Uncommon Sense

January 28, 2012

Profits: Means or End?

Filed under: Economics — Steve Ruis @ 9:08 am
Tags: , , ,

On TV last night the company Element Electronics was highlighted for bringing jobs back to the U.S. Element, based in Minnesota, has been supplying stores like Target, Wal-Mart, and Costco with Chinese televisions. Now, they will begin manufacturing, servicing, and supporting televisions in Canton, Michigan. Element will start by hiring 100 workers and then add as they grow.

Element’s president, Michael Shaughnessy, spoke about growing up in Canton, Ohio amongst the shuttered factories and their impact on friends and family. He also admitted that the decision to manufacture was partly emotional because of that history. Shaughnessy believes that he can make televisions (starting with 46 inch flat screens) here in the U.S. for the same costs as making them in China.

We have stated quite a few times that the raison d’être of corporations, to make profits, should be a means to an end and not an end in itself. Toyota, the second largest manufacturer of automobiles in the world, for example, has stated as one of its goals to make well-paying jobs for its workers. Element Electronics is now doing the same.

Rapacious capitalism has run its course. What is needed now is a change of heart. Making profits off of other people’s misery is just not good enough any more. Impersonal profits are not good enough any more.

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