iPhones would never have been created in a centrally planned economy where the government regulates the prices, from CEO pay to those of products.
While often criticizing government for curtailing our freedom instead of protecting it and businesspeople (or others) for failing to act ethically, I want to focus on the positive in my last post of the year.
The environmentalist and other activist leaders concentrate on reversing human progress and diminishing human well-being as much as possible.
Truly free trade can only take place in free markets, not in the prevailing mixed economies where governments pick favored trading partners
Clear moral principles, such as honesty, make the right—the self-interested, win-win—course of action so much easier.
Protectionism is not a recipe for prosperity—free trade is.
CSR also sneaks in the ideal of altruism, the duty to serve others “to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm.”
By clearly and publicly withdrawing their moral sanction of government’s freedom-curtailing and welfare-destroying actions, business leaders can have a big impact on all of our future.
Government-caused uncertainty, such as not approving pipeline construction or imposing more taxes (such as the carbon tax), discourages investment and thus prevents employment recovery.
Telus doesn’t get that its role is the creation of material values (cell phone service), not encouraging more taxation. On the contrary, it should oppose the carbon tax and any other taxes as they destroy human welfare.
Government should get out of regulating business at all, including regulations on product safety, emissions, and dealing with industrial waste.
Recognizing facts and assessing them by the standard of human flourishing inevitably leads to the conclusion that fossil fuel companies are not villains but producers of essential human value and deserve to be not attacked, but thanked.
Productive companies and investment bankers who help them obtain capital are making an important contribution to human flourishing for which they should be proud.
If we want to promote human flourishing and avoid human suffering, it is crucial that we challenge the ideal of government ‘redistribution’ of wealth and regulation of the economy and advocate reason, freedom and individual rights instead.
Work is a crucially important value. When productive, work gives us not only the material means of survival and enjoyment of life, but it is also the main source of self-esteem and provides a central purpose that makes the rest of our values achievable by helping prioritize them.
Rather than complaining about ‘unfairly’ low corporate taxes paid by Apple and others, we would be better off advocating low, and eventually no, corporate taxes, more wealth creation, strong protection of individual rights by governments–and capitalism.
As appeasement and pursuit of ‘social license’ is futile, other oil and pipeline executives should follow Girling’s example and defend their companies on moral grounds for the great value they provide. Governments, for their part, should cease their welfare-destroying climate change policies and focus on protecting individual rights instead.
Every day, businesses make the world a better place to live, profitably, by creating and trading material values, by mutual consent and for mutual benefit. It’s time we’d recognize it and appreciate business people for what they do. Such a cultural change would, in time, create business heroes also in Hollywood movies and spiritual fuel for all of us.
An important aspect of the freedom to exercise reason is the freedom of speech: the liberty to express opinions and to persuade others, whether to advertise one’s products, to raise capital, to contract suppliers, or to recruit employees. Taking this freedom away also severely undermines companies’ ability to create material values.
Is the premise that catastrophic man-made climate change is happening and that corporations, particularly those involved in producing fossil fuels, are largely culpable, valid?
British companies can even outperform those outside of the EU—if the British government does not compromise on the principle of liberty. That is the big ‘if.’ But the Brexit has opened up a huge opportunity for a freer, more prosperous Britain.
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