Thursday, July 26, 2012

Business Morality

" If the managers think there's money to be made by expanding and improving a business that they've bought, they will try to expand and improve it. If they think they can make more money by loading additional debt onto the company and sucking out the proceeds in dividends and fees, they'll load and suck. If they think there's more money to be made by firing all the U.S. employees and moving operations to China, they'll do so in a heartbeat. They're neither moral nor immoral when it comes to U.S. jobs and U.S. society. They're amoral—they don't care one way or the other, as long as what they're doing isn't illegal. "

This is the kind of fluff you expect to get under the CNN flagship, but people are never amoral, they are moral beings. They can be moral or they can be immoral. but that's all. Capitalism is made of people. Persons cannot be amoral. There is no such spot on the toggle. Grow up. Find yourself, you fool. The above genius quote is sourced on CNN and found to be written by one A. Sloan. It is

July 16, 2012: 8:00 AM ET

P.S. Amorality in economics is a trope I have seen used twice. It was used by both George Soros and by JKG. Soros, I would say, has obvious reasons for taking this route. He trades everyday in a world that is pretty context-free, or pretty free from moral considerations. So, he needs to justify that. I think his is a pretty moral person, I mean Carnegie built libraries and what not. So, sure, Soros is moral, but what about this financial spectrum he flies so high in? (High-flying finance, the "third" level of Braudel's "Material Civilization," as well as, I think, the third volume of a trilogy Braudel must have had a lot of fun writing!) I do not believe that we should say that his financial trading-floor (or trading airplane) acts are amoral. The actor can only be either moral of immoral. I think the wording is fooling all of us. We could very see it like this. And this is how I do see it: he is a person, not a machine. He is a moral being. When he goes into the market and trades stocks and bonds or whatever, he does not suddenly become a fictitious "amoral" person. There are no "amoral" persons. He has a legal and moral responsibility for what he does in life. The idea is that one's economic/trading activities are an exception. I do not agree.
     0K, so...maybe what Soros was saying in the piece of writing I am referring to, which I read some time ago, is that those particular acts of trading that he was doing do not have much of a moral component to them. That may be, and the act may be amoral but the person is not the act. The other one I read who said capitalism is "amoral" was J. K. Galbraith. Again, I don't agree with the idea that capitalism, or some part of it, is a separate zone that should be entitled "amoral." Bain Capital was buying and selling companies, right? With employees, right? If these kinds of activities are "amoral," then we really need to call the regulators in immediately. Someone has to be  responsible for adjudicating this system. There is, in general, what is called our responsibility for actions, and this moral context is a culture, a human world. Capitalism was not developed in a vacuum, it was developed out of just this human, cultural, moral context. The morality was there ---- otherwise capitalism could not function as a reality in the human and social world. So, capitalism is not an abstraction, although I think the business class would like to reduce it to that, extracting the "real life," because, as Jeff Skilling said, "humans gum up the works." So isn't that brilliant, Jeffery got rid of the pesky humans, and found himself quite rich indeed. So I say that rather than there being any space of any significance at all where the term "amoral" describes the activity, all humans are responsible for all actions. Period. And you do not gild and polish your amoral compartment, not in the mind or on the blog or the CNN media network or anywhere. In Bain's case, there is more likelihood of real consequences, since it is real companies with real employees in them that are being bought and sold. And Romney was a robot when he was with them? What is he now? Is he still amoral, or does the person morph into something else? When? Why? No. I say Romney was a moral being all along and he needs to take responsibility, and that means not through his business buddy at the CNN network who places the concept of an amoral business sector in Romney's mouth. That is being a shill for business which is what Sloan is. Allen Sloan's suggestion is that this not at all yucky, it merely "feels yucky to non–financial types" [my emphasis] (which he follows up with "—and to some financial types as well").
     What I am reading into it is that the whole human race is full of immorality and corruption. Naturally, so is capitalism. That is Allen Sloan's point, that since all of it is corrupt anyways, Bain should not be singled out in such a moral arena as a political campaign. He asks: What is the reason for making a special case of Bain? Allan sees these corrupt businessmen all the time, and he says it's not corrupt, it's actually OK. 
     But buying out businesses? It does have a moral component to it, since it is human behavior. This particular not exempt and neither are any other human actions, whatsoever.
     There should be no such concept of an amoral function in business. I think it is wrong. What needs to be fixed is the whole economic system. We have to get our mind around that. Maybe Mr. Sloan won't get his mind around it though.


  1. What happened here was that I tried to post the entire section after the P.S. on the comments part of the CNN website in the place where the SLoan stuff was published.
    My understanding is I got cut from the website. What is the attitude of the persons who have that job of "moderating" comments? How do they decide who to delete? They are the same persons I discussed in the "Voter Suppression" post.
    My imagined "moderator" was a person who saw what I tried to post on the comment space and who said "he is saying all kinds of profound, deep stuff and he should do that kind of thing." They do not like profound comments. They are interested in the level of conformity a person displays. That was what I meant, when I was talkin' 'bout those voter suppressors.

  2. P.S. section edited and improved, August 23. No WONDER CNN blog refused to accept it! The piec e just wasn't ready./// hadn't achieved the "amoral" level of business acceptability!!!