Sept 22.docx - Sept 22 Action papers due two weeks today in...

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Sept 22 Action papers due two weeks today in class No specific format for us to follow Mostly interested in content ----------------------------- 100 largest economies in the world 52 of them are companies in 2002 If corporations are considered persons under the law, what kind of persons are they? The institutional structure of the Modern Corporation: Examining corporate "personhood" Profit Imperative/ Legal Duty to Shareholders Basic goal of a corporation: profit, market share Generally takes precedence over community wellbeing, human rights, sustainability To an extent: it is no much of a choice. The law dictates that this is what corporations must do. Compels corp executives to put their shareholders first. Fixture of corporate law in most countries This legal duty to shareholders take on a life of its own, beyond the intentions of those doing it. The decision-making cannot be reduced to just greed and domination, For the people running corporations they are mostly good decent people. Despite good intentions, when at work their duties are clear. Especially when they are publicly traded. Responsible to the shareholders One of the amazing things is it can bring thousands of people together in a business structure and compel them to behave in a way they would otherwise feel as amoral Amoral Decision-Making They are not immoral, they are amoral as they do not operate under moral constitutions. If more money can be made by moving the factories where you can abuse human labour for cheap, they probably will If they can pump carbon in the atmosphere or chop down rainforests they will. If they can make more money to break the law, collaborating with a brutal military regime, they will. It ALSO means if it makes more fiscal sense to behave in a socially responsible way or an environmentally friendly way, they will. Case Study: Nazi Holocaust One of the most dramatic examples was the collaboration between corporations and Nazi holocaust during WWII. A lot of German corporations collaborated with the Nazis IG Farbon - now the bear corporation. They just bought Monsanto It produced the poison gas. It set up its own slave labour camp next to Auschwitz
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Literally worked hundreds of thousands of people to death 1500 people died every day. If you were sick they were sent to Auschwitz Everything this company did, they did to maximize profits. Eventually many of these corporate execs went on trial. Their main argument was they were just acting in the best interests of the company. Duty to shareholders. Minimize labour costs, maximize profit. A few execs went to jail, all out in 6 years. Most went back to the corporation. Every single one of the German car manufacturing companies are still using slave labour, including BMW (admitted using 50,000) AUDI, VW (they even had something called a dying room where female slave labourers would leave their babies to die) It wasn’t just German corporations FORD, GM, Standard oil IBM Basically helped run concentration camps by developing the hollorwritz machine to help identify slaves in the concentration camps.
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