Radical Equality and the (Blurry Line) Profit Motive

Thursday, 10/20/16 @ 4:00 PT & 7:00 ET

Our 100th Happy Hour!

The ‘profit motive’ is a real, good, and valid thing. Nobody works for free. But it is also particular to the individual, in both its strength and its emphasis on financial profit.

What we want to discuss with you this week is whether ‘profit motive’ — rather than the desire for financial gain as the impetus for entrepreneurial activity — can be defined as gaining as much utility — pleasurable wealth and the sense of personal happiness and well-being created through economic activity.
 If so, what does it mean for the ‘profit motive’ of an organization?

Our 5th Radical Idea

Nobody wants to, nor should anybody, work for free. There would be little objection to that. But nor should any individual work to serve the profit motives of another.

How profit is employed is at the discretion of the individual to whom it belongs. That is, to the individual who created it: Profit belongs to the Individual who creates value.

Whether value is created through assuming risk, making a sale, creating a systems improvement, conceiving a product, customer service, or entrepreneurial acumen and management, the profit created though that value belongs to the individual creating it. Not to the organization employing that person.

The problem is multiplied when the individual owners of labor are considered ‘human capital,’ a resource to be put to ‘best use’ — that is a cost to be minimized to maximize return on production. It is exploitation.

Because profit belongs to the Individual who creates value, ‘profit motive’ should not be defined as maximizing owner or shareholder wealth.

#GTIdeology Happy Hour

We discussed this topic on October 20, 2016. Our cool video introduction and the discussion questions are below. You can read the full transcript here.

You’re invited to — and we hope that you will — join us at 4:00 PT & 7:00 ET every Thursday to unofficially kick off the weekend with us and the smart, fun, and friendly #GTIdeology Happy Hour crowd.

We tweet out reminders each week. If you’d like one, just tweet @ us and let us know. We’ll be happy to tweet you one. Cheers!

Q1. How do you define ‘profit motive?’

Q2. We believe that because profit belongs to the Individual who creates value, ‘profit motive’ should not be defined as maximizing owner or shareholder wealth. What do you think?

Q3. Agree or disagree: The traditional economic model of ‘selling your labor’ for a wage quashes individual profit motives? Why?

Q4. Discuss if and how ‘profit motive’ should or can be understood to maximize individual utility, rather than financial profit.

Q5. Have you ever worked in or with an organization that understood or defined profit as something other than a maximized bottom line? Would you want to? Tell us about it!

We hope to see you Thursday. If you want a reminder tweet, just let us know and we will be happy to tweet one @ you. Cheers!