Originally Posted by mur'phon
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?