These posts are getting kind of long, so I thought I'd address two aspects
of the discussion separately: 1) tax policy per se and 2) personal behavior.
I will discuss (2) first because I have such warm feelings about my
immediate colleagues at Pioneer, and I recently attended the American Seed
Trade Association meetings in Chicago which left me with many mixed feelings
about corporate behavior.
>>> Responsibilities like cleaning up after yourself, not
>>> impinging on the rights of others, (Greg)
>> These are the things I find most difficult to instill in
>> my children, along with being polite and respectful. (Dale)
> Do they watch much TV? Are children naturally like that,
> or do they emulate the behavior they see modeled around
> them. I think the TV media, which thouroughly permeates
> our culture, models incedibly negative behaviors. (Greg)
What negative behaviors exactly do you see modelled on TV? I am disturbed
by the disrespect to parents and by the commercials (we teach our kids to
consider commercials attempts to manipulate them). I am dismayed by the
sexual immorality that is modelled, although I don't think younger children
usually understand (fortunately). Many values I agree with like honesty,
responsibility, diversity, and at least superficial concern for the
environment appear to be consciously conveyed in the programs. I am
concerned that life is presented in too rosy a way that glosses over the
real difficulties that people have.
>> All this behavior [banality if purely economic growth] is
>> caused by fundamental aspects of human nature IMO. (Dale)
> If that is the case, then we really do need a govenment and a
> religion to mandate and guide a moral path. (Greg)
Yes, I think we need social models of good behavior and also some coercion
to ensure good behavior in critical areas.
>>> Something called fudiciary trust mandates that all
>>> else become secondary to profit. (Greg)
>> I don't think this is true in practice. (Dale)
> I plainly disagree. Look around you. Look at the
> exploitation occuring in nearly every aspect of
> corporate culture. (Greg)
Well, maybe you are partly right. I don't feel exploited but I work like a
slave (doing things I enjoy). I do have the freedom to squeeze in
discussion like this. I see vendors falling all over each other trying to
sell us (Pioneer) various snake-oil products, using selective data
presentation to subtly lie. I'm pretty sure the lies result from
self-deception and rationalization. I occasionally see this behavior
in-house. I see less, rabid self-promotion and group loyalty than I did at
another seed company I used to work for. But Pioneer is awful big, and
maybe I am just isolated from that in my technical position (production
research). I see genuine, constant effort to improve product quality. My
immediate colleagues and I are mostly christians, and we frequently discuss
ethical issues pertaining to work. I don't think any of us would knowingly
lie in a report or talk we give, but it is easy to stretch the truth
sometimes in the selling of ideas. We care about the environment, and will
not recommend practices we think are real bad for the environment.
> That is what is so insidous about fudciary trust. The
> people can be wonderfully honest and all that, they
> simple will not be allowed to make ethical decisions.
Maybe I have lived a sheltered scientific life, but I have only once felt
such pressure (perhaps I misunderstand your statement). I have observed
people (mainly at the university) take fantastically convoluted positions on
issues (to their ethical benefit) via rationalization and (IMO)
self-deception. Maybe this is common in sales, I don't know.
>> pesticides on the EPA fast-track. This is a very strong
>> incentive to develop safe, low-use-rate pesticides. (Dale)
> This assumes chemical companies are; 1 honest, 2 able to test
> acuratly and completly for side effects, and 3 able to
> anticipate future of unexpected consequences.
It is impossible to prove that anything new will have no unforseen adverse
consequences so I won't address (2) and (3). But regarding the integrity of
the existing process, It sure looks to me like the EPA has this sewn up
pretty tight. It would probably be possible to outright lie to the EPA
(falsify data). But I think that is unlikely because the individuals own
butts would be on the line. The formality and scope of the process probably
minimizes the selective data presentation and shading of meaning that is the
normal way to lie in the corporate environment.
In conclusion, corporations need to be seen more like tribes than empires.
The individuals overtly conform to the ethical norms of the larger culture,
but people may shade and bend the truth by self-deception and
rationalization. In short, it is a people thing. I believe that
corporations are outgrowths of primate group-dynamics, and that it is
loyalty to the group, and distrust of outsiders that can result in
self-deception. Grounding in an exogenous ethical system (like
Christianity) helps individuals guard themselves against group-think.
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: