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Ate at Starbucks, WTF!

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Fuuma, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Then your memory sucks. Good, diversified food choices have only become increasingly available with economic growth. Even if the things at Starbucks are terrible, they are still terrible versions of things that weren't even available before to the great expanse of society. Before Starbucks, where could the average American go to get a latte? Or a chai iced tea? Before Whole Foods, how many Americans even knew what a kumquat was? Seemingly every small town in the United States has at least one sushi restaurant today. You may sneer at the sh*tty California rolls (not that you would ever order those), but there was no sushi there before, at all.


    If we are defining capitalism as a system where people make their own decisions about what to buy and sell, then yes, the only other choice is to make them do otherwise by putting a gun to their heads. If you are simply more enlightened than me and can suggest another path, please feel free to share.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  2. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    Hey, I love good fried chicken and cheap Mexican food. That's not the point though. Everyone got into some deconstruction here and I offered my 2 cents. We have food only pretentious fucks eat now, food only teh poorz eat (or higher ups slumming) and then mass produced food which is acceptable to the masses. Some sort of twisted notion of egalitarianism I think.
     
  3. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Oh, and the vanilla scones at Starbucks are pretty good. Maybe you just don't know how to order right.
     
  4. mordecai

    mordecai Senior member

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    I always just get the zeen doy
     
  5. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Please tell me you aren't joking and they actually have those at Starbucks in California. If so, that's progress, and I'm moving out West.
     
  6. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Well, this is the most maddening aspect of narratives like Fuuma's. The premise is that corporations brainwash people into buying crap from them.

    Possible, yes--though outlandish, and more importantly, pointless to consider. I might as well assume that Fuuma's opinions should be entirely ignored because he's been brainwashed by the Western institution of leftist academic ideology.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  7. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  8. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    They want to save a cent (same as making an extra one), and so does the consumer.

    You are falsely approaching the situation as if it is unilateral: "What makes companies/organizations/governments do ____ to people?"

    In fact, a complete analysis should begin with an assumption that the situation is bi- or multilateral: "What makes market participants buy and sell the way they do?"

    Only after ruling out that consumers aren't making their own value judgments can you conclude the sellers are pulling some sort of coercive voodoo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  9. schrag

    schrag Well-Known Member

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    Another thing to consider is that as large entities increase in scale, they often cut quality to deal with the challenge of size. exempli gratia, Canadian donut franchise Tim Hortons experienced huge growth over the last 20 years, and at some point they stopped making donuts in store and had them shipped in frozen from centralized bakeries. This may be a reflect of Fuuma's critical views on optimization - companies that rely heavily on brand loyalty or marketing to overcome a decline in product quality or experience.

    Sometimes the consistency or operating hours of franchises are appreciated, but growth for the sake of growth seems to eventually have negative effects on the end consumer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  10. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  11. mordecai

    mordecai Senior member

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    I am joking, though I have seen Arancini on the menu at the Pasadena Intelligentsia.
     
  12. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I learned it by attending one of the most radically left elite colleges in America.

    Your talk of "culture" and "environment" only obfuscates because, in doing so, you evade investigating the situation from a more granular level: how individuals make decisions and what we must assume about how they do so. By not recognizing the independent agency of individual actors, you are necessarily aggregating them into larger demographic categories ("consumers", "corporations," etc.) and losing resolution on the problem you are attempting to analyze.

    That's why I say your underlying premise is that large organizations "brainwash" individual actors. There is little other way to read you when you don't want to accept the distinct possibility people do what they do because they want to, not because some vague, intangible cloud of culture or corporate malevolence made it so.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  13. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  14. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Dude, I'm just answering your own queries.

    You asked:


    I pointed out that your question assumes that "large, technocratic orgs" are unilaterally influencing the dissemination of sandwiches that are "lab-tested monstrosit[ies]." This is a bad assumption, as you have not ruled out the possibility that the problem is the result of a multilateral situation: various market participants dealing with each other, buying and selling what each wants. Or, as I put it originally: maybe the sellers are motivated to save every last cent because buyers are motivated to save every last cent as well. This is the simplest explanation, on the most granular level. If you think there is a more complicated explanation, it's your burden to prove it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  15. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It's OK, they just bought La Boulange which means the food will get better and fattier and the French leftist in all of us will be happy at Le Starbucks.

    More seriously, they realized that their customers didn't like their food, so they bought a market tested company who makes marginally better French named food for bobos.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  16. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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  17. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    We are assuming they aren't forcibly cramming those doughnuts down people's throats, right?

    I don't see how the above changes the analysis. If people are continuing to buy the sh*tty Tim Hortons doughnuts, you have your answer: a sufficient number of them don't care enough that the doughnuts aren't freshly baked on-site to stop buying them.
     
  18. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My assumption is that, without evidence of coercion, consumers do what they want. So, yes, to me the explanation is as simple as you put it: "people want these strudels so starbucks produces these strudels." The analysis is not complicated. Either you believe people want the crappy Starbucks strudels they buy, or you don't. If they do want them, the analysis is over; Starbucks is giving them what they want. Simple. If they don't want the f*cked up strudels, and are buying them anyway, some other factor must be influencing the situation. That is a more complicated explanation and involves more moving parts, which you can't even identify or prove. So, yes, I am making assumptions--but I am also making the fewest possible.

    Have you considered that maybe you are attempting to problematize what isn't a problem to begin with? That would be pretty classic of leftist academic institutionalization.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  19. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    They sell some godawful doughnuts that used to be labeled as coming from some speciality provider. So, they will probably quash whatever marginal improvement there was to be gained.
     
  20. schrag

    schrag Well-Known Member

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    Oh no, they aren't forcing but during the 'golden' expansion period they pretty much killed off any viable competitors. Now they can lower the quality because there are no alternatives. The corporation isn't forcing anything but people tend to be creatures of habit and like convenience and predictability, which drives the market trend of homogenization and cost cutting.

    This might contribute to the feeling that we must pay a premium to obtain what used to be 'normal' . Or that cost-cutting is encroaching upon solid 'middle class' brands, which means not much differentiates them from rock bottom except the presentation ('Family Owned' sit down restaurants getting food from Sysco vs McDonalds, consumer electronics in a metal case vs plastic'.

    But the problem is really consumers, since they support the companies.
     

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