Does corporate America have an obligation to help solve America’s problems?

2012 may be known as the year the US Auto industry makes a full recovery but 2011 was certainly a year of record profits for oil companies, and well, okay, 2012 will probably be the same.

But what about other American companies, that are making record profits but maybe not being good corporate citizens…  for example, Apple.

Clyde Prestowitz has a very interesting article over at CNN that highlights several ways that Apple could be a better corporate citizen, without sabotaging its bottom line.  In all honesty, I can’t cut out the good parts of this article here, because it’s all good.  So head over to CNN, read the article and then come back here and give your opinion.

 

11 Responses to Corporate Obligations

  1. JMPrince says:

    Other obligations we’re failing miserably at, a continuing series:

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/04/the-war-against-youth/#more-77904

    “The War Against Youth
    Barry Ritholtz – April 3rd, 2012, 7:30PM
    Over at this month’s Esquire, they have a long diatribe titled The War Against Youth.

    Spread throughout the piece are these various graphics which I imagined would look better if we could assemble them into one long infographic.

    So we did — the full graphic after the jump”.–BR

    Really nice job there, and easier on the eyes than the Esquire bits. And yes, this is yet another societal wide collective failure. But it was designed and built that way too for a reason: kids don’t vote!
    JMP

  2. JMPrince says:

    More from the prescient Michael Lind here on ‘The failures of Shareholder Capitalism’ for Salon, the New American Found has more at their site, just search under ‘corporate responsibility’:

    http://www.salon.com/2011/03/29/failure_of_shareholder_capitalism/

    “Companies exist for their workers and their communities — not just their CEOs and their investors” says Lind, author of
    “Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States”

    Lind noted even Jack Welch has renounced the idea with which he was long associated. In a March 2009 interview with the Financial Times, the former head of GE said: “Strictly speaking, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world.”

    Here also from HBR.org ‘The Myth of Shareholder Capitalism’:
    http://hbr.org/2010/04/the-myth-of-shareholder-capitalism/

    We are in agreement on the general amorality of the enterprise tho.

    JMP

  3. JMPrince says:

    Fantastic Faux like lemming response, that just happens to be ahistorical and dead wrong. Thom Hartmann for one has made a career out of pointing this out. This is one of his shortest pieces:
    http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2011/08/why-do-corporations-exist

    Search more around his site and learn more about the real history of corporations in America.

    Why were corporations invented? Historically they were limited by State statutes by both time, circumstance and region. Their charters had to be renewed yearly, but only IF they operated in the ‘public interest’. Those were the corporations of the founders time.

    But sadly, somewhere in the last 100 years it’s gotten badly distorted, and most people recognize that. Something has gone badly wrong with our new global multi-nationals and their now lawless operations. Again, just as was seen with the infamous British East India Company, way back when. This bring it up to date:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/04/how-american-corporations-transformed-from-producers-to-predators.html

    There’s also plenty of laws (and entire government agencies like the EPA & SEC) that do indeed regulate corporations and cause them to have plenty of reporting requirements & obligations. It’s just that enforcement has always been spotty & haphazard, politically biased everywhere. Again, history does matter, if you’re making declarations like that. JMP

  4. ed says:

    “Does corporate America have an obligation to help solve America’s problems?”

    No.

    • Trevor Southerland says:

      Gee, thanks for your insight.

      But the answer we were looking for was “yes.”

      • ire says:

        No, they don’t. They ought to but corporations exist solely to deliver profits for shareholders, nothing else. Whether they ought to, should to or can is utterly irrelevant though to anything other than liberals’ wishes to make corporations something other than they are. I mean hell there’s not even a law that shows they have any obligations beyond the basic taxes and shareholder interests.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      The conclusion then, is that you disagree that corporations are people, or you think people have no obigation to help solve America’s problems.

      • Ed says:

        The obligations they have beyond delivering profits for shareholders are in the dreams of liberals who want to make them both the cause and solution to all of society’s ills by turning corporations into things they are not.