Scott Plaid, some clarification, please? On the evil and stupidity of business

In this post in the SDMB - Fair and Balanced? thread, you intimated that people who are “business friendly” are stupid or evil. A few people expressed surprise at this sweeping statement and you promised a clarification.

Alas, the stream of discussion went in another direction, preventing you from doing so. I’m genuinely curious about what lay behind your original statement, so here’s your opportunity to expand on your thoughts. I’ll start us out in Great Debates, because I’m hopeful we can discuss the topic on its merits.

So, how about it? Did you truly mean to say that being business-friendly makes someone stupid and evil, or was that just an unfortunate confluence of words? And if you did mean it, would you care to expand on it? As I said in my reply to you, being pro-business is not an indicator of evil or stupidity, per se; I like the SDMB and the computer I use to access it, and I’m aware that I couldn’t do so without the efforts of businesses like the folks who made my computer, the nice people at my ISP, and all the geeks at the Chicago Reader. I suspect the profit motive has a lot to do with the availability of such goodness, and I’m okay with that.

I suspect you are too; here’s your opportunity to either pull back on little bit on your apparent blanket condemnation, or to defend it with some well-thought-out analysis.

Yeah, I really meant it. An individual business can be good. However, once people find the freedom of controlling a large business affords them, I think that the end result is often more positive then negative. When they work within the law, things are bad enough, but it seems there is an inevitable result of owning a business that causes business owners to begin to bend, break, and crush the law. I can think of countless examples of businesses that cause such things. Regain and the ozone layer, Halliburton, the W.T.O., and the list goes on and on. The evil part was not towards people in general, but towards politicians who enable businesses. True, we occasionally see politicians who fund start-ups, but those people try to help communities in many other ways as well. What I see the most of, however, are presidents, and mayors who bend rules for business that pollute, and companies that exploit people.

Then again, this might just be the result of neuroses caused by a childhood filled with filthy, filthy hippies. :slight_smile:

P.S. No, I myself am not a hippy. I personally agree with almost everything they are opposed to, but I do not share the idea that all religions are reaching towards the same goal, or a passion for health food.

Hope that clears it up for ya Bob.

I can think of countless examples of black people who’ve committed crimes. What conclusion do you want to draw from that?

I mean, really, you can’t be serious about this. You see some things in the news and hear the “WTO is bad” and conclude everyone who runs a business is evil? Boy oh boy, we shouldn’t be fighting ignorance on here… we should be fighting illogic.

Like I said.

I would compare my position more to “All gang members, of any race, who own and use guns are bad.” After all, the guns give them power, and a feeling of confidence to use them, just as money and resources give business owner a feeling of power and a willingness to use it.

So what you’re saying here is, a *particular * business can be good; and that having a successful business can be a force for good (“more positive than negative”); therefore, business is evil?

Am I missing something here? Is it me? 'Cause the logic ain’t working for me here. . .

So you’re comparing, say, the guy who owns the laundromat up the street from me and makes a modest living providing a service I desperately need, to a gang member.

I don’t get it.

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Something about the power of owning a business large enough to influence politicians leads one down the path of abusing others. Perhaps it is the removal from other people that does it. :confused:

I suppose I was wrong to say that Business=evil.

It would be more correct to say Big business=evil, more often then not.

That’s quite a conclusion you’ve reached. Fortunately, your use of the word “inevitable” implies that you’ve a body of research supporting this conclusion. Please share with us the data leading you to the conclusion that business ownership, in every case, leads to lawlessness on the part of the owners.

And, please clarify your definition of “owners”. As a modest stockholder in a few corporations, I’m a business owner. Am I doomed to a life of white collar crime? Or is it only those who own sole proprietorships?

No data, just a conclusion reached over my life time. I suppose I can get together incidents of companies doing good, and companies doing evil, and see which list is longer, but that would take one hell of a long time.

Oh, and I am reporting your ownership of stocks to the police. :slight_smile:

Oh, and haliburton, and enron had boards, not just single owner, so, sorry, but you are eeeeeeevvvvvvviiiiiiillllllll. :slight_smile:

Sorry to respond piecemeal, Scott Plaid, but your response provides me with what the military call a “target-rich environment”. It’s just too much to take in all at once.

Here in my home state of Michigan, we have a Governor who’s in potential trouble because she has failed to attract enough businesses to the state to increase employment. I think we can all agree that being employed is a good thing, right? Any politician who creates a business-hostile environment is not long for their current position.

Scott Plaid, you’ve yet to address the hypocrisy inherent in your attitude toward (big) business, and your wholesale enjoyment of the fruits of those enterprises. Your computer, your internet access, the electricity powering your equipment – all this stuff came to you courtesy of big businesses. Do you actually believe that evil lives at the heart of each of these organizations?

Uh oh. I can try, but it is simply a long held prejudice of mine. I will see if I can support it.

The government? Evil? Yes. Gas and electric? Evil? Yeah. Inventors? Not evil. Companies which screw them out of their fair share? Evil.

Unfortunately, such evidential support is usually required of people making such over-arching assertions in this forum.

So, go ahead and start your lists - we’ll wait. In the meantime, I’m going to chalk your statement up to “unsupported hyperbole”, and be done with it.

Boards of Directors are not the owners of corporations. You knew that, right?

Okay; debate over. You realize you’ve just conceded, right?

Enjoy your prejudice, and thanks for the clarification.

I’m not sure whre big business begins and small business ends. Are you talking about Limited liability corporations?