Friday, July 20, 2012
This essay raises the question of business and society and points out that business does not have a direct responsibility for the welfare of a society in which it works. A business is beholden to customers and stakeholders. If society's needs happen to intersect with a business' purpose, all the better. If it doesn't, companies will go elsewhere to find suitable environments in which to work. The essay is critical of corporations that have a role in US politics but fail to take responsibility for educating and hiring US workers. What it doesn't say is that much of the hiring corporations have done overseas has been low-cost labor. Apple products are assembled in huge factories by people who are paid a fraction of American wages. With assembly work comes a need for engineering that has driven movement of more sophisticated work from the US as well. From a PR perspective, what should be done, if anything? The answer is not much. Americans couldn't afford an iPad assembled in the US. That is, as consumers, we benefit from low-wage labor. We demand it actually because we want to maintain our standard of living. Perhaps the first step in resolving the issue is to look at ourselves.