RealClimate offers some great science and discussion but also reveals a lot of the unvarnished bias you get when true believers discard reason for hyperbole and nonsense. (thx to JCH for this caveat about caution when confusing a blog with the comments).
This little nugget emerged from a regular commenter:
I called the corporations psychopaths, not those running them, and for a very good reason: they are legally bound to consider only maximising shareholder value. Damage to the environment? No. Deaths among employees, customers or third parties? No. So long as such deaths or damage do not break the criminal law, and will increase profit, that’s what they are legally bound to do. That’s why I said capitalism created these psychopaths…
I’m seeing this bizarre view appear more and more and I’m not sure where it comes from, but probably the film I have yet to see about corporations and how evil they are. I think it’s called “The Corporation”.
One can easily make the case that corporations *emphasize* profit. They should do that within legal means – that is the *whole point*. American style socialist (ie heavily taxed) capitalism is the reason we live large while those in less corporate driven societies struggle just to keep fed and keep healthy, often failing in both measures.
Almost *every single corporation* will typically factor in a variety of environmental and social factors in the interest of the greater good, the good of employees, and the prevailing cultural and ethical standards. This is in part due to the laws and prevailing cultural standards as is almost every type of collective behavior, but it is also because contrary to the assertion above, corporations that act psychopathically
In the USA these factors generally make big businesses a great place to work. Yahoo, for example, has extensive ‘green’ initiatives. Google not only pays a small fortune in stock and salaries but pays for all the meals and does the laundry…free. You’ll say these are the exceptions but good stewardship is the corporate rule which is why the west enjoys such high living standards. That prosperity sure didn’t come from the bureacracy – it came in spite of it. This is why your rules are better applied to enterprises run by those who generally despise US style multinational corporations.
My challenge to corporate critics is to randomly pick 10 companies from S&P 500. Assign either “mostly psychopathic activity” or “mostly morally acceptable activity” to each and also do that on the “mostly exploits those in developing world” or “mostly helps those in developing world”. In most cases 9 of those 10 will pass both tests if you answer these rationally and reasonably without cherry picking from the companies or company histories as CL has done above.
Here’s a list of the S&P 500 – clearly a good list of companies that powerfully represent a globalized capitalist vision and experience: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_S%26P_500_companies
Now let’s grab ten of these. Presumably the first letter should not bias the sample so I’ll grab the first and last five on the Wikipedia S&P 500 list:
|XTO||XTO Energy Inc.||reports||Energy|
|YHOO||Yahoo Inc.||reports||Information Technology|
|YUM||Yum! Brands Inc||reports||Consumer Discretionary|
|ZMH||Zimmer Holdings||reports||Health Care|
OK so now the questions to apply to each are whether they are “psychopathic” or not, and whether they are “exploiting more than helping”. My test allows only ONE to fail either test.
—– to be continued after I get some real work done ——–
—– Ouch, Karma injection alert? Just after posting I was trying to get Bank of America to credit my card for the Beijing Scam I was conned with in China. After charge dispute sent me away claiming that becaue I signed the paper it was out of their hands, fraud said (incredibly) that even if they had changed the number it would not be a fraud case – fraud is basically only reserved for stolen numbers. I’m not sure this makes Bank of America a psychopathic corporation but it’s also true that they are helping perpetrate scams all around the globe by failing in follow up. Given that I *cancelled my card number* after this they should assume I’m not just ranting without cause. But backwards Karma injection: Super low interest for one year will save far more than my $85 ripoff from the Tea House.
——– back to work! ————
Hey, double karma reinjection – B of A eventually refunded my Tea Scam payment. Would a psychopath have done that?