Sunday, March 06, 2011

Business is part of society, society is not part of business

So businesses should at the very, very, least pay their fair share. All of this talk about cutting taxes and cutting regulations in order to improve business functioning is misleading in the extreme, in that the argument is that improving a climate for business improves society. Doesn't doing things that improve society, improve society? Having regulations to protect individuals and the environment protects and improves society, having business pay their fair share so that state and local governments can pave roads and pay teachers improves society. Business, by this standard, is not an end in itself, but is only instrumental, and so as an instrumental institution can and should be compromised if it not longer fulfills a positive instrumental function. That is, if we really are talking about not just having business be unregulated because businesspeople want money. Surely business sees itself as an end and not as a means. They should have their perspective adjusted, because their little profits aren't worth the welfare of society as a whole.

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