Is Business Evil?Dec 16, 2020
Last week we talked about money and this week I want to briefly discuss the idea that business is evil.
There is a trend in the media and news to portray business in a negative light and it seems to be growing lately. Business charges money and therefore is evil. This is a dangerous trend and people are sharing memes on Facebook that seem to perpetuate the myths and ideas without thinking critically about the truth.
The truth is that business is the main entity that solves problems.
It seems that more and more people are waiting for the government to fix everything. Even if the government was capable of solving some of our cultures more complex challenges, it would still require the resources to do so and those resources come from business.
One assumption is that business is greedy.
In the midst of this pandemic, Amazon has grown and is making more money. Yes, that is happening at the expense of small local businesses who are shut down or have limited operations. First, the limit isn’t Amazon’s fault. Second, the fact is that Amazon was poised to handle supplying people’s shopping desires perfectly suited them to grow during the pandemic. Obviously, Zoom and others have benefited from the pandemic. While I agree it is disappointing that small businesses, especially local businesses are being shuttered, it is not a question of greed. The assumption is that these companies are driven by greed. There is no way to know that it is greed that positioned Amazon as the largest online provider. They meet a need and provide a service that people desire and appreciate and of course they get paid for that.
An even worse assumption is that business is out to destroy the world.
There have been some unscrupulous business leaders, especially in the rise of the industrial age. As we have learned the impact of industry on the planet, more and more companies do want to take responsibility, such as lumber and paper providers that create sustainable forests or steel suppliers creating recycling networks to reuse steel rather than produce from raw materials. The value for business in the long term is to protect the planet and care for it.
I think these ideas have been perpetuated by movies that portray business men as evil and greedy or incompetent. Corporations are cold and unfeeling machines that destroy lives. There is no portrayal of how business solves problems, provides jobs and makes the world a better place. I believe that business is noble and moral. Obviously, not all businesses are moral, but those who cheat will fall, not the opposite. Hollywood would like you to believe that all business is corrupt and all business leaders are greedy and would lie, cheat and steal from their mother to get what they want. Of course, there are examples of this with the fall of Enron for cooking the books, and other companies for running investment Ponzi schemes. The truth is they are the minority. The majority of business is conducted by people who are seeking to solve problems and to enrich the world and in doing so they are rightly compensated.
Business is about relationships and solving problems.
For the pure socialist it doesn’t compute that both parties could be happy after a business transaction but normally they are, that is what makes business moral and noble. People taking care of people. Businesses that lose sight of taking care of people are the ones that fall away.
I encourage you to understand the mission of a business and see if it aligns with what it claims. What problem is it solving in the world? Is it providing that solution at a fair market value? Is there a problem that you solve? Is it time for you to build a business and offer your solution to the world?
Business is a noble enterprise and those who take on the mantle of solving a problem in the world are worthy of the compensation they receive. Watch how the media and movies portray business and those who run them. Stay alert to the statements people make about business and challenge the claims made. I think a big piece of why this is perpetuated and grows starts with a statement many of us are taught or have heard and is never challenged, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” That will be a conversation for another day, but it is based on a poverty mindset and the idea that the resources are limited, so if one person or company has them then no one else can. This is simply not true and this kind of limitation thinking must be challenged.