Is it morally appropriate for a business to take a political stance?

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,285
Now, as I was saying above, the border between selection and discrimination is tiny, but if a consumer can boycott a brand, I don't see why a shop owner couldn't "boycott" a part of the potential clientele.
Then, also the kind of shop would change the matter. A shop where you buy primary goods or services cannot make a selection because of its own nature [imagine if the pharmacy of a little village begun to select the customers!].

We can say that generally "ideological" selections are not that right [they are substantially wrong], but usually they are not illegal and since the OP talks about morality ... sure from the perspective of the one making the selection ... that's morally correct.
Generally businesses can and do discriminate against certain segments using differentiated pricing (common example is insurers who make young drivers pay more)

However "selection" on whatever basis is wrong as then there is no limit (I dont like your face, your name, your shoes, your dog etc....).... So businesses should do "business", i.e. buy and sell withint the limits allowed by law... Full stop....

Of course the "I am offended" crowd keeps on pressuring businesses to do this or that and to not buy from those the crowd does not like ..... Some busineses cave in which is a bad idea, for once you give in to blackmailers, the blackmailing only gets worse...
 
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Jul 2019
1,076
New Jersey
What about large corporations like GM that do not have a single business owner, only shareholders with different moral and political views?
Usually, the shareholders will select a board to manage the business. That board embodies the shareholders.

Ultimately I believe in full freedom of association in the context of non-governmental services.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,866
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Does a small of medium-sized business or a large corporation have moral obligation to be amoral and ONLY or PRIMARY pursue profit maximization?
A business has no moral obligations except that which the owners or management (with the consent of owners) puts upon it.
 
Jan 2012
489
South Midlands in Merlin's Isle of Gramarye
Look, business is business. You are there to do business so why discriminate?

Years ago when I was a salesman my best customers were left-wing state socialists in a posh part of London. I didn't agree with them as I always had to work for my money but I wasn't going to cut my nose off to spite my face.

Anyone who gets snotty and turns down good paying custom is an idiot.
 
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MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,369
Kansas
Is it morally correct for x chemical company to knowingly sell zyklon B to Nazi German concentration camps knowing what those camps are set up for, and knowing for what purpose those chemicals will be used for?
It is if the owner of the company is a foaming Nazi who wants all Jews dead. Mind you it could end badly for the owner if the wrong side wins the war
 
Dec 2017
357
Florida
Look, business is business. You are there to do business so why discriminate?

Years ago when I was a salesman my best customers were left-wing state socialists in a posh part of London. I didn't agree with them as I always had to work for my money but I wasn't going to cut my nose off to spite my face.

Anyone who gets snotty and turns down good paying custom is an idiot.
Quoted for reiteration.

The goal of a business is profit. Profit, when done voluntarily, is a market sign that you are provided a good to an individual and improving that individual's life in some capacity. Exchange is based upon a double inequality of wants. They value your product more then they value what they are giving to get your product. So through the indicator of profit, we can see who is really serving society, who is bettering lives.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,709
Netherlands
Quoted for reiteration.

The goal of a business is profit. Profit, when done voluntarily, is a market sign that you are provided a good to an individual and improving that individual's life in some capacity. Exchange is based upon a double inequality of wants. They value your product more then they value what they are giving to get your product. So through the indicator of profit, we can see who is really serving society, who is bettering lives.
Yep, Pablo Escobar was just fulfilling people's needs and really serving society. Same aas Madoff.
 
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tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,285
Yep, Pablo Escobar was just fulfilling people's needs and really serving society. Same aas Madoff.
Well there is this one little thing called "the law"... Neither Escobar nor Madoff were respecting it.... What they were doing was illegal......
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,771
Businesses take political stances all the time as they operate in many ways dependant upon politicals turning into policy. Even companies who don't directly depend on government contracts, monopolies, or subsidies are often hugely reliant upon government policy and attending laws in how they invest, operate, profit, and perpetuate. It is impossible to remove business from politics.

The biggest problem isn't that businesses are involved in politics in a democracy it is that businesses can clandestinely influence politics without any transparency for voters and competitors when it should be considered criminal to hide the influence and amount to bribes when competitors have no opportunity to influence politics in turn.