Is capitalism in America ethical? The answer to this question is both yes and no. Capitalism is an economic system where means of production are privately owned and operated for profit, usually in a competitive market. This leaves the values of each privately owned business up to the business operators. In other words, the ethicality of capitalism in America depends on us. If you are involved in business this may leave you wondering which values are white and which values are black in the American game of business? In the following paragraphs I am going to give you three points that can help rate a business, whether it be yours or someone else's, to see just how ethical it is.
The first place that you can rate a business’s ethics is at its heart, the employees. If you look back upon America’s history to the days of slavery and racism, you can start to see just how important this is to consider. Slavery in America created a system of discrimination where those of an African American heritage were discriminated against and put into what I call the “working against my will trap”. When analyzing a business’s employee ethics you must ask yourself two questions. One, are each of my employees being treated as equal human beings or is there a slight trace of discrimination. Two, are any of my employees working in the “against my will trap”? This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be enjoying their job as much as that they have to want to be doing it. If you received a negative impression on either of these two questions, now would be a good time to ask yourself if profitability is worth ruining the lives of other human beings.
The next question you can ask yourself to rate you business’s ethics is, “am I contributing to society?” If you are doing business which is overall detrimental to the health and lifestyle of others, you may want to consider who you really care about and where that will leave you when you die. Is it worth it? A great example of a type of business which is detrimental to society is the tobacco and harmful drug industry. While profitability is often and should be one of the leading values of a business, to prevent further problems in American capitalism and lives we must stay away from the black area of driving to it. Unfortunately, it is usually not that simple. There is a large grey area in American business like McDonalds for example. McDonalds is a great business which provides tons of jobs and cheap food to Americans. Unfortunately, the food is not very healthy. The real question is whether overall it is a good thing for society. This is the same question you must ask about the business you are analyzing. I will leave the answer to that question up to you.
The final point for you to consider is just how in check you have your office politics. Are you practicing nepotism, the ignorant leader syndrome or favoritism? It can be very harmful for your employee’s morale, actions and health to be working under a system that takes no consideration of how well they are doing. If you have an office where the people who have been working the longest and hardest or people who know the most are working under the less qualified it may be time for a switcheroo. This would not only help your business’s efficiency but would also help your workers morale and ethics. Incompetency and competency must always show their head in an ethical and optimal business. If they are not doing so, the business operator must ask himself whether or not it is worth having the blind lead the less blind.
America is a great country of agency where we as a people have been bestowed with the honor to decide its growth or decay. Capitalism in America has and will be just as ethical as we the people decide to make it. I encourage those who are reading this blog to be proactive in voting for those of good ethics because, we get to choose and become our leaders. I encourage those who are willing to take a chance to do so and create new businesses. Finally, I encourage business workers and leaders to be proactive in strengthening their business ethics.
The great thing about this country is that in the long run it will not be the country that makes the people. It will be the people that make the country. I encourage everyone who reads this article to leave a comment, contribute to blogs, and be a little more proactive because it only takes a single person to start that change. May god bless us as we each make a decision today to choose better ethics for our business’s, people, and country.