Friday, November 20, 2009

Only "corporate responsibility" is profit-making

The Wall Street Journal published a series of articles on Nov. 19 on the alleged good of corporate "social responsibility" and concomitant "corporate responsibility." I wrote the following letter against such altruism to the WSJ today:


The Journal’s Nov. 19 stories on corporate “social responsibility” made me want to Google for companies engaging in such irresponsible “responsibility” and refuse to do business with them.

The one-and-only responsibility any company has is to make profits. It is to make and offer a quality product that consumers value so much that consumers wish to withdraw funds from their checking accounts to acquire that product. Such actions enrich the company, its employees, its shareholders and the lives of its happy consumers. *That* is “corporate responsibility.” Engaging in such corporate work and doing it honestly are the only ethical responsibilities any corporation has.

Any other activity (including unethical “social responsibility”) is an immoral diversion away from productivity, thereby reducing competitiveness, proper focus and quality – and it is an attempt to assuage guilt in our altruism-gone-rogue culture, in which giving good service and product is allegedly not the equal of the sordid “giving back.”

It is high time that the moralistic vipers of altruism and political correctness stand down – and for corporate leaders to stand up for the highest achievement in human life: hard work.


Moataz said...

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say value as opposed to profits. I mean money isn't the end in itself but rather trading value for value

David Elmore said...

Yes, Moataz, it is both value and profits, and if my audience were primarily Objectivist, I would've phrased it that way. But the WSJ audience is broad and somewhat irrational, so I didn't want to dilute the primary point that they could understand: profits. Sometimes, getting too philosophical at the wrong time can get my letters thrown into File 13. ;)