RVBUCKEYE said:I agree whole-heartedly with most of your post but I have one problem with the "ethical capitalism". It's a good ideal to be stived for, but it is counter-productive if you have just one unethical person not playing by the rules. Capitalism mirrors humanity in the way it is survival of the fittest. All it takes is one company to exploit a business practice that all others might feel unethical, thus don't get invovlved with. (such as using sweat shops versus production in which employees are offered fair wages, insurance, etc.) The expense that the unethical company saves by not treating employees fairly could, in theory, help gain that competitive edge needed to corner a market. Certainly it is up the consumer not to buy those products until the unethical practices are stopped. But sometimes a consumers purchasing decisions are based on what they can afford, rather than lack of ethics. (I still shop at Wal-Mart occasionaly).
Sure it is the consumer that decides if a comany "survives" or not. The quality of the company's product decides the fate of the company when matched or not with those tastes, practises and expectations of the consumer. But it is ultimately the responsibility of the company to provide a quality product. This ensures the maintainence of a large consumer base... along with equitable pricing.
If the employees of a company are unhappy, their work is less than quality. If the employees are under-educated and under-trained and have cultural values that do not match those of the target market of the company's market, then the company begins to slip on the stock exchange because of poor sales performance. If the consumer is rallying against overseas employees the company slips even more.
Quality of product is a major point. It is plain to see with the slow failure of McDonalds Restaurants that even the most uneducated market knows bad food when then eat it. Why else would Ronald try to save his market with 'healthy choice' sandwiches... that really taste bad too? Its failure all around for this practise. Good food cannot be mass produced. But McD illustrates my point that a poor product will, eventually, crash a company.
If the company only sees the consumer as its "environment" where it needs to survive as the fittest... it's not seeing the whole picture. The health and welfare of its employees is just as important in wooing the consumer as its flashy ad campaign or its change of label. If the company is decimating the countryside and the people of some "far away" nation to feed the demands of consumers at home... how long before news of what the company is doing to the people, their families and their land gets back home and there is a sharp decline in sales. Then another company does it better with quality and ethics. A company may even find an alternative product that blows the other company's methodology right out of the water.
Take Toyota or Honda for example. They marketed the hybrid system heavily (as opposed to Ford and GM etc...) they got the jump on ethical vehicles. Ford is hurting and so are its employees. The US car makers are hurting because of a blind spot they seem to have when it comes to quality and ethics. Its like they don't get the financial news when it comes to oil prices and production. Ford bought rights to Hydrogen Fuel cell production but, they didn't push it.