Profit is a very useful measure of how well resources have been allocated.

Unfortunately, due to less than perfect markets and an inability to correctly value many resources (love?), other measures need to be considered when allocating resources. As yet, these other measures have not developed to the same level of sophistication as those dealing with money.

A very, VERY dark television show on FOX, circa 1996. Starred Adrian Pasdar as Jim Profit, a young executive (vice-president of some department, and was trying to blackmail his way to the top) in a fairly large business, set (I believe), in NYC. Lasted for four shows in America (and I believe, with teasers -- "Profit will return in two weeks, here are the scenes from the next episode").

I was hooked.

There aren't too many television shows I'd watch then or now, but that was one of them. The anti-hero approach has never been done to a great extent. Profit was the kind of the person who you absouletly hate, but you still cheer for -- a dark man with a very disturbing past.

One of the episodes, if I recall corectly, had to do with a co-worker visiting a psychiatrist. I believe there was some type of affair between the shrink and this woman, and Profit found out about this. He was able to blackmail the psychiatrist to implant some false memories or fears into the woman, in order to accomplish one of his goals. While I do not remember the specifics of the episode, it was written brilliantly, as were all four that aired in the US.

Jim Profit's condo/home/apartment was lavisly done, with a HUGE aquarium set in a wall. At the end of each night/episode, he'd write some stuff on his computer (imagine a Dark Doogie Houser), press a switch on the wall, go into a secret room behind the tank, and fall alseep, naked, inside a small cardboard box, which was branded with the logo of the company he worked for. This box had symbolism from his past, but due to the fact that fox cancelled the show way too early in it's life, I don't think we ever found out what that symbolism was.

If anyone knows of any way I could get videotapes of the 4 US episodes, or all of the episodes that were aired overseas, please, /msg me. I'd be more than delighted to see how close the show mirrors my personal experiences in the world of business.

Mathematically (and in simplest terms):

profit = revenue - costs
In most businesses, the profit motive is King. Profit is the amount of money a business retains for itself after costs, taxes and dividends have been removed from revenues. Businesses try to maximise their profits, and workers try to maximise their share of the profits as well.

Businesses tend to plough retained profit back into the company in the form of expansion, or save it for a rainy day.

The profit motive is oft-criticized by capitalism's critics. Yet defenders of capitalism would argue that it is the profit motive that has led to the general increase in the standard of living since capitalism became the dominant force in society.

It has been said that the profit-motive causes businesses to think in the short-term - that they look for profits now in spite of what will happen tomorrow, with disastrous consequences for a work force or the environment. Thankfully, this tends not to be the case - a sensible business will always plan way ahead into its future, and any that does not will soon destroy itself when its luck runs out.

Other criticisms of the profit motive describe capitalists as greedy and selfish - they charge high prices for products, it is said, in their own self-interest. But defenders of capitalism would say that it is exactly this self-interest which leads to them striving in said to increase their efficiency rather than their prices - in this way they won't experience the reduction in demand that a rise in price would entail. In the history of American free enterprise, it has been a truism that in a competition between two companies, it is the most efficient that wins. Increasing efficiency leads to higher profits than increasing price.

The profit motive is something used on both sides of the argument about privatising "public services" such as education, health care, and so on. Statists claim that the profit motive will cause companies to cut corners in providing their services leading to useless education and dead patients. Proponents of privatisation say that the profit motive will lead to an excellent standard of service because competition will be at play - and in a competition, the most efficient company with the best product wins. It is in, say, a medical company's interest to provide its patients with an excellent standard of service - otherwise it will soon find itself out of business.

The profit motive underlies much of our culture and society. Whether you like or hate it really depends on your point of view.

Supposedly, no real profit can be made without exploitation. Yes you read right. Profit is only made by paying other people less than the value of what their labour power produced. Sometimes even less than half of what they actually produced for the capitalist.

Means of production and raw materials have value, but they are constant, they do not add any more value to the finished product than the sum of their original value.

Buying low and selling high will give you revenue, earnings, or in short more money but this money is not profit in the capitalist sense.

For an increase in wealth to be considered as real profit, it has to be the fruit of another person's surplus labour, this surplus labour which the capitalist does not pay for as it has been socially accepted that one only gets a fair day's wage for a fair day's work. What the worker in fact gets is just payment for his necessary labour and not for all of his labour. So the fair day's wage isn't so fair after all.

But it is this vital definition that all the arguments that are pro/con capitalism or whatever lies upon. According to Marx all profit is exploitation hence wrong, others will have a different view.

Bottom line is though, if indeed capital (means of production and raw materials) is a constant thing, whose sum of all parts will never be greater than from when it came from originally should no labour be applied to it, how then should we really compute fairly what is to be paid for the said labour that is needed to convert capital into commodities which then will generate profit when exchanged for money?

The final step in a standard Slashdot troll known as the Business Plan. The inevitable result or conclusion to any chronologically ordered list with a nonexistent or undefined second-to-last step.

Pro"fit (?), n. [F., fr. L. profectus advance, progress, profit, fr. profectum. See Proficient.]


Acquisition beyond expenditure; excess of value received for producing, keeping, or selling, over cost; hence, pecuniary gain in any transaction or occupation; emolument; as, a profit on the sale of goods.

Let no man anticipate uncertain profits. Rambler.


Accession of good; valuable results; useful consequences; benefit; avail; gain; as, an office of profit,

This I speak for your own profit. 1 Cor. vii. 35.

If you dare do yourself a profit and a right. Shak.

Syn. -- Benefit; avail; service; improvement; advancement; gain; emolument.


© Webster 1913.

Prof"it, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Profited; p. pr. & vb. n. Profiting.] [F. profiter. See Profit, n.]

To be of service to; to be good to; to help on; to benefit; to advantage; to avail; to aid; as, truth profits all men.

The word preached did not profit them. Heb. iv. 2.

It is a great means of profiting yourself, to copy diligently excellent pieces and beautiful designs. Dryden.


© Webster 1913.

Prof"it, v. i.


To gain advantage; to make improvement; to improve; to gain; to advance.

I profit not by thy talk. Shak.


To be of use or advantage; to do or bring good.

Riches profit not in the day of wrath. Prov. xi. 4.


© Webster 1913.

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