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Old 08-30-2019, 10:58 AM
HMS Irruncible is online now
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,520
Originally Posted by Pantastic View Post
So the question is: why should I (or the individual in question) not consider my personal fortune as a business and me and/or my family as the stakeholders in that business, then apply standard business ethics to all of my business dealings? Companies apply business ethics from their side when dealing with me, so I don't see why there would be a problem with me behaving in an ethical fashion with regards to them. This makes the answers to a lot of the questions raised much simpler, and puts both sides on an even footing. People tend to act as though this isn't reasonable, but I've never heard a good explanation for why.
Ethics doesn't mean putting someone else's interests ahead of yours. It means doing what you said you were going to do. Society is better off when people honor business transactions without preying on one another. If we don't do that, then we can't have useful social innovations like credit, banking, insurance, not without enormous costs.

To give an example, when you strategically default on a debt, you're exploiting good faith built up by others and turning it to your own advantage. It harms everyone.
It's wrong when a person does that, and it's wrong for a company to do that.

Some people will argue that banks are huge institutions that have tons of money and issue unfair terms. I am sympathetic to this point of view, but when you enter into an agreement with them, you agree to these terms. The bank can't break those terms and you shouldn't either. If we don't like how banks work, we should change the law. (I support this wholeheartedly).