Republican Filth Getting What They Want: Delusional Right-Wing Randian Fuckeuppes Who Drive Massive Corporations Into The Ground

In January, eight years after Lampert masterminded Kmart’s $12 billion buyout of Sears in 2005, the board appointed him chief executive officer of the 120-year-old retailer. The company had gone through four CEOs since the merger, yet former executives say Lampert has long been running the show. Since the takeover, Sears Holdings’ sales have dropped from $49.1 billion to $39.9 billion, and its stock has sunk 64 percent. Its cash recently fell to a 10-year low. Although it has plenty of assets to unload before bankruptcy looms, the odds of a turnaround grow longer every quarter. “The way it’s being managed, it doesn’t work,” says Mary Ross Gilbert, a managing director at investment bank Imperial Capital. “They’re going to continue to deteriorate.”

Plagued by the realities threatening many retail stores, Sears also faces a unique problem: Lampert. Many of its troubles can be traced to an organizational model the chairman implemented five years ago, an idea he has said will save the company. Lampert runs Sears like a hedge fund portfolio, with dozens of autonomous businesses competing for his attention and money. An outspoken advocate of free-market economics and fan of the novelist Ayn Rand, he created the model because he expected the invisible hand of the market to drive better results. If the company’s leaders were told to act selfishly, he argued, they would run their divisions in a rational manner, boosting overall performance.

Instead, the divisions turned against each other—and Sears and Kmart, the overarching brands, suffered. Interviews with more than 40 former executives, many of whom sat at the highest levels of the company, paint a picture of a business that’s ravaged by infighting as its divisions battle over fewer resources. (Many declined to go on the record for a variety of reasons, including fear of angering Lampert.) Shaunak Dave, a former executive who left in 2012 and is now at sports marketing agency Revolution, says the model created a “warring tribes” culture. “If you were in a different business unit, we were in two competing companies,” he says. “Cooperation and collaboration aren’t there.”


  1. unbound says

    And the reality of Ayn Rand’s philosophy is that even the managers were supposed to make magic decisions that made everything alright. Even at the beginning of Atlas Shrugged, the heroes just make everything work by being strong and forceful…which, if done in reality, would lead to countless disasters.

    Ayn Rand’s philosophy, like markets themselves, are a wonderful thought exercise that only work in dreams where countless details of reality are suspended.

  2. =8)-DX says

    If anyone, Ayn Rand is the true atheist’s nightmare. Just imagine someone becoming an atheist after reading her – and promptly turning libertarian/objectivist/freemarketer. It’s like dropping one sack of bullshit only to pick up another. Why?!?

  3. eeke says

    This seems reminiscent of the way some biglabs are run – pitting staff against each other to work on the same problem. Fortunately, I have not experienced this myself, but I’ve heard of it – it may work because of the size of the lab, but is likely not that efficient.

  4. tuibguy says

    You know what is stupidest about the modern Randians? All of her Heroes produced products and services. The modern Randians only see the greed is good part, and do this whole “I produce wealth!” but they don’t produce fast trains, supermetal or great cars. just paper profits.

    If she were alive she would be skewering them.

    Of course she couldn’t foresee the implications of the selfishness of her own objectivist philosophy leading to this.

  5. Alain says

    Why call them filth? Ad Hominem attacks are pointless. Ayn Rand lived through the communist revolution and developed her philosophy later.

    The business leaders that build things have already left. We are left with what remains, a service economy that can’t survive without product and produce from other countries. The paper market money makers would be exactly what Mrs Rand would call the users, The government helped them, not the people who held the mortgages.

    True Randians have no illusions about what has happened and would like those creators and builders to come back. But that would require less regulation and lower taxes. Collectivism will not allow that.

  6. Grumble says

    The “invisible hand or the market” works by culling those businesses that can’t compete efficiently. So by implementing this sort of competition among many subdivisions of the same business, what Lambert is doing is guaranteeing the failure if some, if not most, of those divisions. The obvious consequence is that this process converts a giant corporation into a small one. Does he view it as an indication of success that Sears Holding’s sales have dropped $10 billion and its stock price is much lower?

  7. Grumble says

    Alain, you’re full of crap. “Creators and builders” are staying away because labor is cheaper in China and elsewhere than it is here. Regulations and taxes have little to do with that. And in fact, the Chinese are, by and large, building things that are being created here (like iPads). So only the builders have left.

    (Oh, and by the way, ad hominem attacks aren’t pointless. It is deeply satisfying to see Republicons being referred to in a way that encapsulates the outrage that their actions engender. No one in the mainstream media does it. Which is one reason why I can’t help but to come back to CPP’s blogge, as silly and useless as it usually us.)

  8. Alain says

    I didn’t say that regulation and taxes were an exclusive reason. And by builders and creators I really wasn’t going after corporations. I was thinking the individuals who have an idea or dream and find it difficult to build it in North America.

    Corporations have a profit motive and want to drive down costs. I don’t like it, but I understand it.

    I still don’t like those kind of attacks, I think they hide insecurity.

  9. Alain says

    Why even try to build a business? You’re demonized it you are successful or if you fail you are broke because you may have borrowed quite a bit.

    The big money, billions, will always avoid high taxes for they have the government in their pockets. The small business and medium business is what is being squeezed in North America.

    Do you run a business? Would you, or more telling, do you have the capacity too? I have tried a few times and the regulations are such a burden. What’s the point the corporations will secure their hold on the world since no competitors can begin, grow and compete.

    We did this to ourselves. In the name or fairness.

  10. 742 says

    the POINT of regulations? well, i, for one, would fucking love it if we had some. in my fantasy world they would do things like:
    keep people from stealing shit, wrecking the world economy, and getting away unscathed-they would stop every stage of that, if we fucking had any.
    they would keep workers safe, and create a strong safe healthy middle class rather than twisted broken interchangeable slaves, as is the current trend.
    they would keep companies for shitting on shared resources like the environment to make a few extra dollars-not worrying about it, because by the time theyve used all their profits and the world is crumbling, they will be long dead of old age.
    they would keep them from discriminatory hiring practices that cement social advantage/disadvantage and cripple social mobility.

    you know; stupid shit like that. there would also be taxes to build infrastructure (that anyone could use, improving both quality of life and ease/cost of business) keep people healthy, provide a social safety net, and provide education. just because our government is useless doesnt mean that government in general is useless(i am, of course, assuming that youre an american).

  11. 742 says

    sorry; i meant from not for in “for shitting on shared resources like the environment”. OH! and they would also keep companies actually MAKING things things, and competing with other corporations in the actual product/cost rather than marketing. maybe also caps on executive pay+perks once they get over a certain size? and while im thinking about shit that is never going to happen where i live, can i get a unicorn with a 5g connection that shits only rainbows?

  12. Alain says

    Those are all good goals. But there are more ways than one to achieve them, or I hope there is. All hiring practices are discriminatory just like all purchasing decisions are too.

    You discriminate between Apple and PC, you discriminate between household cleaners. I would hope that a good employer would discriminate in favor of the employee who could do the job best and maximize utility.

    I want a strong middle class to, but a recognize that the middle class is broader than you. Middle class to me is when you have to work to make your money. Upper class have so much cash they can choose to do and buy whatever they wish and can move between countries at their leisure.

    The upper class are the people who steal, “Behind every great fortune hides a crime” or something like that.

    So really it’s the rest of us fighting over the same scraps. I believe the best way to increase the number of scraps available for us to fight over is through the free market. I don’t know how any other method could have the capacity to build wealth.

    BTW I tell my children that cursing is a sign of a poor vocabulary. Can’t you come up with more original words to convey your distaste. We have enough vulgarity in this world.

  13. says

    My dear Alain:

    I believe the words in question are Olde English with longstanding uses that have morphed into extremely useful idioms that convey an entire set of ideas within a two-word phrase or even a single word.

    Pearl clutching does nothing except send you to the fainting couch. If you can’t handle honest discourse from those who use plain language, perhaps this isn’t the venue for you.

    Please be so kind as to fuck off.


  14. Alain says

    Nice prose, but I still think the cursing doesn’t add to any argument. I’m not even trying to troll here, I just think I should, as a Catholic, fiscal conservative and somewhat social conservative, seek out other opinion and thought.
    Which, for those that have read Rand, is not ideal as it is Christianity and the error of altruism that has resulted in these collectivist ideals that are present in both republican and democratic parties. Both parties seek to control human behavior, as does religion. So I would think that a true atheist would seek out libertarianism or anarchism. But I see people here who don’t argue the points, rather use paternalistic ramblings ‘my dear alain..” to poke fun.

    Oh, and until someone can put basic carbon, nitrogen and oxygen molecules in a jar and have DNA or even a complex enzyme appear out of that disorder, I will believe in intelligent design. Anyone’s head going to pop?

  15. M can help you with that. says

    Alain —

    Sorry, we won’t be delivering defenses of your straw version of current hypotheses of abiogenesis.

    Also — why would atheists go en masse for a political philosophy which treats “ownership” as a sort of metaphysical essence that permeates objects? At least the anarchists tend to just treat it as a social practice…

  16. Grumble says

    “You’re demonized it you are successful or if you fail you are broke because you may have borrowed quite a bit.”

    Cry me a fucking river. I know several people who have started and run successful businesses, despite what you claim is an anti-business environment. If you aren’t smart enough to be as successful as they are, don’t blame the gov’mint and its regulations. Blame your pathetic lack of ability. That is, after all, consistent with the error-of-altruism, “collectivist-ideals” self-reliance credo you seem to espouse.

    Not that one would necessarily expect internal consistency from delusional right-wing Randian fucke-uppes.

  17. Donnie says

    @ Alain

    Take your sanctimious and pearl-clutching tone trolling ass fuckiness and: Fukke Offe….m’kay.

    Oh wait, sorry, please scratch that….I meant to say, “Bless your heart”

  18. Sam N says

    “Anyone’s head going to pop?”

    No, but you’ve revealed yourself to be, at best, an extremely sloppy thinker, by making moronic statements like this:
    “Why even try to build a business? You’re demonized it you are successful or if you fail you are broke because you may have borrowed quite a bit.”

    The vast majority of the media, politicians, and yes, even academics, praise creation of successful businesses, as do the vast majority of Americans. No one is going to demonize you for a successful small business start-up. Now if your start-up grows to make record profits, trashes the environment, AND still insists upon taking money FROM the government through astro-turf movements and CPAC threats, well, then, you might rightly face some criticism. But it is a tiny minority of businesses that are criticized regularly by a substantial number of people.

    I’d address the more interesting case of regulation, which in some cases actually does harm small businesses (but surprise surprise, it’s often big business supporting those types of regulations). But why bother, when you start with such a dumb-as-shit statement.

  19. atheist says

    @=8)-DX – July 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm (UTC -7)

    If anyone, Ayn Rand is the true atheist’s nightmare. Just imagine someone becoming an atheist after reading her – and promptly turning libertarian/objectivist/freemarketer. It’s like dropping one sack of bullshit only to pick up another. Why?!?

    I guess her philosophy appeals to folks who no longer believe in religion, but who are still authoritarians. Her arguments that the wealthy must be obeyed or disaster will befall society probably appeal to that type of mentality.

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