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kd7tck

Have you submitted your nominations for worst comapny in America?

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Daaark    3553
Those are a bit of a stretch. Those guys aren't evil, they are just delivering poor service.

They should look towards companies committing actual acts of evil, like Coca-Cola in some third world countries. I think the documentary (The Coca Cola Case) on that is still free to view online somewhere.

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Hodgman    51230

They should look towards companies committing actual acts of evil, like Coca-Cola in some third world countries.

Even here in Australia, they blackmail the state governments into not introducing recycling laws. One of the states recently dared to defy them, and is now being sued by Coke for introducing a system where the state will pay you 10c to return empty bottles.

WTF Coke?

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Daaark    3553
If you rank the top 500 things in order of severity, that would be the one of the lowest things.

They pretty much own the water supply in one South American country. You can't collect rain water off your own roof and drink it. It belongs to Coke.

They are accused of telling people to quit their unions or be killed, and then further accused of actually following through with it. ther e is more than one case of this, in several south american countries.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Coca-Cola#Bottling_plant_murders

They are accused of using highly polluted waste water (to cut costs) in some of their over seas bottling plants.

They had Nazi ties.

I could go on listing stuff all day, and of all the stuff I am aware of, it seems to not even scratch the surface.

Using polluted water, killing people, making coke cheaper than water in some countries, lawfully owning every drop of water, etc, etc, is qualified as poor interaction with customers.

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Bruno Sofiato    407

If you rank the top 500 things in order of severity, that would be the one of the lowest things.

They pretty much own the water supply in one South American country. You can't collect rain water off your own roof and drink it. It belongs to Coke.

They are accused of telling people to quit their unions or be killed, and then further accused of actually following through with it. ther e is more than one case of this, in several south american countries.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Coca-Cola#Bottling_plant_murders

They are accused of using highly polluted waste water (to cut costs) in some of their over seas bottling plants.

They had Nazi ties.

I could go on listing stuff all day, and of all the stuff I am aware of, it seems to not even scratch the surface.

Using polluted water, killing people, making coke cheaper than water in some countries, lawfully owning every drop of water, etc, etc, is qualified as poor interaction with customers.

 

This I didn't know ... :(

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TheChubu    9447

If you rank the top 500 things in order of severity, that would be the one of the lowest things.

They pretty much own the water supply in one South American country. You can't collect rain water off your own roof and drink it. It belongs to Coke.

They are accused of telling people to quit their unions or be killed, and then further accused of actually following through with it. ther e is more than one case of this, in several south american countries.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Coca-Cola#Bottling_plant_murders

They are accused of using highly polluted waste water (to cut costs) in some of their over seas bottling plants.

They had Nazi ties.

I could go on listing stuff all day, and of all the stuff I am aware of, it seems to not even scratch the surface.

Using polluted water, killing people, making coke cheaper than water in some countries, lawfully owning every drop of water, etc, etc, is qualified as poor interaction with customers.

Pretty much every international company had free reign in latin america in the 70s and 80s. There have been many scary stuff going on in conjunction with the military governments. The only thing they had to do is point their finger and people be missing the next day.

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Khaiy    2148

Don't forget the Coca-Cola child labor scandals either, which are not from the 70s or 80s.

 

I'd cast my vote for Bank of America, or CountryWide, or UBS as worst companies.

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way2lazy2care    790

The website consumerist dot com is still taking nominations for worst company in America and you have until march 12, 5pm ET.

 

http://consumerist.com/tag/worst-company-in-america/

 

I have my favourites for this year all picked out, all three deserve to get golden poo.

EA Games, Monsanto, Directv

I get that EA isn't exactly the most loved company, but the fact that they're even in the top 50 in these rankings really shows how those polls are just a big giant 'first world problems' show.

 

edit: Monsanto too. Monsanto is really not as bad as it's made out to be. People think they just go around suing farmers for shits and giggles, but afaik they've never lost a case and they're all publicly available. The affect they've had on the food supply is a tremendous boon a lot of people take totally for granted.

Edited by way2lazy2care

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Daaark    3553

I get that EA isn't exactly the most loved company, but the fact that they're even in the top 50 in these rankings really shows how those polls are just a big giant 'first world problems' show.

Yep, just a bunch of spoiled kids crashing the ballot.

We also have companies do any combination of hiring young workers, paying below living wage, and building camps for their employees to live in. Why pay an employee at least a living wage, when you can build him a 10$ hut and put a cot in there for him to sleep on? He doesn't need living wage then, he's basically a prisoner doing labor so you can get your product a few dollars cheaper. Employees committing suicide? No problem, install a 5$ net, so you can catch them when they jump, and send them back to work instead of treating them better.

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Talroth    3247

edit: Monsanto too. Monsanto is really not as bad as it's made out to be. People think they just go around suing farmers for shits and giggles, but afaik they've never lost a case and they're all publicly available. The affect they've had on the food supply is a tremendous boon a lot of people take totally for granted.

Isn't this the company that ended up settling with a number of smaller farmers who were forced under due to legal fees, after their seed crops were contaminated by modified seed spreading naturally from neighboring farmland?

 

It is kind of like inventing a new kind of fire, getting a patent on it, setting your yard ablaze, and then suing your neighbor when their house burns down because they 'stole' your new fire.

 

But really, my problem isn't with the companies pulling BS like that, but rather with the court and legal system that supports such things.

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way2lazy2care    790

Isn't this the company that ended up settling with a number of smaller farmers who were forced under due to legal fees, after their seed crops were contaminated by modified seed spreading naturally from neighboring farmland?

Most of my knowledge is second hand, but to my knowledge they've only really sued when the farmer's have taken active action to procuring on some fashion Monsanto seeds without paying for them or in violation of contracts they have previously signed.

A quick google has this site, admittedly biased because it is Monsanto's, but I don't see anything glaringly incorrect about it.

 

The problem is that a lot of the farmers used the 'contamination' defense when the reality was that they knowingly got contaminated or bought seed they knew was contaminated, planted it, then sprayed it all with roundup in order to kill all the non-Monsanto seed, and collected the remaining seed to reuse. It's essentially the agriculture equivalent of online piracy.

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wintertime    4108

Oh please, dont start comparing poor 3rd world farmers who since beginning of time replanted the seeds that had grown on their land by their work to pirates, just because that company patented plants which is crazy when you think about how everything of such plants comes from nature and they just insert a single gene into it to make it resistant to their poison that makes the soil unusable for anything else so those poor people are trapped.

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Khaiy    2148

Oh please, dont start comparing poor 3rd world farmers who since beginning of time replanted the seeds that had grown on their land by their work to pirates, just because that company patented plants which is crazy when you think about how everything of such plants comes from nature and they just insert a single gene into it to make it resistant to their poison that makes the soil unusable for anything else so those poor people are trapped.

 

Farmers can keep replanting naturally husbanded seeds for as long as they like. They lose out on lots of modern agricultural practices, like pesticides, which dramatically increase the amount that can be harvested (though there are other, bad effects from a lot of modern practices). There are also seeds that grow better in poorer soils and under worse conditions, which farmers are also free not to use.

 

And "just insert[ing] a single gene" is the culmination of billions of dollars of research and half a century of dedicated study, and is still an inadequate description of the work. That's worth a patent. Dickish as they often are at enforcing their patents, the reproductive capacity of plants means that without patents Monsanto would go under immediately.

 

I'm not saying that Monsanto's a great company or that they're super cool to their customers. But a lot of criticism that they draw I find to be focused on the least objectionable things that they do.

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way2lazy2care    790

Oh please, dont start comparing poor 3rd world farmers who since beginning of time replanted the seeds that had grown on their land by their work to pirates, just because that company patented plants which is crazy when you think about how everything of such plants comes from nature and they just insert a single gene into it to make it resistant to their poison that makes the soil unusable for anything else so those poor people are trapped.

3rd world farmers? Monsanto likely doesn't give half a crap about them. It's the large production farms they care about.

And no it's pretty much exactly like online piracy. You aren't actively taking something from someone. You are copying it and using it without their permission. It's pretty much identical.

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Hodgman    51230

..bad stuff..

Oh yeah, I didn't mean to imply that Coke's 1st world problems compare at all to their death squads -- just adding that they are also evil in the parts of the world where they can't get away with murder, and where evil is measured on a different scale.

BTW, Fanta is probably the best thing that came out of the Nazis! laugh.png

You are copying it and using it without their permission. It's pretty much identical.

Except in one case we're talking about duplicating a creative work within a system where humans have decided to reconcile capitalism the need to reward people who propagate culture, and the other case we're talking about a living being that is designed to reproduce by it's very living nature. Pretending that they're at all comparable requires you to completely disconnect yourself from reality.
 
Selling someone a dog and suing them when it has puppies using copyright law is absurd. Refusing to sell someone a dog unless you first remove it's reproductive organs is a pragmatic solution to achieve the same means, but is morally questionable.
 
Doing the same with plants -- removing their ability to reproduce naturally just so that farmers are dependent on buying your seeds, so that you have a viable business model is also morally questionable.
 
 

.....means that without patents Monsanto would go under immediately

I don't find "argument via capitalism" to be valid in the slightest.
The statement "It's ok to do this because otherwise capitalist enterprise would collapse" isn't at all valid. It's an argument against capitalism, not an argument for the moral validity of the activity in question. Edited by Hodgman

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Khaiy    2148

I don't find "argument via capitalism" to be valid in the slightest.
The statement "It's ok to do this because otherwise capitalist enterprise would collapse" isn't at all valid. It's an argument against capitalism, not an argument for the moral validity of the activity in question.

 

*shrug*

 

It's certainly an area that's ripe for serious philosophical debate. However, if the capitalist end weren't there, the products wouldn't exist. Farmers are never required to use a single Monsanto seed, ever. It's not like the world food supply would collapse without them, though there would be somewhat less food and it would therefore be more expensive. If you want a world with no Monsanto-style agricultural results, that's a totally defensible position. I personally don't mind living in a world with Monsanto in the market, particularly because they don't have any sort of a monopoly or oligopoly on seed, just their special deluxe seeds.

 

There are some more extractive elements to Monsanto's business, specifically their pesticide/herbicide and pesticide/herbicide resistance lines of products. Farmers aren't required to buy those either, and Monsanto may be riding a short wave with them anyways. What Monsanto has not done, but a lot of people seem to imagine they have, is to corner the market for seeds, make no genetic changes other than to make them non-reproductive, and then make [i]only[/i] the modified seeds available in perpetuity to extract massive rents.

 

I personally like publicly funded research for agriculture (in Minnesota, where I live, our state university has been incredibly successful in this field and it has amply paid back the investments). It's not much cheaper, but it's not as rapacious. The Monsanto bargain doesn't seem like a good one to me, and if I owned a farm I doubt I would take it. But for those who would, it doesn't seem fundamentally unreasonable to me that a person can freely choose to engage in a highly restrictive deal to access the fruit of a billion dollars' worth of research. Outside of their designer lines their deals aren't so oppressive, and they aren't the only vendor around.

Edited by Khaiy

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I wonder why people seem to object to Coca Cola, but not to Kraft Foods or Altria. In addition to the usual "exploit" crimes, those not only kill a few hundred people in south America, but [i]millions[/i] worldwide every year. And, they do it in a systematic and most vicious way.

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Can you cite this?

Certainly, refer to Wikipedia:

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally. In the United States about 500,000 deaths per year are attributed to smoking-related diseases and a recent study estimated that as much as 1/3 of China's male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking.

Now add to that the fact that Altria has been aggressively attacking any evidence of harmful effects, playing down harmful effects, and has been seducing teenagers to smoke for decades. Plus, the active "product placement" in movies for decades. I don't know exactly how large their worldwide market share for cigarettes is, but it's likely something like 90%, too.

Stunning: According to WHO's data, smoking makes up 1/2 of all preventable deaths in the USA (18.1% out of 36% total), about 10 times as much as traffic accidents.

As for Kraft Foods, just go to your local supermarket and pull any of their products that is labelled "health", "fit", or "low fat" or any other deceptive product (say, Philadelphia) out of the shelf. Look at the list of ingredients (which, too, is kept as deceptive as possible).
Millions of people buy (and eat) these harmful products every day under false premise. Why do you think the US americans are so fat and suffer from diabetes? It's not the burgers and the fries. It's the deceptive health food which is even worse.

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way2lazy2care    790

Except in one case we're talking about duplicating a creative work within a system where humans have decided to reconcile capitalism the need to reward people who propagate culture, and the other case we're talking about a living being that is designed to reproduce by it's very living nature. Pretending that they're at all comparable requires you to completely disconnect yourself from reality.

It's easy to trivialize either argument as more different than it actually is.

Except in one case we're talking about duplicating an engineered work within a system where humans have decided to reconcile capitalism with the need to reward people who propagate agriculture development, and the other case we're talking about a bunch of 1s and 0s that could show up randomly given enough time.

In reality they are both products engineered for others to benefit from that have been actively obtained, copied, and resold without the providers permission.

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Hodgman    51230

Ok, imagine...

You go out and buy a DVD. You take the DVD out of the case and close the case. Later you go to put it back in the case but there's a new DVD in there! You leave the original one out in a dark room, and the next morning a new case has sprung up around it. You've been sold a magical DVD that makes copies of itself.

But you can't give any of them to your friends. Despite it being the nature of this magic DVD to copy itself, you're not allowed to allow those copies to exist outside your home, or the wizard who sold it to you will threaten you with violence. Maybe he should have just not given you a magic DVD in the first place.

 


You spend a lifetime selectively breeding cows, resulting in a bloodline that is resilient to harsh conditions and produces a large amount of meat at a young age. You take a herd of this animal to a sale-yard, and sell them to many farmers who are convinced by your fancy "estimated breeding value" graphs. When these farmers continue to breed and on-sell the cows themselves, you step in and threaten them into giving you the money they obtained from these sales, as you claim to own these cows still.
 

An early scan shows that your unborn child will most likely have down syndrome. You're referred to a specialist who has a new treatment to cure the syndrome in the womb. You decide to undergo this therapy, but after birth, the company you paid to do this claims they now own your child. Your child grows up and becomes pregnant, but is forced into an abortion by their "owner" company with threats of violence.

 

 

Owning life, a living thing, or a species, or family of organisms, beyond regular property laws ("this is my dog, I bought it, it's registered in my name") is completely absurd.

 

Selective modification of an organism's genetic make-up has been going on for thousands of years. Modern genetic engineering is just doing it with a new bag of tools that make it easier and open up new possibilities. Patenting the tools and processes that you use to create a modified organism fits within existing frameworks, but owning the design of the organism itself and all of it's offspring is ridiculous. As a side note: when this organism reproduces, it's not even the same design any more, it's evolved....

 

You're modifying an existing replicating machine in some small way, and then selling instances of that replicating machine to others, and then claiming that anything that is produced by this machine is your property.

Breville don't own the sandwiches I make in my sandwich machine, Electrolux doesn't own the coffee from my coffee machine, no one can stop me using a 3D printer to build a new 3D printer, when I buy a kitten the breeder doesn't own it's future offspring, when I pay a doctor to modify or create my unborn child they do not own my child and grandchildren, and the games that I produce with a piece of software do not belong to that author of that software -- Microsoft doesn't own my MSVC projects and Adobe/Autodesk don't own my art.

 

If you design and sell a machine that makes things, your client owns the things that it makes. That's a very long standing precedent.

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Alpha_ProgDes    6921

Ok, imagine...

You go out and buy a DVD. You take the DVD out of the case and close the case. Later you go to put it back in the case but there's a new DVD in there! You leave the original one out in a dark room, and the next morning a new case has sprung up around it. You've been sold a magical DVD that makes copies of itself.

But you can't give any of them to your friends. Despite it being the nature of this magic DVD to copy itself, you're not allowed to allow those copies to exist outside your home, or the wizard who sold it to you will threaten you with violence. Maybe he should have just not given you a magic DVD in the first place.

 

Are we talking about DVDs or Gizmo?

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