The Sunday New York Times article “Are Superstar Firms and Amazon Effects Reshaping the Economy?” is interesting in various informative ways, including in its frequent use of euphemisms to discuss highly emotional economic issues. Also in how it discusses the unstated continued war between the ‘stars’ of the global financial corporations and the “superstars” of the (software) corporations. There’s envy there. Keep reading, please.
The article focuses on discussions going on between “professional economists and policy makers”, meaning leaders of the Federal Reserve and global central banks, about a problem they have just recently discovered affecting their capacity to make bigger profits: Monopoly, i.e.
“more industries are being dominated by a handful of extraordinarily successful companies…”
Except that these “professional economists” don’t actually like the term “monopoly”, even though that’s what they are talking about; so they use in its stead the less morally reprehensible term “monopsony”. That is a clue about how committed these global bankers are about ‘attacking’ their counter parts in the “superstar industries”, the software kings who are playing the monopoly game.
There are other good reasons hidden in the article for frequent use of euphemisms by these ‘concerned’ professional financiers. I would like to ‘uncover’ some of them for you.
Euphemism #1: There is no problem; really.
One thing that stands out in reading the article, at least for me, is how the writer of the opinion piece, Neil Irwin, joins the sources of his article in avoiding using any words or adjectives that may cast a bad light on the owners of the corporations creating the problems he discusses. In fact, there is no problem with the way these “superstar” corporations function. He says that the leaders of the central banks discussing how the “superstar” corporations are messing up the economy are merely “confounded” by the “trends they see”.
“It’s hardly the case that central bankers are becoming storm-the-barricades opponents of corporate power”.
That caveat is important; he is drawing the line in the sand for you to know how far you should take the ‘description’ of their problem. The warning is ‘it’s not what you think’ they are talking about.
So don’t you go on reading the article thinking that the ‘issues’ being discussed (not denounced) in it constitute a moral judgment on the “handful” of men who run the problematic corporations in question. These people are just “trying to understand the facts”…so that they can be part of the trend and pocket bigger profits like the other corporations are doing.
Euphemism #2: It’s not ‘monopoly’, silly. It’s “monopsony”
Calling, e.g., Amazon a “superstar” corporation in the context of the economic damage it is causing to the economy is not the same as calling it a ‘super monopoly’ or a ‘mega globalist disrupter’ of the economy in the same context.
Monopoly is too much of a negatively emotionally charged word, so another one has to be used in the article. One which doesn’t carry the moral implications that naturally gives raise to a desire in the readers’ mind to revolt against these corporations. A revolt that usually takes the form of the most despised word in the capitalists’ dictionary, a demand for REGULATION, i.e.
That ‘new’ BENIGN word that means the same thing as monopoly is monophony. Here is it’s definition in the article:
““monopsony” — the outsize power of a few consolidated employers”
Gotta love euphemisms; “of a few consolidated EMPLOYERS“. That’s almost like saying ‘it is Jesus’ way’. Not corporations practicing capitalism’s greatest game, not the few ‘Jeff Bezos’ of mega corporations, but only a few good ol’ regular employers.Do you see how euphemism works in this article?
But that is what the citizens have been calling these “superstar” corporations for a while now, monopolies, and complaining about it. Seldom have you heard the public saying ‘I hate this “handful of extraordinarily successful companies”. No, the complaint is about their monopolistic power, not about them being “successful” companies.
And the power of that complaint is, in part, what got Trump to the White House. The unstated complaint is about the unrestrained personal greed in the heart of the handful of men controlling our economy and our lives, be it financial or industrial corporations. And the reason it is an “unstated complaint” is because the true causes and nature of these “confounding trends” are hidden behind euphemisms that mask the amoral personality character required to become a “superstar” corporation.
That’s why those euphemisms are there, to ‘accuse’ but not to stir the anti-capitalist/monopoly pot. It’s an undeclared war between ‘superstars’. More on this below.
Euphemism #3: Don’t name names, please.
In the world of the experts-in-opinion-shaping media, it is a forgone rule that you use negative words only when you want to hurt the subject of an article. For The NYT, there’s no point in going on hurting, e.g., Jeff Bezos by directly using his name to point out how hurtful his greedy business practices may be for society. The names of these corporate CEOs are seldom mentioned; their personal names can’t be associated with their amoral practices.
Your task as a reader is to remember how GRRRREAT! he (and Amazon) is. These are “superstars’ (wouldn’t you want to be a superstar?) and “extraordinarily successful companies”, nothing wrong with that, is it? It’s just the ‘trends’ that are bad.
The problem which “confounds” the leaders of the financial sector is that the boys of the industrial “superstar” corporations are unwilling to share their profits with them and play fair with them. It is as if the stars of the global financial elite are envious of the power of the mega software industry. So they tell the Bezos’s of the world that they have a secret weapon against them: The poor workers being screwed up by Jeff et al software kings.
And that’s what this article is about, the financial sector showing the software kings how they can turn the working class against them. Showing to the “superstars” that they too have power, maybe even more than the software “superstars”.
WHAT THE WAR BETWEEN SUPERSTARS LOOKS LIKE
“By keeping interest rates low and allowing the labor market to strengthen, employers may eventually find they have no choice but to increase worker pay.”
That’s your euphemistic statement of war: “We are at war with superstar corporations because they refuse to let us play in their game. And we can force their hands.‘ Notice they are talking about “employers”, That’s euphemism paying off, for we know they are talking about Jeff Bezos et al software “superstars”. But they don’t want you to know who are the two sides feuding by name. Why? Because it’s THEIR war, between them; your part in it is, as always, as cannon fodder. They do not want you to know that there’s a fight up there between the elite capitalists.
It’s dressed up for you to make the usual assumptions: That these financiers want to help you, it’s about YOUR economy, not about them. But is it? Do you really, but REALLY think that the barons of Wall Street and the central banks gurus are on the side of the workers, our super heroes forcing the bad evil Bezos’ Amazon to increase worker pay?
Whether in the early medieval times, during feudalism, or in modern times, kings and presidents use the minions and workers as weapon to fight each other. We are in the modern feudal times. These kings and lords of the financial and industrial manor use us against each other. The way to force the Bezos of the world to play ‘fair’ and share their exorbitant wealth with the bankers (not with workers) is by manipulating the financial system. After all, said system is private.
It would be foolish for regular citizens to take the above quote as meaning that the leaders of the central banks are ever so worry about how the economy affects you personally. These are leaders of mega financial businesses for profit. They never side with you.
Clearly, I’m no expert on economy, but you don’t have to be one to understand when two factions are at war.
Today’s biggest war is the one going on in the board rooms of our elite financial and software industrial “employers”.
We see the collateral damage, but we don’t see the CEOs-kings fighting each other. Mainly because they don’t want to change the field, just the rule of the games in their own interests.
That they can do behind the curtains.