Wednesday, November 25, 2015

On Bar Rescue

Because of the comedian Doug Stanhope I recently became acquainted with a show called Bar Rescue. A fairly entertaining show, and one that has some interesting trends I would like the American people to notice that unfortunately I feel they are unlikely to.

First off, most of the problems are with management in most episodes, not the staff.  Of the episodes I've seen so far, sometimes the employees are lacking in spirit (understandably) but usually they're making the most of a bad situation.  Many of them are single mothers and need their jobs to make ends meet.  Of course this is horrible, though I'd like to throw a quick anti-natalist point in here and say they wouldn't be so desperate if they didn't choose to have children.  But, that being the case they of course need gainful employment with an adequate wage.

In most of shows I've seen everything works out and the employer turns around, becoming a far more happy and sensible person, ready to make a profit for both him or herself and his or her employees - and all it took was expert training and a entire bar make-over advertized by Captain Morgan. I don't blame the owners, it's not their fault, and this show shows us that even the petite bourgeois are people trying to scrap together an ends meet. 

Two major points here:  When Socialists criticize Capitalism we're mostly talking about giant conglomerates, not people like my father or grandfather who ran there own businesses with a very minute amount of employees and spare capital.  Secondly, though the petite bourgeois aren't in exactly a glamorous position, they still exploit the working class by under-paying them.  The owners in this show get their bar renovated and will receive a massive increase in profits.  How much of that will go to the bartenders who held the bar together in incredibly strenuous times?  In some cases some, in others none.  The show doesn't once consider the fact that the workers who are doing the majority of the work should both receive their fair share and own the means-of-production themselves.  But it is a reality show in America, so I didn't exactly expect Jo(h)n to go Workers of the World on us.

Also, though I understand that a bar needs to make money to keep its doors open and a reoccurring problem strangely enough with these failing bars is giving away drinks routinely, I disagree that making a profit should be the only incentive in running a business.  As an owner of a bar the owners main "purpose" or potential to do good is to create entertainment and enjoyment so people can be freed from their pain and troubles for a period of time.  This may involve something like pool which may not be incredibly profitable for the business.  My main point is, if everything in a bar was done 100% for profit, then the only goal would be to sell people as many drinks as possible completely regarding the social cost.  Business owners (especially of bars and restaurants) can make great experiences for people and make money doing it - but the bettering of the world needs to be their main priority, not making a profit.  Now of course as a Socialist I would still hold that we'd have a better and more just system with worker co-ownership but good things can still come out of a fundamentally bad system - Capitalism; just like good experiences can come out of a fundamentally bad thing - life.

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