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Taylor Tomasini

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What if profit maximization is not only wrong, but dangerous?

Profit maximization implies hierarchy, standardization, and efficiency (how else do you maximize?) but these activities limit diversity and create bureaucracy.

Genetic diversity is what helped people survive the Bubonic plague. Terrorist organization survive because they have no leader (hierarchy). Your body creates redundancies (think two kidneys). And your psychological frame (profit maximization) can help you act in highly unethical ways.

What if profit maximization is contributing to unethical behavior, economic fragility, boom and bust cycles, and the degradation of society?

What if instead of placing profit at the center of our aims and desires we sought to maximize something else and simply made profits a constraint -- your business must be profitable in order to continue to exist?


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    Feb 1 2013: Maximization of profits is only wrong if it is not accomplished using legal AND ethical means.
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      Feb 1 2013: Good point. Will you elaborate a little bit?
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        Feb 1 2013: Sure. If profits are made using illegal OR unethical methods that is wrong. Defining societal laws and ethics is a monumentally complex process which is yet to be pefected in human history. Whatever the laws AND ethics of a society are they must be the governing principle of business. For example, it might be legal to destroy a parcel of land in order to extract some minerals. But can we say it is ALSO ethical do so when the parcel is home to the last surviving members of a species? If not it would be wrong to profit from such a venture.

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