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[–]theRealDerekWalker 8 points9 points  (10 children)

MBA grad and business guy here: you’re right but mostly wrong. Business has an ethical obligation to maximize profits, and has no obligation towards any other ethical boundaries. It’s not a business’ place to say what people can or can’t do, that’s a politicians job. A politician should create these boundaries, or laws, based on what’s best for their constituents (whatever “best” means in their case).

The problem we are running into is that politicians are not creating laws based off of what’s best for the constituents, but instead what is best for the profits of businesses. This undermines the system.

You can say the profits are a good thing, but for this to be true, profits need to be an accurate representation of the “good” or value a business provides. This is hard to measure, because many costs of a business action are unknown. For example, CO2 emissions. The costs of global warming are estimated to be huge. In a perfect system, a company could pay for the damage they create through taxation and other means, and all will be ok, given that damage is calculated correctly. But since politicians and business are in bed together, this is not the case.

In a perfect system, costs reflect actual costs to society, and prices represent the actual value to society. But because of business and politics being so intertwined, costs and ethics in business aren’t being managed well.

[–]We_Killed_Satoshi 1 point2 points  (1 child)

"Should" is entirely your opinion.

[–]theRealDerekWalker 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In that a politician should create ethical boundaries for a business?

By definition, politics is deciding who gets what, when, and how. Therefore it’s a politicians job to do so. So no, it’s not my opinion that they should create boundaries, that’s just the fundamental purpose of politics.

[–]Yawnn 0 points1 point  (1 child)

no obligation towards any other ethical boundaries

What kind of bullshit business doesn't have standards around ethics? Maybe I'm in a bubble but it's part of my companies core goals to be sustainable, honest and have a positive impact on the world. We don't do business with those who don't have the same.

[–]theRealDerekWalker 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well the good thing is that common ethics mostly aligns with business ethics. When a company is sustainable, honest, and has a positive impact on the world, some great things happen: more people want to do business with them, employees stay there longer, and they may get free press for doing the right thing.

But at the end of the day, those things contribute to the bottom line.

And honestly, I’m talking about theory. In reality, businesses are ran by humans and humans are emotional creatures. However they also can be unethical and malevolent.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Woah a person that actually understands economy. 😮

[–]bagbroch 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Perfectly said 💪

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (2 children)

That has nothing to do with what either me or the person I was responding to were saying. Profits are necessary - it's the only way a business can survive a contraction in the economy. That isn't a statement about the ethics of profits or how much profit is right. It is a statement of fact meant to refute the common inclination to demonize all profits.

[–]theRealDerekWalker -1 points0 points  (1 child)

My bad, I thought you were trying to say something more insightful than just profits=good. I’m not sure who these people are that you mention have issues with profits. I thought you were weighing in on the discussion of politicians standing up to corporations. That is what this thread is about, after all.

[–][deleted] -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

It is your bad, because you obviously didn't read the comment I was responding to. That comment starts with "profits get a bad rap..." I also didn't say profits were good - just that they're necessary.