Last November, I posted an entry about profits. (see here) The basic point I tried to make was that profits are not immoral or evil and it's actually good for companies to make a profit.
Lately, I've dug up an old memory from back in the 1990's related to profit. It seemed very important to me. During that time, we were experiencing what some people called a "rolling recession". One industry would be hit with hard times for a while, then another. One of my co-worker's parents ran a fishing boat, somewhere up North. Small, family-owned business at it's best.
One day he reported a story where he asked mom & dad how the business was doing. "Hard times" they said, they had to run the business with just 3 or 4 workers. The output was higher than ever, but competition and the "rolling recession" was hitting the business hard.
He explained that in good times, they had 8-10 people working for them. "How are you able to make it with just that few people?" he asked them. "What's different?"
Their reply was that in good times, they hired more, in rough times they trimmed down. A higher gross profit allowed them to spread the wealth (at their choice).
It seems to me that when companies like this profit, it's a good thing. They hire more workers. Sure, they aren't as efficient as they could be, and the consumer ends up paying for it, but (if there is competition) the consumer doesn't really lose out.
More about profits on another day...