A common yet questionable refrain prevails among capitalist nation governments and corporate circles: Best business practices, including what’s best for consumers, are best decided by business decision makers.
This was most recently proven false with Facebook prioritizing the expansion of its already-huge profit margin over the health of its younger users. It was proven false when long-term care homes put profit maximization before their residents’ well-being. This neglect resulted in needlessly numerous COVID-19 deaths. And it was proven most false when the pharmaceutical industry knowingly pushed its new, very addictive opiate painkiller.
Western business mentality (and, by extension, collective society) allows human well-being to be decided by corporate profit-margin measures. And our governments mostly dare not intervene, perhaps because they fear being labelled anti-business by our avidly capitalist culture.
Sadly, maximizing profits by risking the health or lives of product consumers will likely always be a significant part of the big business beast’s nature. But that does not mean we should give in to it. Rather, it should be a call to society, and especially our elected leaders, that the economy and jobs are there foremostly for people, not for corporate profit’s sake.
FRANK STERLE JR.
White Ro ck, British Columbia