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  Global Views
Do Corporations Owe Anything To Society?
Special Contribution
By Babu G. Ranganathan
Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee (center), arrives for probing at the special prosecutors' office in Seoul on April 4, 2008. He denied accusations on the day that he ordered his company to create a massive network of slush funds to bribe the nation's top officials. Courtesy of Joongang Daily & Kim Seong-Ryong

Many in society have been taught to believe that the public has no right to tell corporations what to do with their money any more than a a private citizen has the right to tell his neighbor what to do with the money he earns from his business or store. This is not a fair analogy.

True enough that a private citizen doesn't have the right to tell his neighbor what to do with his money but the public does have the right to tell corporations what to do with their money. Why? Because corporations couldn't exist without government and, in the case of democracies at least, the authority of our government comes from the people, the majority. Therefore, the public has a right to demand something from corporations in exchange for giving corporations the right to exist. Corporations cannot hide behind the specious argument of rugged individualism! Where's the rugged individualism when corporations depend upon the will of society to exist?

Many in our society have been brainwashed to believe that an absolutely free market place with no government controls or regulations would automatically fix our nation's problems. Have we forgotten already that the Great Depression of the early 1930's was the direct result of a free market economy with no government control or regulation?

In rugged individualism, the individual has the right to benefit from social and economic interactions with society, but society has no right to demand any benefit from the individual.

However, if it is true that a person has a moral right to be a rugged individualist, looking out only for himself, then it also follows that individuals (plural), by mutual agreement, have a moral right to look out for themselves. Such a moral right of individuals (plural) is the basis for majority rule and unions in our society.

Certainly, if an individual is benefiting from commerce with the many individuals of society, then the many individuals of society have a right, by mutual agreement among themselves, to demand certain benefits from the individual, benefits such as decent wages, clean air, clean water, safe working conditions, safe products, etc.

If capitalism and social consciousness cannot coexist, as so many of my fellow Republicans claim, then one wonders how modern industrialized nations such as Sweden, Norway, and Denmark can have a high degree of social consciousness and still be competitively advanced economically and technologically with the United States. Statistics show that the happiest place to live is in Denmark!

The rich are not paying their fair share of the taxes. Even billionaire Warren Buffet has said that his office secretary pays more in taxes in proportion to her income than he does.

In fact, one of Senator Obama's ideas for reviving our economy is by the federal governement spending money to repair the infrastructure in our country (roads, bridges, highways, etc.). Much of this money would come from taxing the wealthy and making them pay their fair share of the taxes.

Many of my fellow Republicans better wake up to the reality that they owe society something and that they're not so rugged individualists after all!

*Some other Internet articles by the author are: "Why The Traditional View of Hell Is Not Biblical," "Early Christianity Before The Papacy," "Free Will and Sovereign Grace," "Christ Was Begotten, Not Created," "Artificial Life By Intelligent Design," "Any Life On Mars Came From Earth!," "Creationists Right On Entropy, Evolution," "Are There Natural Limits To Evolution?," "Where Are All The Half-Evolved Dinosaurs?" The most up-to-date versions of these and other articles may be accessed at: Babu G. Ranganathan's Articles.



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The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, is an experienced Christian writer. Mr. Ranganathan has his B.A. with academic concentrations in Bible and Biology from Bob Jones University. As a religion and science writer he has been recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who In The East. The author's articles have been published in various publications including Russia's Pravda and South Korea's The Seoul Times. The author's website may be accessed at: http://www.religionscience.com.

 

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