Social club to social media
As USA STRONG businesses continue to INTENTIONALLY REJECT HALF OF THEIR CUSTOMERS, it's worth remembering a time when the trend was reversed.
All the fashionable corporations are working FEROCIOUSLY HARD to eliminate the Wrong Sort Of Customer. They make it perfectly clear who is Welcome and who Need Not Apply.
USA STRONG corporations are ABLE to do this because they are no longer capitalist. They are debtist.
Capitalism means accumulating savings and workers and buildings and skills (various forms of CAPITAL) in order to sell a product or service at a profit.
Debtism means freedom from savings and workers and buildings and skills. The corporation simply borrows money at zero interest, then moves the money around to create a bright fireworks display which induces suckers to buy stocks. As more suckers buy stocks, the corporation is able to return the zero-interest loan and borrow more money at zero interest to create more shiny flashy blinks and pops.
= = = = =
The transition from the '20s to the '30s went the other way. The '20s were a time of debtism, not quite as extreme as now. Interest wasn't quite zero and companies were still making actual products.
After the crash debtism no longer functioned. Companies couldn't make money by stock manipulation. Customers were no longer living on margin and speculation. Companies had to figure out FAST how to make a profit by selling things to people who were living on real incomes.
At GM, Cadillac sales dropped by more than half. Cadillac didn't know what to do until Nicholas Dreystadt came up with a peculiar
solution. Dreystadt had started his career at a Caddy dealer in Chicago, moved up to regional sales manager, then moved up to the national offices.
He had seen something interesting in Chicago. The black upper class loved Caddies, then as now. Cadillac dealers were more interested in eliminating The Wrong Sort Of Customer than making a profit. Rich blacks had to hire white "proxy buyers" if they wanted a Caddy.
Dreystadt proposed a strange new idea to GM management: Instead of trying to run an exclusive social club, RUN A FUCKING BUSINESS.
Sell Caddies to anyone who could pay for them. Product out, money in.
Management was skeptical but let him try it. It worked. Caddy sales jumped back up and stayed up.
Was the black upper class large enough** to save Caddy? Of course. There has always been a black upper class, and it was strong in the 30s. I could see it in the 1940 census. Here's a discussion
among historian types.
Was the black upper class larger then than now
as a proportion of all blacks? I can't prove it numerically, but I suspect the answer is yes. Integration and globalism have made it far more difficult
for a black entrepreneur to move up in the world.
** Bear in mind that we're talking about considerably smaller numbers than current Caddy sales. Adding black customers doubled sales from 10k to 20k.