Corporate responsibility

Apple I at the Smithsonian Museum

Apple I at the Smithsonian Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Corporations are responsible to a variety of stakeholders: shareholders, employees and society in general. Recently the CEO of Apple Computer, Timothy Cook, was questioned by Congress about Apple’s tax avoidance. His response was typical; Apple’s responsibility to its shareholders requires that it maximize profits by any and all legal means. In essence, if we don’t like what Apple and others are doing, we should change the tax laws. I agree. Let’s do that so that corporations begin paying what was their fair share 50 years ago, one-third of Federal revenue, not today’s less than 10%.

In addition, it is now legal for corporations to buy elections, or at least try to. The Citizens United decision made that possible. If buying elections is legal and may increase corporate profits, is it not a CEO’s responsibility to purchase all the Representatives and Senators he/she can afford? Something is going to have to change if our democracy is to survive. And corporate responsibility to their employees and society in general must take a higher level of importance under the law than corporate responsiblity to their shareholders does now.

One thought on “Corporate responsibility

  1. While there are some legal measures in place to hold corporations accountable it is not enough. With the decision in 2010 by the U.S. Supreme Court to give corporations the same rights as individual humans we will see a continuation towards the path of corporate irresponsibility.

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