How are corporations amoral?

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I've just finished listening to the audio book version of Cracking the Code. I understand what Thom wrote about conservatives preferring corporations and faith-based organizations to be in control of public programs rather than government entities, but this strikes me as a GLARING falacy. Corportations and faith-based organizaitons are still made up of and controlled by people who are supposedly inherently evil. So, how is a corporation any more amoral than a government? In the late 90s and early 2000s we saw a long string of corporate perp walks including WorldCom, Arthur Anderson, Enron, Waste Management, and Tyco.

It seems much more likely to me that conservatives want to divert public money, intended to provide public services, to for-profit corporations in which they have personal interests, e.g. Haliburton and Xe. Obviously since they are for-profit, this means we spend more money and need higher taxes to provide the same services that a non-profit government-based entity would cost. Profiteering of this sort seems amazingly hypocritical.

I have read Lakoff's Moral politics : What Conservatives Know that Liberals Don't and Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate. It still seems to me like selfishness is the primary conservative motivation.

Bailey's picture
Bailey
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Jun. 2, 2010 9:45 am

Comments

Corporations by law have to give top priority to making profits, so everything we consider moral would have to be ignored if there was any conflict.

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SueN
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Bailey:

I have read Lakoff's Moral politics : What Conservatives Know that Liberals Don't and Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate. It still seems to me like selfishness is the primary conservative motivation.

I couldn't agree more. If we are going to frame the debate, I think we need to dust off some good old words like selfishness, greed, authoritarian, and mean-spirited.

Poor Richard

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Poor Richard
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Free markets and capitalism strike me as being two sides of the same coin. The basic idea behind the system is that the profit motive encourages efficiency, which is needed to maximize profits. Only those goods and services that are marketable and profitable will be continued to be provided. The free market capitalism approach leaves out the need to protect the enviornment. Pollution control equipment costs money. Corporations often do not want to spend money on something that does not go directly to profits unless laws and government regulations require them to do so. Many people in business do contribue to charity, but that is not enough to allow people who cannot support themselves to have resources to live on and to be able to live in the community. Corporate policies and attempts to influence public policy and elections all seem to go against the interests of an increasing number of people, as wages fail to keep up with inflation and more and more wealth is concentrated in fewer hands.

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Robindell
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Just as an aside: corporations have engaged in a generations old campaign of propoganda that has been extremely successful in convincing Americans to believe that "capitalism" is synonymous with "democracy" and "patriotism". Even most progressives (including politicians) have fallen prey to this deception. Capitalists do this to ensure that their economic model is accorded favored status but in thruth and reality a democracy is free to choose its own economic model and is not beholden to capitalism. If the public better understood that truth then it would not be so easy for commercial interests to capture, control and garner favors from our democratic institutions. The people could and should demand a more equitable economic model - because, in reality, a hospital orderly is more valuable to society than a vulture capitalist and a system of economic compensation should be molded so as to reflect truths such as that. So I'd say that, at least in this sense (purposely brainwashing the public) capitalism in toto has not been amoral but quite immoral.

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mdhess
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Apr. 9, 2010 11:43 pm
Quote SueN:

Corporations by law have to give top priority to making profits, so everything we consider moral would have to be ignored if there was any conflict.

Isnt this the same way for the worker in a sense. Top priority is in providing for the family through making a income **, so everything else other than that is secondary.

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GreatSocrates
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Sep. 3, 2014 3:52 pm
Quote GreatSocrates:
Quote SueN:

Corporations by law have to give top priority to making profits, so everything we consider moral would have to be ignored if there was any conflict.

Isnt this the same way for the worker in a sense. Top priority is in providing for the family through making a income **, so everything else other than that is secondary.

The unit making the product/food that the corporation requires to survive is not the same as the heirarchy stealing from the employees their market determined right to wages and benefits the market can provide.

Take some Hemlock and buzz off.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm