W12 Reflection – What is Business For?

This topic has been one of my favorite so far, because it restored some of my faith in capitalism. Free-markets controlled by profits should mean fairness and equality, but sometimes it feels like it comes at the expense of the most vulnerable among us. Capitalism should not equal greed. Just like money in and of itself is not evil, neither is capitalism. It is just how people use it.

In today’s corporate culture, we see that employees are regarded as costs instead of assets. They are an expense to be paid instead of a community to invest in. A quote from the reading said that, “companies die because managers focus on the economic activity of producing goods and services and forget that their organization’s true nature is that of a community of people”. When we remove short-term profit pressures from top executives, they are free to make better decisions for the long-term success of their businesses. By investing in people and making customers our priority over profits, businesses will make the growth they are working so hard to find.

A video we watched was about small pox, and how they were able to eradicate a deadly illness. Today, I just watched a news special on how insulin prices are extorted so high that it is impossible for people to afford, and it is threatening lives. These two examples severely contrast each other and show me the choice we make as entrepreneurs and business owners. I get to choose the vision and goals for my company, and decide to be noble or not. That is one of the reasons having ethical guardrails is so important, and why I want to be careful to follow them.

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