Many of America’s business-minded, especially corporate CEOs, are unabashedly advocates for the market being the solution to everything. Privatize it, is the answer to it all! Yet at the very same time they also spend vast sums of money on lobbyist to rig things in their favor, which often minimizes (and even eliminates) the dynamics of the market. Seemingly for maximizing their profit relying on the market alone is not their preference, yet it is thought best for everyone else. Some even sing the praises of a free market and yet oppose full disclosure in labeling of products. It appears they think free means free to maximize profit in any way one can. Go figure! Continue reading
“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men” (Plato). We (as a society) should be outraged over what people in high places are trying to do to (our) public education. Continue reading
In spite of the persuasiveness of the business minded about both the management prowess in business and superiority of markets to serve the needs of citizens—privatize society—there are a few contradictions hidden in plain sight that we must heed.
The business minded contend competition is required for a business enterprise to innovate and/or to provide quality to its’ customers. That is to say, business leaders need to be forced to foster creativity and provide quality. The underlying assumption is that the business minded do not care enough or are responsible enough to provide the organizational environment for creativity and quality to emerge—they need to be acted upon to do the right thing.
Business leaders, at times vehemently, resist regulation claiming they don’t need someone (especially government) overseeing to ensure they conduct business in a socially responsible way. That is, they claim they are quite competent and should be trusted to conduct business responsibly—only they know what’s best—hence they don’t need others to act on them to do the right thing.
The contradiction is striking! Out of one side of their mouth business leaders say they need outside forces to do what’s right and yet out of the other side they say they don’t need outside forces to do what’s right.
What underlies this contradiction is an addiction, where profit is the substance of choice and the measure of (their) life. And as with all addictions greater and greater quantities are needed to bring satisfaction. It is this self-serving compulsion for increasing level of profit that is the basis of both arguments. Hence to them there is no contradiction—it is all the same and quite rational.
Yet another contradiction advanced by the business minded is that (free) markets are efficient and most effective, except of course when it comes to what business leaders desire. The captains of business/industry know full well their wants mustn’t be left up to the market to satisfy—markets aren’t as efficient and effective as they tout—hence their quid pro quo lobbying to fix the market in service to their particular desires.
Can the captains of business/industry be trusted to act responsibly or to provide sound guidance in the governance of society and the providing social services to citizens when the business of their business is their very own profit? Should capitalistic principles dictate the practice of democracy–a grand contradiction?
It should not be surprising that this manner of governing society is as irrational in regards to the common good as it is, given the influence profiteers have upon policy. A system—be it a society or a business enterprise—led or governed in this way is an addictive system and thus not sustainable. All addictions have the same future, thus continuing with such contradictions is self-destructive.
In an HBR Blog Network article Gianpiero Petriglieri, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Director of the Management Acceleration Programme at INSEAD, spoke to the question are business schools clueless or evil? Professor Petriglieri’s answer is “business schools are neither clueless nor evil. They are—like most students that flock to their classrooms—in transition. Overtly working to improve their competence and image and covertly wrestling with questions about identity and purpose.” Continue reading
The Justice Department’s $3 billion judgment against GlaxoSmithKline for criminal actions in their marketing of prescription drugs is a minor penalty to pay relative to the tens of billions they made in the process. Chock it up to the cost of doing business! What did GlaxoSmithKline do? The business of GlaxoSmithKline involved the promotion of drugs for unapproved patient populations and for unapproved purposes and lobbying doctors to prescribe their products by offering trips, tips and other perks in return. Seemingly they don’t believe in markets. They don’t believe markets will be effective and efficient in satisfying their needs, so they interfere with it. Clearly, there is no trust in markets here! Continue reading
Is the free market the best means to efficiency and effectiveness? Let’s critically think this through. Continue reading