against the notion that the only constituency that counts in corporate management is the shareholder. The modern dean of this school was the late eminent economist Milton Friedman, who in a 1970 article belittled talk of corporate social responsibility as "pure and unadulterated socialism."

Friedman called corporate social responsibility a "fundamentally subversive doctrine." He conceded that some putatively socially beneficial actions such as improving local schools might have indirect benefits for a corporation — make it easier to recruit employees, for instance — but for the most part he scorned that rationale as "hypocritical window dressing."

Friedman maintained that society would benefit as a whole only if managements focused on increasing profits "within the rules of the game," which meant without deception or fraud.

That would provide customers with the best products and prices, workers with sustainable employment, and shareholders with plenty of money to spend on their own choice of good works, if they so wished. In other words, take care of profits, and the free market will take care of everything else.

Friedman, who died in 2006, wasn't shooting random mortar shells into the sky. He was responding to a public debate on the corporation's role in society launched in the late '60s that sounds very much like the direct forebear of Occupy Wall Street.

Dissident shareholders at Bank of America, AT&T and dozens of other companies freaked out managements by questioning not their financial results but the "social impact" of their activities, and disrupted annual meetings with demands for proxy votes on such issues as their company's role in the Vietnam War, its record on minority hiring and its contribution to pollution.

Today's issues tilt more toward corporations' responsibility for the financial meltdown (obviously the focus of Wall Street protesters) and how income inequality comes from endowing CEOs with lavish pay while laying off rank-and-file employees by the brigade and hammering flat the wages, health benefits and retirement plans of those who are left.

That's just one way the world has changed since Friedman fired his broadside. Corporations today influence their communities and society at large in ways Friedman could not have conceived, and of which he might not have approved.

It's not only the multibillion-dollar lobbying war chests of major industries. What would Friedman have made of the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, which granted rich corporations the same free speech rights as individuals — including the right to make unlimited political contributions? Here's what he wrote in that 1970 essay: "What does it mean to say that 'business' has responsibilities? Only people can have responsibilities."

Friedman argued that business leaders should keep their eyes on business and their hands off socially responsible programs because they were more likely to be "clear-headed" in the former and "muddle-headed" in the latter.

Yet his vision of the perfect market doesn't have much to do with our recent experience, in which the clear-headed pursuit of short-term profits trashed the world economy. Let's not forget that the flow of corporate wealth to CEOs and shareholders has helped drive the middle class into income stagnation and debt, impoverishing corporate America's customer base.

So much of the debate today about corporate social responsibility misses the point. Viewing the entirety of social responsibility as the pursuit of profit "within the rules of the game" damaged millions of lives because the rules of the game didn't leave room for a social conscience.

Social conscience is what tells a CEO that long-term growth is more important than short-term profit. But the former can be achieved only by serving, not merely exploiting, your customer base. Friedman wasn't wrong, but his definition of "social responsibility" was surely too narrow and his faith in the market too naive. In this post-meltdown world we know better, don't we?

Michael Hiltzik's column appears Sundays and Wednesdays. His latest book is "The New Deal: A Modern History." Reach him at mhiltzik@latimes.com, read past columns at latimes.com/hiltzik, check out facebook.com/hiltzik and follow @latimeshiltzik on Twitter.

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