15 minutes ago, giovanni wrote
Unfortunately not all companies obey the law, I only mentioned as an example of the requirements for a company to operate.
My statement was that companies are legally required to operate in the good faith best interests of the shareholders. "Not killing someone is a legal obligation on the public" is a true statement, whether or not some people choose to break the law and commit murder.
The question of who should manage the economy is very complex, but relying exclusively on governments I think is naive and, in my opinion, is in large part the cause of the current economic downturn. I strongly believe that it is the responsibility of every individual (physical or moral) to contribute at some degree to a healthier economy. The government is not an abstract and foreign concept, at least in most modern democracies.
Again, my statement wasn't what ought to be the case, just simply what is the case. There is no legal obligation on a company to act in the best interests of the wider economy, and so when companies chooses for example to engage in tax-avoidance schemes, that company has done nothing wrong.
To quote a person I admire a lot: "there is no business to be done on a dead planet."
Markets don't look that far into the future. Keynes, one of the most influential people behind the design of the entire 20th centuary western economics model famously argued that waiting for market forces to do stuff in the long run doesn't work, because, "in the long run, we are all dead.". His argument was that companies don't and won't act in their own long term interests - and it's the responsibility of the state to impose restrictions on corporate activities that hurt society in the longer term.
Time and again we've shown that American consumers care more about the price of goods than about the origin of the product. If that trend was reversed then jobs would flow back from China to America. The sad fact is that an iPad made in the US would be more expensive, and then US consumers would buy Japanese, European or Asian cheaper equivalents because American consumers care more about their wallet than about other people's jobs.