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Old 06-20-2006, 08:41 PM   #106
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


I could sell a new soda much faster if I bottled it in something that looked like a coke bottle. Mimicking someone’s name, logo or other trademark is riding on their coattails. Stealing goodwill from a large corporation is still stealing.



the examples i have given you weren't akin to imitating a coke bottle. it's more like you going into the soda business and daring to call your drink a cola, and then Coca-Cola suing.



[q]Yes, I got the editorial comments in the last few posts. Here is some more evidence to chew on: From 2001 to 2004, the total number of independent coffee houses in the US increased from 10,330 to an estimated 13,570 – despite the growth in Starbucks. (Mintel Consumer Intelligence Report) [/q]


that's it? with all your trumpeting of how much starbucks has "tripled" independent coffeeshops in san francisco combined with it's undeniable influence on the growth of coffee culture in the US -- which you've touted several times as proof of the healthy state of independent coffee shops all thanks to Starbucks -- i'd expect much more than such a small increase.

have you got a citation?


[q]Repeating conclusionary statements about “Starbuck’s market-entry strategy” without any experience or evidence on the subject doesn’t get you any closer to the truth. If you want to buy into Ms. Klein’s opinions – fine. Don’t confuse them with fact.[/q]

as easy and convenient as it would be for you to continually write my arguments off as repitions of Ms. Klein, that simply isn't the case. i've referenced her once, and only once, and it's rather arrogant of you to purport to have truth and label others as merely holders of opinion.

any "experience or evidence" -- that's quite condescending, and can't possibly be backed up. have you comparable "experience and evidence" on the subject? you've offered none but anecdotal claims and the general repeition of free market dogma.

Quote:
And how can we trust your larger claims (reduction in choice) when the evidence you used to support such claims doesn’t pan out? You’ve made statements and asked questions – and I’ve responded to them.
but you haven't. you've done little to further your own case, offered no citations, beyond asking me a series of questions without answering the one's i've presented, such as:

can you quantify this?

also, isn't this something any big corporation doesn't want?

isn't it in it's best interests to eliminate competition?

so you support the repeal of all "sin taxes" on cigarettes and alcohol?

could you site your evidence please? you've demanded much from me, but provided none of your own.



you've also had nothing to say on deleterous health effects of fast food as well as the effect of homogenization upon American culture.

i suppose such things are unimportant?
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Old 06-20-2006, 08:55 PM   #107
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In Saipan there is this music store called "Music and". Apparently they used be called Musicland until they got a cease and desist letter. so they dropped the L off their sign and went on their way.

I thought it was kind of funny.

I've been following the back-and-forth between you two for awhile now and found it very interesting. Right now, I'm kinda leaning more towards nbc's perspective. The point of these companies is to make as much money as possible. I question whether there are these Evil Capitalist Lords meeting in some dark room with smoke swirling around trying to destroy everyone in their path. I don't doubt that they will do all they can to get people to come to their stores rather than to the competition.

I do agree that companies like Starbucks have degraded the "cultural quality" of our society. We lose a lot when everything becomes homogenous and mass produced. But a business at the end of the day is going to want to make as much money as it can.
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:01 PM   #108
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Originally posted by maycocksean
But a business at the end of the day is going to want to make as much money as it can.


and that's precisely the problem. the crime is what's legal. and our apathy towards the myths of the "free market" -- as if it were itself a diety -- is precisely what is contributing to the homogenization of America and the degredation of local culture and color.

there are costs, big costs, when massive retail companies like Starbucks will open stores that will operate for years in the red with the expressed purpose of bleeding business away from the independents (when they are unable to simply buy out the landlords) until the independents finally close.

in the end, i do think there are bigger battles to be fough and certainly bigger enemies than Starbucks.

however, that does not mean that homogenization is not a tragedy and predatory business practices enabled and encouraged by American-style capitalism don't have a deleterous affect upon everyone.
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:04 PM   #109
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Originally posted by maycocksean
I question whether there are these Evil Capitalist Lords meeting in some dark room with smoke swirling around trying to destroy everyone in their path.


where do you think business models are thought up?

it's never as cinematic as that, but having sat in on meetings about "promoting the brand" (i work for a great big company that EVERYONE recognizes), it is more calculated and intentional than you ever think it could be.

they test and research EVERYTHING -- nothing is an accident or the "will" of the Free Market (peace be upon its name).
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:18 PM   #110
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Originally posted by Irvine511




however, that does not mean that homogenization is not a tragedy and predatory business practices enabled and encouraged by American-style capitalism don't have a deleterous affect upon everyone.
I agree. What alternative would you suggest? I'm not meaning to suggest that we just throw up our hands and say "Oh well, we can't change it." I'm genuinely curious as to what you see as an alternative to the free market system we've currently got going.
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:23 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




where do you think business models are thought up?

it's never as cinematic as that, but having sat in on meetings about "promoting the brand" (i work for a great big company that EVERYONE recognizes), it is more calculated and intentional than you ever think it could be.

they test and research EVERYTHING -- nothing is an accident or the "will" of the Free Market (peace be upon its name).
So the people at these meetings (minus the smoke and maniacal laughter) are actually saying, "we need to drive this buisness, and this business, and this buisness out of business. We need to get rid of them. How can we do it?" I'm not disagreeing that the outcome is the same, but I'm wondering if people are that frank about what they are doing or do they dress it up so they can go home with a clear conscience? And with that in mind, is there any company (big or small) that would say, "Hey, let's make sure that as we enter the market, we make sure that all of our competitors stay in business as well."

Like I say, I agree that system has some seriously inherent flaws, but what other alternative is there that doesn't involve us all livng as hunter-gatherers.
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:37 PM   #112
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I don't know but I'd say that it was better when everyone smoked what they wanted, ate what they wanted (food was healthier for the most part), played in the dirt - when parents didn't worry about kids going out of the house but instead insisted on it, when most people knew they're neighbours. There were hardly any allergies of any kind - nobody i knew had asthma until junior high school!!!
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:53 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harry Vest
I don't know but I'd say that it was better when everyone smoked what they wanted, ate what they wanted (food was healthier for the most part), played in the dirt - when parents didn't worry about kids going out of the house but instead insisted on it, when most people knew they're neighbours. There were hardly any allergies of any kind - nobody i knew had asthma until junior high school!!!

I agree.

*would you rather spend ten minutes in a closed garage with me smoking a cig or your BMW running on idle?*


Just pleading for some common sense here....
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:57 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harry Vest
I don't know but I'd say that it was better when everyone smoked what they wanted, ate what they wanted (food was healthier for the most part), played in the dirt - when parents didn't worry about kids going out of the house but instead insisted on it, when most people knew they're neighbours. There were hardly any allergies of any kind - nobody i knew had asthma until junior high school!!!
I find this picture of the good old days fascinating. Was it really better "back then"? Or just different?

Perhaps some things were better "in the old days" than they are now. Others were worse, and vice versa.

Certainly, as a black American I'm glad I was born in 1973 and not 1873 (or 1923).
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:15 AM   #115
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Should Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream outlets be subject to a "fat tax," or should they be exempt for other reasons?

~U2Alabama
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Old 06-21-2006, 10:12 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama
Should Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream outlets be subject to a "fat tax," or should they be exempt for other reasons?

~U2Alabama


i would imagine a nutritional rubrick could be developed by nutritionists and then adopted as a means of implementing what foods are considered to be so harmful to your health that they necessitate a "sin tax" comparable to that levvied on alcohol and cigarettes.

again, i'm not necessarily arguing for a fat tax, but i am arguing that fast food is far more harmful to the body, and puts far more financial stress on the health care system, than alcohol and cigarettes because more people eat fast food than drink or smoke to excess.

if we're going to tax one, why not the other?

finally, i think fast food outlets contribute to the homogenization of culture, making one town seem much like the next, and they seek to reduce consumer choice by presenting themselves as an inevitable alternative through a variety of means and methods. i'm not saying that any of this is illegal, or should be illegal, but i am saying that this takes a psychic toll on the individual (because in the corporate world, there are no individuals, just consumers) as well as a physical toll on the landscape in the form of endless box-shaped strip malls.

the one positive effect, i think, is that homogenization will always spawn a group of citizens dedicated to fighting blandness and seeking that elusive thing known as authenticity -- these citizens (often derided and laughed at as urban elitists or intellectual snobs or dirty hippies or whatever) might save capitalism from itself.

case in point: http://www.delocator.net/
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Old 06-21-2006, 10:22 AM   #117
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


So the people at these meetings (minus the smoke and maniacal laughter) are actually saying, "we need to drive this buisness, and this business, and this buisness out of business. We need to get rid of them. How can we do it?" I'm not disagreeing that the outcome is the same, but I'm wondering if people are that frank about what they are doing or do they dress it up so they can go home with a clear conscience? And with that in mind, is there any company (big or small) that would say, "Hey, let's make sure that as we enter the market, we make sure that all of our competitors stay in business as well."

no, it's much more euphamistic than that and driving others out of business is simply a way to increase your market share -- it's the little lies, or the calculated perspective, that allows one to sleep at night. and i can also speak to the rah-rah, football player, it's-all-a-big-competition ethos that comes out at certain meetings. it's not about wanting to compete, it's not about selling a product, it's about wanting to win. and, utlimately, it's much more about "the brand" and how no one really sells products anymore, they simply sell various accessories that constitute "the brand" -- which is another way of saying that they're trying to sell a lifestyle, and often this lifestyle is cross-intergrated with other products. certainly, altenative lifestyles are seen as threats, and

i think you're getting at the flaws in the system itself, and the basic judgement call is whether the flaws in the system warrant the dismantling of the system. i have no answer to that. but what i do think is critical is to spread awareness and educate consumers about the deleterous effects of one's consumption, and to appeal to a greater sense of social responsibility, so that they might think about how they participate in the system and then self-regulate.

do i shop at starbucks? sometimes. i've found it's much cheaper to make my own coffee, and if i do buy something from starbucks, it's usually the fair trade stuff. i do make it a point not to go to Starbucks every day, or to choose Starbucks over an alternative (and i'm also trying to switch to Yerba Matte tea to get my caffeine fix anyway).

it's very convenient to try to toss anyone who could possibly raise an objection to the way we live and how we consume into the "seattle 1999 protestor" pile, because it's easier to ignore them that way, but i think if we take a minute to sit back and examine the choices we make, and learn a little more about the system itself and about the costs of the system, you'll find a very reasonable position that's hardly radical or anarchist, and in fact, it's probably better for capitalism in the long run and certainly better for culture and for the human psyche.

no one is seeking to install communism, or even socialism. some of us are simply looking for balance, for places to go where we aren't constantly marketed at, a space that isn't branded, and meaningful options.
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Old 06-21-2006, 11:17 AM   #118
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I think you get the Seattle 1999 protestor pile reaction in that there is a lack of evidenciary proof to support a lot of what is said about the "evils" of corporations - especially when describing intent.

We've gone back and forth trying to nail down specifics. You've got passion and drive, but the dots are not connecting with fact.

To support the argument that coffee independents are driven out of business, you offered trademark cases. While there may an emotional appeal to such cases, the motivations for such cases are far different. Not to mention that the business sited in your articles are still operating.

You've asked for facts, I've given you facts, you've dismissed the facts, and have not countered with related facts of your own. Again, you come at these issues with great zeal, but the logical and factual assumptions needed to support the positions need shoring up.

I've noticed that many of the statements end with "meaningful" options or choices. Is this something you can quantify? Is it an objective thing, or a personal choice? What if a choice is not meaningful to you, but meaningful to someone else?
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:02 PM   #119
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Talk About Legislative Action

Fluffernutter Sandwich Angers Mass. Senator

Quote:
It's creamy, it's sweet and it's become a staple of lunch boxes for generations of New England school children.

Now, the beloved Fluffernutter sandwich _ the irresistible combination of Marshmallow Fluff and peanut butter, preferably on white bread with a glass of milk handy _ finds itself at the center of a sticky political debate.

Sen. Jarrett Barrios was outraged that his son Nathaniel, a third- grader, was given a Fluffernutter sandwich at the King Open School in Cambridge. He said he plans to file legislation that would ban schools from offering the local delicacy more than once a week as the main meal of the day.

The Democrat said that his amendment to a bill on junk food in schools may seem "a little silly" but that school nutrition is serious.

His proposal seemed anything but silly to Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein, a Democrat whose district in Revere is near the company that has produced the marshmallow concoction for more than 80 years, Durkee- Mower Inc.

She responded with a proposal to designate the Fluffernutter the "official sandwich of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:23 PM   #120
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Originally posted by Irvine511



no, it's much more euphamistic than that and driving others out of business is simply a way to increase your market share -- it's the little lies, or the calculated perspective, that allows one to sleep at night. and i can also speak to the rah-rah, football player, it's-all-a-big-competition ethos that comes out at certain meetings. it's not about wanting to compete, it's not about selling a product, it's about wanting to win. and, utlimately, it's much more about "the brand" and how no one really sells products anymore, they simply sell various accessories that constitute "the brand" -- which is another way of saying that they're trying to sell a lifestyle, and often this lifestyle is cross-intergrated with other products. certainly, altenative lifestyles are seen as threats, and

i think you're getting at the flaws in the system itself, and the basic judgement call is whether the flaws in the system warrant the dismantling of the system. i have no answer to that. but what i do think is critical is to spread awareness and educate consumers about the deleterous effects of one's consumption, and to appeal to a greater sense of social responsibility, so that they might think about how they participate in the system and then self-regulate.

do i shop at starbucks? sometimes. i've found it's much cheaper to make my own coffee, and if i do buy something from starbucks, it's usually the fair trade stuff. i do make it a point not to go to Starbucks every day, or to choose Starbucks over an alternative (and i'm also trying to switch to Yerba Matte tea to get my caffeine fix anyway).

it's very convenient to try to toss anyone who could possibly raise an objection to the way we live and how we consume into the "seattle 1999 protestor" pile, because it's easier to ignore them that way, but i think if we take a minute to sit back and examine the choices we make, and learn a little more about the system itself and about the costs of the system, you'll find a very reasonable position that's hardly radical or anarchist, and in fact, it's probably better for capitalism in the long run and certainly better for culture and for the human psyche.

no one is seeking to install communism, or even socialism. some of us are simply looking for balance, for places to go where we aren't constantly marketed at, a space that isn't branded, and meaningful options.
I see your point. Excellent post.

Nbc, I'm afraid Irvine is swaying me. To tell the truth, neither one of you have provided a lot in the way of "hard facts." Both of you have referenced some "factual sources" but on both ends of the argument it's been mostly both your opinions and arguments. Which is fine. I mean you both sound like you've got jobs and have busy lives (unlike me whose loafing about on my summer break) so who has time to go doing heavy research to marshal an army of facts and statistics complete with links etc to bolster your point of view?

The problem I had with Irvine's argument was that he seemed to be implying a level of "evil intentionality" in the corporate world that I had a hard time believing was really there. Well, he I felt he addressed that pretty well. Based on Irvine's response above it would seem corporations do use destructive tatics to their competition, it's just that the people who make those kinds of decisions don't tell themselves that's what they're doing.

And I do agree that it's important to have some awareness about the homegenization of our culture. Believe me, it's one of the worse things about coming back to the States every summer, the "sameness" of everything.

And Irvine, I get the point you started this thread with which has largely been ignored. It seems like you were questioning the validity of sin taxes in the first place, arguing that since eating unhealthily is not a "sin", a moral wrong, it doesnt' get taxed the way the "demon rum" does. Sin taxes as a kind of holdover from the Prohibition Era and so on.
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