Bruce L. Jones wrote, in reply to Magaidh's post:
<< It isn't that
a private corporation could not enter into some sort of agreement with
one or all of the Indian entities; none ever have for one simple reason:
There is not a dime to be made. >>
And yet, in another section of your post, you write:
<< The first thing to come
along that has attracted interest is "Indian Gaming". A number of private
organization are *very* interested in this. This private interest doesn't
do anything for the Indians though, except give them *less* money for the
I take it you mean the Indians have contracted with private enterprise to
manage the casinos. I think it's a very good example, and contradictory to
your first statement, but what do you find wrong with it? If the tribes that
own casinos so choose, they have every right to manage those casinos
themselves. No one has forced them to contract the job out to private
interests. If the management companies are taking too big a share of the
earnings, then the fault lies in the agreement and the way it was negotiated,
not in the concept itself. I hire someone to prepare my tax return, for
instance. I have the right to do it myself, but I prefer to have it done
professionally, and I have the right to negotiate the fee, or to shop around
for a better deal. The Indians have the same right where management of
casinos is concerned. Of course, there is a fee for the service.
Also, I think there are other examples of cooperation between Indians and
private enterprise. In one of the ironies of all time, the Cherokees who were
relocated to Oklahoma, realized a nice return when oil was discovered on their
reservation lands earlier in this century. Call it poetic justice. I seem to
recall reading of other examples of contracts between private companies and
Indians for the development of resources on reservation lands.
<< There are too few Indians to effect
any political pressure themselves (Political pressure, BTW, comes in two
realistic forms to US politicians; either votes or political
contributions. This - of course - excludes outright graft). Until any of
these change, the status quo will prevail. >>
Wasn't there a scandal in the news very recently concerning a tribe attempting
to buy political influence in Louisiana via a large contibution to the
National Democratic Party to prevent the building of a competitive casino?
The Natives are learning how to play the game.
Backing up in your post, you wrote:
>>and you may call it "greed" if you like! - but the bottom line is
>>that they have a desire and a need to provide a reasonable return on the
>>supplied by their investors. ...
>I take exception to the use of the word "reasonable" in this context. If
one were a high level mamager for some major corporation and had that
>statement overheard in a conversation, your continuing employment would
>be seriously in jeopardy.
That's preposterous. In the corporate world, *reasonable return* is a code
phrase meaning *to turn a profit on the endeavor*. In a free market economy,
profit is the driving force. It pays the salaries of the workers, and it
provides the return on invested capital. without it, there would be no reason
for invested capital and therefore no enterprise to begin with and thus no
need for workers. This is so basic to our society and prosperity. The only
exception is government. Government has revenue, just like private companies,
but it comes in the form of taxation. In other words, the government's
revenues are not the result of something positive being produced. If the
government were to run a surplus, then the surplus would be the same as profit
in the private sector. However, the government has no motivation to turn a
profit. Politicians do not benefit from surplus revenues. Nor is their
personal wealth tied up in government programs in the hope of getting a return
on investment. Consequently, politicians' motives are very different than the
motives which drive investors and managers in private enterprise. The only
thing a politician has at risk is his/her position of power, and he/she will
spend any amount of other people's money to preserve that position.
The same holds for people employed by government. Self-preservation is too
often the name of the game. As Magaidh pointed out, there is no real
incentive to resolve matters like the Indian situation. To do so would render
the responsible agency, and all of its staff, superfluous. Yet it is very
important to give the *appearance* that the responsible agency is doing all it
can. It really is a rediculous state of affairs.
>The general corporate goal is to obtain as
>large a margin as possible.
What exactly is wrong with that? How does one aim for less than what the
market will bear? In the absense of government interference, there are market
forces which act to regulate the profit motive.
>>Private enterprise on the other hand, operates from a different
>Yes they do. The most common is "How can we pry more money out of the
This, too, is preposterous. It would be more accurate to say it's just the
other way around. the government is always looking for ways to pry more money
out of those engaged in private enterprise, including individuals who work for
a living, which is a form of private enterprise. I've worked for large
corporations, small corporations, and I've owned my own business. In none of
those phases of my business life have I experienced even the smallest
opportunity to "pry more money out of the government." In fact, I don't
recall ever prying *any* money out of the government. The money flow was all
the other way.
I take it you're talking about that nebulous term "corporate welfare". If
there is such a thing, it is a product of government, not corporations, and
only a very small percentage of all the companies in existence are
beneficiaries of these programs. In any case, to the extent it exists, it's
just one more example of misguided government policy. There's no
justification for it.