tv Charles Sauer Profit Motive CSPAN September 2, 2018 7:30am-8:01am EDT
where i feel more myself than anywhere. where i know i am loved. thank you to my family and my community for protecting me. thank you for this great honor and the honor of writing about you. it is a great responsibility and i hope to bear it well, to make you proud, flush with joy. to make you remember, we are walking together a little easier while we havethis time under this the sky, under these trees . thank you, thank you, thank you. [applause]
>> watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> charles sauer, what is the profit motive and how do you define it? >> the profit motive is a way to look at the world around you.people are motivated. they act because of different motivations in their life and i deem that as profit and in the book i redefine it almost right away and say profit isn't just money. profit is maybe feeling good. profit is getting back to your community. maybe profit is more time with your family but when people make a decision, when they make an action they are driven by profit. we all know businesses are driven by profit. that's a fact that we all understand but in the book i take it step further and show that managers are driven by
profit and that is often different than what the companies motivations are. and the employees under them are also driven by profit and i move it from there because most of us understand business but as we take down the profit motive and i move that into other sectors so i look at government and show that a 20-year-old bureaucrat sitting on the desk may not always have the best intentions of the country on his mind when he sitting at that desk.sometimes he wants to go off work with his friends, maybe he wants to live move up in the bureaucracy himself. the guy sitting at the desk in government as motivations and those don't often go exactly with the program he's working for. and it works in media and also applies to family life and even nonprofit. it's an interesting theory when you start expounding on it . >> host: when you talk about
non-economic profit motive, how do you define benefits? >> guest: profit is a weird term anyways. if you look at the webster's definition of it, i feel like it's a weird thing to go back to, it's not good in writing to go back to the webster's dictionary but it helps here because it shows that profit isn't just money . profit is something that is a benefit to somebody . i read a lot of ayn rand but one of her things is selfishness is good and i look in, i think a lot of her ideas are right but i don't think they caught on because people don't like to consider themselves as greedy. if you look at other people and show that they are acting in their self interest, you can look at what other people want as a benefit. i don't know if the question is how you derive it. i think benefit or profit are intrinsic in our life. i don't think you get to
derive benefit, but it's whatever the person defines themselves as good. it's whatever the person or the business or the organization defines as a benefit. there's a lot of companies that i look at what their goal is and i don't agree with that as being a profit. but that's not for me to define what their profit is. they think that's a profit and they're either going to live by that were died by. if i understand they're going after and i can help them get there that will help me in the future youhave 30 million americans driven by their own profit motive, that's millions of businesses doing the same thing . how does that work? >> it's amazing, right? it's the invisible hand. my profit motive personally, i'm driven my family. i have the opportunity that i get towalk with my daughter to school in the morning .
i'm driven a little bit by money so i can afford the lifestyle in which to do that. and it works because if i'm bad to people, if i'm not doing the right things to people, then i'm not going to be able to pursue that lifestyle. i'm not going to be able to profit so if you increase that and go into, move it up a notch and go into business, if businesses are making their customers mad, if they're making their employees mad, they aren't going to stay around long either so it works because everybody's working or a profit. and the only way to do that is to work together. i have to try to make you profit more and if i help you profit more, then maybe you're going to keep me on the longer . >> you open your book profit motive, what drives the things we do with a thought experiment, what is that? >> i think that it's nice to
open people up and get them thinking from the beginning. so the way i started the book was if an employee is working at a company and they are designing a building, that company also makes fasteners. measured fasteners. what kind of building are they going to design? are they going to design a building that uses tendered fasteners or one that uses metric fasteners and the fact is if they don't want to get fired, they're going to design a building that uses the metric fasteners that their company makes and we see that kind of all throughout life. we see hospitals, if you're a doctor and don't refer, then you're likely going to get less patience or you're going to get moved out or you're going to get a bad referral. the fact is that profit motives do drive what we do but i like opening with a
thought experiment. it gets people thinking from the beginning and hopefully they understand almost right away what thebasic idea of profit motive is . >> your closing thought experiment could go one of two ways's i think the closing thought experiment can go almost 3 ways. the closing thought experiment is who profits more? the person who writes the book or the person who reads the book? and not mentioned in their is a question of whether you understand the profit motive enough? there's also the person who publishes the book and there's also the book stores that sell the book so maybe there's four ways. maybe i just said one when i was talking about it but i do profit from writing the book and i profit from the book in several ways but people that read the book are also profiting from the book. and hopefully they are profiting at least as much as
the price. i think they're going to profit a lot more but also involved is the publisher and i decided to write the book based on leveraging the profit motive of my publisher writing the book is a time sink. you're going to spend a lot of hours and i have three daughters that i love, i love spending time and playing with them and doing things with them, i have a wife that i get along with and she's my teammate and to write a book i had to take time away from them and take time away from my life and my business and in order to do that i made sure that a publisher picked up my book before i devoted my time to writing it so if a publisher says this book is valuable, we're going to invest in it so i decided to invest my time in finishing it up. >> host: you are currently president of the market institute, what is that? >> it's a nonprofit. i represent a think tank and
i do free-market advocacy on capitol hill so as part of that i focus on healthcare and intellectual property. intellectual property, both issues go with this book perfectly but intellectual property or patent is what is the government's right or government monopoly that gives the inventor the incentive, the profit motive to take an idea and take it into the marketplace, to get consumer eyes there and so i think it's kind of that what i do iswhat i wrote about . >> when you work on the senate finance committeestaff , what was the profit motive there? >> there's a lot of, i think when you're early in your career, there's interesting profit motives involved and i
looked at, i had a friend that i grew up with, he's my best friend and he was an accountant for one of the large firms and while i was sitting at my desk in the senate, i kept wondering why is he working for this accounting firm? he needs to go out and start his own business, that's who both he and i are and while i was sitting at that desk, i wasn't realizing i was doing the same thing. what we were doing isbuilding up our resumes, building up our net worth, our knowledge base and most of the people i work with today are still the people that i met then . on that desk, but when i was working for governor jeb bush, i worked with the person who is now chief of staff for the majority leader cornyn in the senate. so it's interesting to see where your networks go and what that profit motive is but at the time it was a paycheck and trying to moveup
and learn that network to get me what i started which is to start my own business marketing . >> host: charles sauer, in your opinion does the government take into consideration our personal profit motive? >>. >> guest: sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. one of the groups i work with is the goodman institute, john goodman is the founder of health savings accounts and it is one of the only times i've seen a government policy that does leverage the benefit of people. it puts the patient back in the driver's seat by making them the client when they go to a doctor. an hsa is a healthcare device that, it's a savings account that you bring your own money in. it's tax-deferred and you can use that money and use it in conjunction with a high deductible health plan what you're given is the incentive to shop and the doctors are given the incentive to treat
you like the client so when you go into a doctor's office normally, yes you are a patient, yes you might be sick but you're not really paying the doctor. you might be paying 10 percent of what the doctor gets paid, but the real payers are the insurance companies or the hospitals or the government the hsa puts that back in place but 99 percent of the time, government doesn't understand the profit motive of the people and politically we don't understand theprofit motive of the bureaucrats that are implementing it and that's one of the maybe bigger issues . >> from your book if you could expand on this. elon musk is one of the capitalists that knows he is in a war and has built a company prepared to fight each and every crony battle to get his businesses every advantage possible . >> guest: yes, so elon is an interesting character and elon is that weird, there's two inventors that are well known. you have, everybody knows you
have edison and tesla. so people like to think of elon as tesla, this kind of wild haired inventor going out and doing crazy things and the fact is he's edison. most people hold edison higher. i personally am a tesla fan but edison built a business. he bought other people's patents. he was inventive himself but he was ruthless and growing that business and in fact, he attacked tesla for many years on ac/dc. elon does much the same. these innovative but he's running a business so when he goes into a state like if he's going to decide to put a launch pad in arizona or build tesla's in nevada where we are right now, the fact is that he's going to shop. he's going to push them and
he pushes them for cash rebates, pushes them for everything he can because that's the bottom line. is that innovative? does that sound like the creative type that he is? i don't think it does but it'sinteresting to look at somebody i hold in high regard and look at the profit motive of how their running their business . is not just inventing for americans greatness, he's inventing for himself, for his business and that's how he's running it. >> are lots of profit motives being inaugurated in the amazon hq to search? >> guest: amazon hq two is interesting to watch. it interesting to watch this scramble for it and watch some of the states opt out. to get on the search, companies are giving out brakes, they're giving out areas of land, their promising to build out their infrastructure. so we're seeing the profit motive there.
what's interesting is if you dig down deeper, all of those tax breaks are bad. all those promises are bad. so i would say that a lot of those are bad profitmotives. they are looking atwhat they're doing . they're just going after it as hard as they can . i think that if you understand and if you look at the view of the world with the profit motive that wins, you can see it and pointed out, but then you can look at it and see if there profit motive is correct, if they're doing things correctly. i don't know if we want to talk about it but the trade war would be one of those. i personally think president trump comes from the right place in his heart. he sees we are being treated fairly in trade and he's trying to do something about it. it's a profit motive.
he's trying to make america great again but if we look at the economics behind what a trade war causes, if we look at what that does to us, then i would say the policies that he's pursuing while profit driven are not going to bring us what his end result that he's looking for. we should promote small innovators. >> host: is the difference especially in speaking of amazon and the tradepolicies, is there a difference between long-term goals and short-term profit motives? >> there's an interesting , i don't see a difference between it and i don't think an economist would see a difference necessarily between the short-term profit motive in the long term profit motive because if your shirt short-term profit motivedoesn't serve the long one, then it's not doing what it's supposed to do even in the short term.
there's a fight about ceos trying to get quarterly returns for their investors though. so i think it's open for debate . but i think, and this is one of those things that if you look at what the company is working in its self-interest of their company, it's that long run profit motive they need to be driving for which is one ofthe reasons i do support capitalism. >> . >> host: charles sauer, used ask this question should we be scared that the media is going to brainwash us into supporting one group to make more money? >> we should notbe worried about that . the media is not going to brainwash us into supporting something and that's because the media -- >> host: supporting what? >> guest: i'm a libertarian. that means that i'm right meaning so i'm often in republicancircles and in conservative rooms . so there's always the leftist
media coming to get us, the leftist media is going to tell a story that is a true and there against us but the fact is that the country is maybe 50-50. it's not too far off on liberal conservative. so if you look at the profit motive of the media companies, they want to deliver media in the right way. they want to deliver news in the way that it's happening because if they continue not to deliver news in the way that it's happening, the organization continues to deliver fake news, they are going to lose market share, they're going to lose advertising revenue, they're going to lose watchers and listeners and it's one of the reasons why fox has taken off, because they lean in that direction but they always lean in that direction so it's easy to know each story what you're hearing so
you can kind of edit it back to the middle without doing it without needing much work. no, the media is not going to brainwash us . i wanted to pose it in there, i do a lot of media with the far left. and they have me on because their listeners find it interesting to hear both sides. >> and on the back of the book, one of the endorsements, profit motive is a must read or someone on both the political right and the left. on the left, we need to understand how a radical like charles sauer views the world and on the right, you all can do what you want ., hartman. >> guest: ,sent me that endorsement and i've done a lot of things with tom including one saturday i was sitting at home and if you don't know tom hartman, he has the number nine radio show. he's a top ranked liberal radio show. he's an amazingguy, but he's
slightly left of bernie sanders . so he's pretty far down over on the left, but he called me on a saturday, emailed me and said i have an idea for next week's show , do you want to switch sides? and so we got on the radio and we switched sides. and we argued each other's points of view . so he showed the respect there and when you read that, it's actually, it makes me happy because he says you need to read it if you're, if you're on the left, you need to know how a radical like charles sauer thinks and when somebody as far leftist,calls you a radical, it's a term of endearment . so it's interesting to me, because of the difference between how it reads and really what he meant by it. >> greed is good, true or false? >> i think that greed is true. greed is everywhere, so i
answered your question in a way that might not have expected on that but i think greed is everywhere. greed is just omnipresent. i don't know if greed is good, necessarily and we talked about several instances where greed could be, amazon hq2. the greed of trying to get back might be to the detriment of a safe economy so is greed good? i don't know but greed is true. greed is omnipresent and it's not necessarily greed, i think it's profit-seeking because somebody that's serving their church is being greedy but for their church . they might not be looking for growth themselves but they are looking for growth of theirchurch . i think profit is a word that most people think money right away. greed is a word that people think selfishness but if we look at the words a little bit differently and just see greed for your church or profit as a benefit, that you
do find it a little differently. >> is there anything in our lives for a world that should not be driven by the profit motive? >> guest: i don't know. in the book i talk about my relationship with my wife and i think if i was to go someplace, if you were to ask me that question and i wasn't thinking or whatever, i might say yes, your family life or friendships but honestly, when you look at your friendships and you look at your good friendships or your good marriages, there's give and take in those relationships. and though you go back and forth, if i'm always sticking from my wife, if she's never getting any profit from our relationship, then that's not a good relationship for her. i have to find ways to give her profit. i have to find ways to give her what she wants out of the relationship.
i come with works, i'm a writer that works with inventors. i'm kind of a wary weird person. and my wife deals with that. so i have to give her things that she wants to deal with that and that doesn't mean money, that means sitting and listening. that means making sure that i make sure that i'm present because she needs that. i have a great wife, she's at home with my three daughters that i've mentioned every day . so she also needs that adult interaction. and if you don't realize that, if you don't see that, then it's not there so i do think that it's around our everyday lives, i don't think there's an area of our lives where it doesn't truly exist. you might be able to look at your relationship with your kids but you get a hug from them and that's all it takes so i'll take that as a benefit. >> host: here's the book, profit motive is the name, what drives the things we do. charles sauer is the author. >> thank you.
>> national award-winning author jacqueline woodsman is our guest. our live call in program. today at noon eastern with her most recent book arbor me, her other novels include round girl dreaming. another brooklyn. miracles bully, plus over 15 novels and illustrated books forchildren and young adults . watch in depth fiction edition with jacqueline woodson life today from noon to 3 pm eastern and be sure to watch in depth next month with geraldine brooks and november with jody to go and brad notes or will be our guest in december on book tv on c-span2. >> the king has a problem in cleveland. carl stokes does not want him to come to cleveland, he wants to win and he thinks that king will alienate the few whites that he needs to get so you will not find any pictures of carl stokes with
martha think, even though he came to cleveland every week during the summer of 1967. this is not written about in the history books. i'm surprised when i read most of the biographies, legal and was what it was all about for him. it was all about movingcivil rights and black power . and in a lot of ways, martin luther king and malcom x moved toward each other at the end of their lives. both of them were 39 years old when they were killed. it's hard to believe how much influence they had in this world but you had malcom x moving toward human rights and martin luther king moving toward more aggressive black power. at the same time, cleveland is the center of the universe. this picture is known as the ali summit. talk about somebody taking in
the period this is june of 1967 and what i like and the reason i love this photograph, it's jim brown, greatest running back of all time and he calls in all these black athletes to talk to ali who is saying he's not going to join the army and resist the draft. this is in cleveland ohio and you can see bill russell is on one end, later kareem abdul-jabbar and then a lot of other football players, the green bay packers and cleveland browns but the guy that i like in this photograph is all the way to the left, you see carl stokes is the only non-athlete in this carl stokes two weeks from this photograph will declare hisrace to become mayor of cleveland, next is this guy named walter beach . walter was on the team with jim brown that won the championship in 1964 that shut down johnny unitas and by 27, he was the quarterback
who was the quarterback but walter is still alive and walter and i have probably taught 25, 30 times about all of this. when he was going through his life as an nfl player, he was from detroit and he met malcom x and went to his speech in detroit, the one we listened to the segment on. but he also will be one of the last guys talk for the shooting starts so he's a very important guy. he's a wonderful human being. most of our television conversations and with him saying peace and love, jim. and that's appropriate ithink .
that's his big tagline. so stokes is running and you won't see king with him but king was there, very much and when he came to cleveland, he met with pastors but he made sure to include ahmed evans who was the militant national at the time so this is a picture of them. this is also that picture, this is the day before carl stokes is elected. and so king, and to me, i love this part of the story. i don't know if you know this but after he violated the injunction in birmingham, the case went up on appeal so he served so many days in the birmingham jail and was let out five days early on bail. he went to the us green court and in 1967, the supreme court ordered him to go back to jail for five days because he violated the injunction. and we just had a president who pardoned somebody for violating an injunction in arizona. king went back to jail and he went back to the birmingham jail right before this picture was taken and he had three books withhim, and economics book , nat turner's
book the confessions of nat turner and one other book, i can't remember what it was but then he comes back because he wants to be in cleveland when this great event happens that carl stokes wins. carl stokes wins, but barely and you will look in vain for king is standing next to him, he was being held in a hotel room by lou stokes who became a well-known congressman, wonderful human being. i met lou many times but carl didn't want martin luther king there to cause alienation as he started his, what he was going to do and cleveland elected somebody on a tuesday and the following monday they were in office . he didn't have time to do anything, he just did it but this is the victory of carl
stokes incleveland. martin luther king was not happy about this so this is a short clip, this is the day after stokes wins . and you would think this would be a very happy day for martin luther king but he's very unhappy. in fact, coretta scott king told ebony magazine this was the greatest job of his life, not to be included in the celebration. >> watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> .. >> i work for maureen dowd. >> nice to see you. you're on my show tomorrow