• John Uibel

Why is Business?

An odd title but what is a business and why do we run one. For some, it's the love or desire for money, for others, it's the ability to help others and do more with less. Virtue and integrity are sometimes a rarity in business. "

Reports that CEOs in America earn more than 400 times the wages of their lowest-paid workers make a mockery of Plato’s ideal, in what was, admittedly, a smaller and simpler world,that no person should be worth more than four times another." I find this to be an interesting concept and one that I think people should abide by out of the goodness of their heart and now followed due to the law.

In Charles Handy's Harvard business review, he states,

"We need to

eat to live; food is a necessary condition

of life. But if we lived mainly to eat,

making food a sufficient or sole purpose

of life, we would become gross. The

purpose of a business, in other words,

is not to make a profit,full stop.It is to

make a profit so that the business can do

something more or better.That “some-

thing”becomes the real justification for

the business. Owners know this. Inves-

tors needn’t care."

More honesty

and reality in the reporting of results

would help,for a start.But when so many

of a company’s assets are now invisible,

and therefore uncountable, and when

a company takes seriously the idea of

itself as a wealth-creating community,

with members rather than employees,

then it will only be sensible for mem-

bers to validate the results of their work

before presenting them to the finan-

ciers, who might, in turn, have greater

trust in the accuracy of those statements.

And if the cult of the stock option wanes

with the decline of the stock market

and companies decide to reward their

key people with a share of the profits

instead, then those members will be

even more likely to take a keen interest

in the truth of the numbers. It seems

only fair that dividends be paid to those

who contribute their skills as well as

to those who have contributed their

money.Most of the latter,after all,have

not in fact paid any money to the com-

pany itself but only to the shares’previ-

ous owners."

"The urgent need now is to retain the energy produced by the old model while remedying its flaws."

I think this is an interesting proposal that could, in theory, work, however, I would find it hard to believe that Americans would give up their ownership of money in such a way that would benefit others. I may be wrong but holding people accountable to truth might prove to be too difficult for some.

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