Lidl and Ethics (and a quick brain dump of ideas)

The idea in evolutionary psychology that our ethical intuitions are ingrained into our genetics seems repugnant and counter-intuitive to many. It seems obvious to so many commenters of the topic that the selfish gene should program only for selfish behaviour. And so the nuance of the idea, that cooperation is more successful than competition and so is selected for by evolutionary success, is lost on many. There exists an example of an analogous system, whereby the intuitive answer is simply not the correct one.

There is a grocers’ company set to break the €100 billion mark in the next 5 years, become the leading grocery provider in Western Europe (overtaking Tesco and Carrefour) and is over seen by a German multimillionaire. Now, when it comes to business, we can all take a fair guess that it’s not a premium-chain… But, making the most profit through a premium chain would be the same assumption as evolutionary success coming from selfish behaviour. Lidl (and its parent company: Schwartz Group) is set to become the leading grocery supermarket, on the back of budget groceries (at good quality), while paying its staff quite reasonably. That success, the success of the budget supermarkets, is analogous to the success of cooperative behaviour over selfish behaviour.

There’s an interesting aside, where what you would assume works (in economics) simply isn’t so. Canada, with a higher minimum wage than America and free healthcare, now has a richer middle class than America. This, in turn, reminds me of my idea of having political parties replaced by an information system: we have enough information to actually look at whether Canada is just lucky, or whether their economic policy just works. We can compare it to other countries. (And Google should do it…)

Anyway, that’s my quick brain dump between lists. (Generating, editing or reading lists is apparently a manager’s job *yawn*)

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6 thoughts on “Lidl and Ethics (and a quick brain dump of ideas)”

    1. Oh, don’t mention the book. I haven’t looked at it in a few weeks. I’ve been busy with… nothing really. I’m going to get back on pestering agents pretty soon.
      How’s your book?

      1. It lives. Opened a second exploring evil more deeply. Stephen Law got his hands on it and we’ve been chatting. He likes it a lot and is doing his best to push it, which is nice of him. It has satanists completely baffled, though. They can’t seem to work out if I’m joking or not, which is also nice 🙂

        Why not self-publish first?

        1. Wow. Stephen Law is a hell of a name to get behind it. Good luck with it.
          I am looking at self-publishing. But I have an MSc starting soon and am currently running a summer school.

        2. Busy, busy. Understood. i’m looking forward to the read.

          Having been through the process let me give you a tip. You’re using Create Space? If so, get everything finalised (cover art, layout, whatnot) then order 1 copy and express post it to yourself. This is all before you actually release the book through the sales channels. I only got my physical copy this week (the first lot got lost in transit). To hold the book and read it gives you an excellent way to do that final-final proofing, and it’ll only cost you a few pounds.

  1. The other thing you’d have to consider is cost of living. While we here in Canada get paid more, we also pay more for goods and services. That’s why when our dollar is close in value to Americas, you will find us crossing the border to shop.

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