Capitalism and Morality

by Robin Harris on Thursday, 1 June, 2006

Terry Semel, CEO of Yahoo, has been taking a beating in the blogosphere because Yahoo has helped the Chinese government nab dissidents. People are acting surprised that large multi-national corporations are aiding authoritarian governments.

Get real, folks. I’m a fervent capitalist. Yet as Adam Smith noted, the moral basis of capitalism is that people acting in their own self-interest produces a result that benefits the common good. Businessmen are in business, not moral improvement. Mr. Semel’s response should be, “yes, we’re troubled by it, and we’ve asked the US Government to ask the Chinese government not to make us do that anymore.” And that answer would put the onus where it belongs. And yes, most American multi-nationals did trade with the Nazis.

Terry’s big problem is his storage cost structure is out of whack versus Google. Work on something you can fix, Terry.

{ 1 comment }

Anthony Thursday, 29 June, 2006 at 1:45 am

If you haven’t already, you might like to have a look at a documentary called “The Corporation”.

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