Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why would a company become more environmentally friendly or humanitarian?

Gallup polls revealed that 65% of Americans would like to see major corporations having less influence and only 18% of Americans have confidence in big business. I agree with the majority here- I do not trust many big corporations, which are too often driven by money-hunger, but I like them better than big government. I like how Julie Clawson, author of Everyday Justice, put it, "I don't oppose capitalism or necessarily think any other system would work better, but I find myself disturbed by economics without ethics."
One may deduce from the above statistics that Americans might demand more gov control over corporations, but that is not the case. Rather, as explained in the book, Investing for Change, the majority does not believe that "the government should further regulate business or industry" thus showing that "ppl don't view gov intervention as the way to make large companies more responsible." I am glad for this too. It is up to the consumer/investor to harness the power of demand to influence companies rather than depend on further government regulation. Government regulation has often merely driven companies to other nations where sweatshops are legal and environmental codes are laxer, thus worsening the problems and removing the woes from consumers' eyes. By the consumer-driven change method, competitive businesses will be more inclined to adopt a more socially responsible approach whether they are based in America or elsewhere. We consumers just need to inform ourselves and put our purchasing power to work.

Useful resources for informing yourself: Everyday Justice by Julie Clawson, Not For Sale by David Batstone, Investing for Change by Landier and Nair, , ,

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Sabasue said...

I tend to think of big corporations and big government one in the same, both feeding off each other. The gov't will never regulate business as we see fit as long as corporations are bringing in election funds. Grassroot support of green parties isn't sufficient unless such supporters start raising billions of dollars towards the election. I feel like these corporations are hovering over laughing at us raising our flags in discontent, b/c in the end they still have control over this country. I totally agree that the base of all of this lies in the hands of our purchasing power, because like i said the gov't will never do anything to jeopardize their monetary support. We have to change the way we spend our money. By supporting corporations with our money we are supporting big gov't, and vice versa. (((stepping down off my soapbox))) I'll have to check out those books.

Heather Paige said...

Thank you for the insite, Sarah. What an ugly cycle we are in. Let me know if you get the book so we can discuss more of it.