Prejudice Doesn't Pay

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With all the recent hubub about "excess profits" at oil companies, discussion is turning once again to the moral component of making money. Somehow profit gets equated with usury, and excessive amounts of revenue becomes akin to armed theft. Thomas Sowell's latest (via Newmark the Younger) does a nice job on confronting the belief that companies acting purely out of self-interest must, of necessity, be restrained from foul and dehumanizing tactics.

Always one for concrete examples, I point you towards this article from the American International Automobile Dealers Association: Gay Buying Power: Economics Trumps Prejudice

The result of the poll that should be strongly considered by all marketers was that 72% of GLBT consumers were more likely to buy from a company that specifically reached out to the community via advertising. Volkswagen, Subaru, Volvo and BMW are] perceived as the top brands that extend the greatest outreach to the GLBT community.

This phenomenon is not new. Indeed it is parallel to what has happened with the African-American and Hispanic communities -- when companies want their dollars, they create products, policies and messaging to win them over. In reality, this is how civil rights actually moves from politics to everyday reality -- via economics.

[I grant that it's an industry association, and thus more than a little biased in its position. The poll, however, was not conducted by the organization.]

Apparently, it's also not from the benevolence of the car designers, manufacturers, or dealers, that we get stylish and fuel-efficient cars, but from their regard to their own interest...

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It seems perfectly obvious that American car manufacturers do NOT know how to look out for their own interests. Steadily falling stock prices, falling market share, massive debt burden. (In fact, it is their finance companies that are saving them, not their auto making business. If the finance companies left, the auto making sectors of Ford and GM would quickly fall into oblivion.) I just wonder if they'll adopt the tactic - which I call foul and dehumanizing - of declaring bankruptcy in order to weasel out from paying employee pensions.


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This page contains a single entry by published on November 1, 2005 4:21 PM.

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