Lot’s of humor in this Boortz article about morality in business despite the fact that I don’t strongly disagree with him on his point. The humor is that Senator Grassley can’t have an opinion on Microsoft’s “moral obligations” because the company doesn’t belong to him. Boortz, on the other hand… I can only assume his maiden name is Gates:
Microsoft has an obligation to protect the interests of its shareholders by retaining the best workers and letting the marginal ones go.
Now, I mention this only because he seems to confuse so completely the notions of “moral obligation” and “financial interest”… in a case of Conservatives Being Candid, the moral obligations to fatten the wallets of shareholders are basically the only ones that matter besides those which are also legal obligations.
Now – we could say that the company has no moral obligation to the stockholder… that it doesn’t make sense to talk about moral obligations in the context of business. But, if we are going to say that the business is morally obliged to the stockholder, then how revealing it is to leave out moral obligations to the community it serves – to avoid harm to the air and water that those dwelling nearby need? To treat workers fairly? To serve the client’s needs well and affordably? Nope… Shareholders are all that matter, and the letter of the law.
And that’s Randianism – or at least Friedmanism – taken to its absurd extreme.