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View Full Version : Free Market/trade, capitalism, and business ethics behavior.


Darth Avlectus
01-14-2010, 08:40 PM
I have some lingering thoughts about this from the other threads of recently, and anyone, do by all means feel free to elaborate points and posts fro mother threads.

Specifically this thread has to do with the governance and motive on a personal level dealing with all aspects of business, trade, etc. in an economy.

What is it? Why is it important?
What is a foundation for which institutions of an economy and perhaps economies themselves are built upon?

Do companies set examples for one another as well as the behavior of people both within and without a said company?

What are ethics and why are these important in a professional/impersonal setting especially in business? How does this affect everything on a larger scale?
Instability in the market--does it correlate to behavior in business or is it caused by said behaviors?

This is an explorative thesis so feel free to elaborate and use examples and philosophic metaphor, but of course do try to be relevant and on topic.
My thoughts upon this are not fully formed so I personally am just asking to throw it out her for the rest of you and see why you all think/where it should go.

Thoughts?

thegame197676
01-14-2010, 08:56 PM
Business ethics... are only practiced as much as needed to remain within the laws, or at least the laws they cant get away with breaking. In business it is all about money, and it will always be about finiancial gain. The company was made to make money, not to be benifit to the community.

This is why CEO's make to 6 to 7 figures and your common worker barely makes enough to survive.

Qui-Gon Glenn
01-15-2010, 05:05 PM
Business ethics... are only practiced as much as needed to remain within the laws, or at least the laws they cant get away with breaking. In business it is all about money, and it will always be about finiancial gain. The company was made to make money, not to be benifit to the community.

This is why CEO's make to 6 to 7 figures and your common worker barely makes enough to survive.

So.... is this a good thing? I am familiar with this argument, and I cannot swallow it. Why is business all about the money? For many people, and for some businessmen/women, it is not all about the money, even if they do make a substantial salary or profit.

CEO's are not feudal lords. Yet, many are allowed to live like them. We celebrate (especially here is the US) big success, and everyone wants to pat the super-rich on the back and treat them like a king... showering gifts on those that need it the least, because we are so in awe, so wanting to be like them... puke, puke puke.

Business ethics is a broad topic/discussion, but well worth having, even if a day late and a dollar short. I feel that the belief you expressed in the quote above is typical populist rhetoric, as well as being in practice mostly true. That is a little ironic, as ethical behavior should be at the forefront of everything EVERYONE does. Why do we celebrate the effectiveness of reckless/thoughtless/abusive behavior? Because it pays? Please.

If that is the case, hell in a handbasket is what we deserve.

mur'phon
01-15-2010, 06:01 PM
Why is it important?

The importance of business ethics will be different from person to person but most dosen't care, or doesen't want to know enough to care (an example could be people who believes animals deserves to be treated with respect, but intentionally do not obtain information on how the animals they eat are treated).

What is a foundation for which institutions of an economy and perhaps economies themselves are built upon?

Err, demand? Not sure what you're getting at here.

why are these important in a professional/impersonal setting especially in business?

Not sure if it's that impotant, while many companies might claim to be ethical, they usually only act "ethically" due to percieved gain from doing so. While you could say this qualifies, I'd say it has more to do with consumers being ethical than companies.

Why is business all about the money?

Because that's what we tell business to do, when you invest in a company, you don't usually do it to, let's say fight poverty, you do it to make a profitt.

and everyone wants to pat the super-rich on the back and treat them like a king... showering gifts on those that need it the least, because we are so in awe, so wanting to be like them... puke, puke puke.

Alternatively, we shower them with gifts because we want something in return, when government give tax cuts, they want the rich to consume or reinvest, when Joe cubicile brings the boss coffee, he wants to increase the chance of being promoted.

That is a little ironic, as ethical behavior should be at the forefront of everything EVERYONE does.

Maximizing profitt can't be ethical? Explain.

Qui-Gon Glenn
01-15-2010, 06:23 PM
Maximizing profitt can't be ethical? Explain.

I didn't say that, but I will explain :)

Let us first go with bad ethics - The ends justify the means. This appears to be the working business ethic in most scenarios, and those businesses are working at maximizing profit: those businesses are not ethical.

Next, what is maximal? How do you define what is maximized profit? What factors go into that equation? An ethical business model maximizes profits within the construct of "this is what we can do, this is what we should not do" and encompasses fair wages for employees, fair benefits, and fair treatment of the market and the environment.

What is fair? In terms of wages, a competitive wage. Employers do not owe their employees any more compensation than a competitive wage/benefits package. Employers do deserve to reserve a higher wage for themselves - obviously the risk is theirs, not the employees. It is fair and ethical for a business owner to get rich and only employ low waged employees, if and only if those workers are paid competitively and have benefits comparable.

The term maximize is the sticky point... there are ethical constraints to what is maximal, and that should be included in the definition of maximal in the business sense - actually exactly what an old business Professor said when talking about Enron.

Is this speaking to your question?

thegame197676
01-15-2010, 10:01 PM
After seeing so many good, hard workers laid off or replaced by newer employees who require sigmificantly less pay then someone with 5 to 10 years experiance... you can't possibly convince me that the people running these businesses have ethics as one of their priorities.. tell me what is ethical about laying off a dedicated experianced employee for someone with little to no experiance just to pay the new person a significantly lower wage

Qui-Gon Glenn
01-16-2010, 10:40 PM
After seeing so many good, hard workers laid off or replaced by newer employees who require sigmificantly less pay then someone with 5 to 10 years experiance... you can't possibly convince me that the people running these businesses have ethics as one of their priorities.. tell me what is ethical about laying off a dedicated experianced employee for someone with little to no experiance just to pay the new person a significantly lower wage

Who are you pointing this question at? Who is trying to convince you of anything? If it is I, I am afraid you have not understood my posts.

I agree with the majority of what you have said above, but there are conditions where replacing workers is acceptable.

Not to downplay your input, thegame197676, but if you are going to post in Kavar's Corner, you need to not only be passionate about your arguments, but also make sure you are addressing points and people in a way that makes sense, else be ignored. If you make points and arguments in a sensible way, you may not get consensus, but you will draw discussion and interest. I learned that the hard way too :cool:

Darth Avlectus
01-18-2010, 02:11 AM
The importance of business ethics will be different from person to person but most dosen't care, or doesen't want to know enough to care (an example could be people who believes animals deserves to be treated with respect, but intentionally do not obtain information on how the animals they eat are treated).

That is a good point--for which I only can wish people gave more of a damn.



Err, demand? Not sure what you're getting at here.
While at some point the ethos pathos (ethical persona) rhetoric must separate from business, what I am getting at is foundations. You could call a mission statement or promise of sorts. Obviously if you have a bad reputation and people perceive you (your business as well as you the employee/owner) as a bastard, they will not only distrust you but start looking for ways to not do business with you, especially if they don't have to. Reputation is like glass (if you'll forgive the metaphor): Once cracked, people will always look at it; once shattered it is gone. I mean, you can't really buy it back.

I'd think it is necessary to try to meet your clients halfway. Wouldn't you?


[quoe]Not sure if it's that impotant, while many companies might claim to be ethical, they usually only act "ethically" due to percieved gain from doing so.[/quote]

As an example: Smucker's. It is a long standing Jam company. Their motto "with a name like Smuckers, it *has* to be good." Why? Well, most obviously the name smucker rhymes with another word that is an explative in english begins with F, and it sounds similar to "schmuck"...Now I realize I may be conflating concepts but if these people didn't deliver quality, they'd be laughed out of business.

While you could say this qualifies, I'd say it has more to do with consumers being ethical than companies. I will agree with you that there is a halfway point for meeting each other (consumer to company), but not entirely.

It has been my experience that for bad customers who take unfair advantage of lenient policies, there are sevenfold as many customers who are appreciative--at least in my trek through the various service industries as a handyman/caretaker/oddjobber etc.

I am interested to learn where the opposite is true, though. Examples?



Alternatively, we shower them with gifts because we want something in return, when government give tax cuts, they want the rich to consume or reinvest, when Joe cubicile brings the boss coffee, he wants to increase the chance of being promoted.

Just as an aside I have observed that bosses very often manipulate employees against one another in this fashion (and if it is a woman--Oh, hell hath *no* fury like that! :p). While I suppose strife and rivalry is necessary to get the best your payroll can possibly buy, this eventually becomes counter productive when it crosses over into workplace bullying--though that is more of a middleman problem than a CEO admittedly. CEO's however, have known their middleman longer so are inclined to not believe a new guy/girl.

Carry on.

JediAthos
01-18-2010, 12:13 PM
It's interesting that this topic should come up as I've recently had a brush with business ethics myself.

I work for the US branch of a German based company.(No, I won't name the company but I'm sure if you looked hard enough you could find it.) A couple of years ago the German police raided the company's HQ and executed searches on the building including the CEO's office and the compliance division which is the division responsible for ensuring the company is operating within the law in all the countries where there are operations.

It turns out there had been certain payments made in certain countries in order to maintain our business hold in those countries among other infractions. The people involved were charged and while the CEO was never implicated he resigned.

Since then the company has payed some hefty fines, those involved have lost their jobs, and the company's reputation has been severely damaged. Not only that be the regulations within the company regarding conduct toward customers have been constricted severely. (I can't even buy a customer lunch)

I personally was embarrassed that the company I worked for allowed themselves to be put in such a position.

So, that should give you an idea of what can happen when people within a company play fast and loose with ethics.