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eBook Capitalist fools: Tales of American business from Carnegie to Malcolm Forbes ePub

eBook Capitalist fools: Tales of American business from Carnegie to Malcolm Forbes ePub

by Nicholas Von Hoffman

  • ISBN: 0701138890
  • Subcategory: No category
  • Author: Nicholas Von Hoffman
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (1992)
  • ePub book: 1242 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1604 kb
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  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 562

Description

Nicholas Von Hoffman has written for newspapers and reported for television and radio. He wrote ten other books, mostly non-fiction. He began this 1992 book as a biography of Malcolm Forbes, the successful publisher, but it wandered into other areas.

Nicholas Von Hoffman has written for newspapers and reported for television and radio. Malcolm enjoyed his vast wealth and extravagant living, but not like William Randolph Hearst. Hoffman compares the early millionaires who produced goods for the people ("cheap lamp oil") to those who only produce profits while millions become poorer (&.

Von Hoffman, Nicholas. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by CarriC on June 29, 2010. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata). Terms of Service (last updated 12/31/2014).

Whatever the merits of von Hoffman's notion that Big Business has precipitated a decline in initiative, he doesn't make much of a case for it.

This story of American business which traces the rise of Malcolm Forbes against the collapse and corruption of American business in the 1970s and the go-go years of the 1980s. Exposing modern business evils, this book looks at these evils in context, revealing the larger picture.

A recent title is Hoax: Why Americans Are Suckered by White House Lies (2004). Von Hoffman also wrote a libretto for Deborah Drattell's Nicholas and Alexandra for the Los Angeles Opera which was performed in the 2003/04 season under the direction of Plácido Domingo. Recently he was a columnist for the New York Observer.

by Nicholas von Hoffman.

By (author) Nicholas Von Hoffman.

tales of American business from Carnegie to Malcolm Forbes. by Nicholas von Hoffman. Published 1993 by Chatto in London.

Nicholas von Hoffman. Nicholas von Hoffman (born October 16, 1929 in New York City) is an American journalist and author. He worked as a community organizer for Saul Alinsky in Chicago for ten years from 1953 to 1963. He wrote for the Washington Post. A recent title is Hoax: Why Americans Are Suckered by White House Lies (2004).

Whatever one might say about America's original business giants - the Carnegies, the Morgans, the du Ponts - they built America, virtually inventing modern business techniques in the process, so as to reap profits while improving every American's standard of living. Today's rich and powerful, on the other hand, accumulate vast wealth through sleight-of-hand paper-shuffling, business song-and-dance routines like "leveraged buyouts," and swapping blips on computer screens. They don't make anything, except exorbitant incomes, and improving our quality of life is nowhere near the top of their agenda. What went wrong? When, and how, did we lose our way? In Capitalist Fools, Nicholas von Hoffman answers these questions by telling the surprising, often rollicking story of American business - what its strengths were in its heyday, what went wrong in the last two decades, and what we can do to get it back on track. It is no accident that in the mid-1970s Malcolm Forbes became a national celebrity. The good times were ending. The glory days of American business were long past, and the growth years of the sixties were unequivocally over. With the reality of increasing wealth and higher standards of living a thing of the past, the illusion became all that much more important. If Americans could no longer lead the good life, they could at least watch Malcolm live it for them. But Malcolm played his part too well. He and his peers spent so flamboyantly and publicly that Americans actually believed, all through the "go-go years" of the eighties, that this country's wealth was increasing, and that there was plenty to go around. They were wrong. American business and industry were corrupt and collapsing. While many books, from Liar's Poker to Den of Thieves, have exposed modern business evils, they have treated them as isolated cases and concluded, in essence, that the problem was that the men involved were thieves. Capitalist Fools is the first book to give these evils a conte

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Kaghma Kaghma
Capitalist Fools, Nicholas Von Hoffman

Nicholas Von Hoffman has written for newspapers and reported for television and radio. He wrote ten other books, mostly non-fiction. He began this 1992 book as a biography of Malcolm Forbes, the successful publisher, but it wandered into other areas. Malcolm enjoyed his vast wealth and extravagant living, but not like William Randolph Hearst. [Was such extravagance the sign of a personality defect?] Hoffman compares the early millionaires who produced goods for the people ("cheap lamp oil") to those who only produce profits while millions become poorer (`Preface'). This book will try to describe the differences between the great men of the late 19th century and those of the mid-20th century. The fourteen chapters each have their Notes for references, and there is an Index. "The Robber Barons" by Matthew Josephson is an old history of those 19th century individuals who became exceedingly wealthy. Nobody has produced a newer history.

Chapter 1 is wordy and diffuse but tells about bribery with money, booze, and women to sell products. This goes back to the late 19th century. [You won't read about this in school books.] It was used in other financial disasters (savings & loan, banking and insurance). Chapter 2 has the history of Bertie Charles Forbes, a poor Scot who worked hard and succeeded in the newspaper business. The use of sensationalism to sell newspapers goes back to the late 19th century (p.39). Forbes' magazine sometimes told what was actually going on inside a company (Chapter 3). Most publications support their advertisers. Commercial violence has a long history (p.44). Chapter 4 tells about the mass production and distribution networks created in the late 19th century. Why do successful companies eventually run downhill (p.63)? The cash register was a tool for employees, owner-operated businesses had no use for it. Does watching television result in dumbing-down people (P.70)?

Chapter 5 discusses the managerial problems in large institutions. Is this caused by powerful CEO's (p.84)? Hoffman's examples are questionable. Fax machines became popular [then] when lowered prices made them less costly (p.87). [The political problems of transistors were that big oil didn't want efficient electrical devices and their banks stopped industries from dropping vacuum tubes until they went bankrupt, or "busted out". Or so I read.] By Chapter 6 I realized Hoffman's fault of ridiculing or trivializing what he writes about (p.100). No proof for his claim about Paul Revere's 1774 expense account! The mad antics of these corporate CEO's are similar to the European rulers of the 19th century who were on the road to extinction. ["Royal Babylon" is the name of the book.] Building grandiose corporate headquarters (p.105) was analyzed in the book "Parkinson's Law". Chapter 7 tells about the take-over artists who loot company pension funds and then bankrupt the corporation, enriching themselves in the process. Where was Congress when this happened?

Chapter 8 discusses Bernarr Macfadden the owner of sensationalist publications. Nobody went broke by appealing to vulgar tastes. Would radio broadcasting be better today without advertising? [No, unless you think that Congress could to a better job than regulating the businesses described in this book.] Chapter 9 explains how business was ruining education and culture over the past century. [Why Johnny Can't Read / Add.] Chapter 10 compares the business of Samuel Insull in producing electricity utilities to those who buy control of companies in order to loot them. Chapter 11 contrasts managers who produce better products to speculators who trade stock for profits. [This is one of the most interesting chapters.] Chapter 12 continues to blame the rotting rulers of big corporations for their mismanagement. The Boards of Directors need to do their duty. Cost accounting is important to keep a business profitable. Are business schools responsible for teaching mismanagement (p235)? Chapter 13 analyzes other tricks of High Finance which hollow out the corporations (p.249). He tells how Safeway was looted in 1986 (p.256). He references "Den of Thieves" by James B. Stewart; its about "the greatest criminal conspiracy in financial history".

Stories about the damage done by corporate looting is mostly censored in the Corporate Media (Chapter 14). Public relation firms manufacture "grass roots lobbying" to manipulate public opinion (p.259). They offers free columns and experts to the newspapers, radio , and television audiences. [That is why there is propaganda and no facts.] The super rich hide their wealth and power (p.262). Do we need a higher inheritance tax (p.264)? What will people do after being cheated out of pensions (p.268)? [Note the ongoing attacks on Social Security.] Advertising for "coffin nails" won over its opponents (p.269). Do we need Federal chartering of corporations (p.273)? [Probably yes, unless they are not involved with interstate commerce.] Hoffman suggests a limited time and limited lines of business for corporations. Does he really believe that changing "limited liability" will prevent "fewer accidents" (p.275)? [Did that work for Chernobyl?] The `Appendix' tells about Forbes' political career. Could a simple photograph damage a candidate (p.277)? Would it detract from his `image'?
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