//Pogo Rules

Pogo Rules

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In the eyes of the IRS and U.S. law, a corporation is a ‘person.’ While this view may be a convenience to the IRS and the courts, not to mention a lawyer or two, the rest of us cannot escape the fact that, in order for a corporation to be a person in anything other than the titular sense, it must have, besides a head, a heart and a soul. How many corporations might we collectively name, however, that manifest, in behavior and attitude, the guiding presence of anything even remotely resembling a heart or a soul?

GM? JPMorgan? Monsanto? Wells Fargo? Sprint? Duke Energy? Pfizer? Facebook? Exxon Mobil? Delta Airlines? Comcast? Amazon? AT&T?

What every corporation is, in the fullest sense (by nature of the beast, so to say), is a hydra-like creature of at least nine heads, with each head representing a specific entity of self-interest, to wit: Managers. Directors. Stockholders. Employees. Suppliers. Marketers. Dealers. Lenders. Customers.

In effect, then, GM, JPMorgan, Monsanto, and the rest (to include every corporate ‘person’ on the planet) can only be as responsible or as moral or as ethical as its various stake-holders individually and collectively require it to be.

In other words, as Pogo once famously said, “We have met the enemy and they is us.”

2019-04-03T18:50:41+00:00April 3rd, 2019|Uncategorized|6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Barry Cook April 6, 2019 at 2:03 am - Reply

    Vice versa. A person is a corporation, and I am considering issuing stock in myself. The initial public offering price will be 100 billion shares at $15.00 a share – which I consider a minimum wage. Is anyone buying this yet? Tune in soon for my prospectus. Hint: I don’t have a soul, but I don’t plan to have a lobbying operation in D.C.

  2. Matt Fitzgerald April 3, 2019 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Corporate behavior is fundamentally amoral. To achieve a certain size and exceed a certain threshold of longevity, a business must behave according to the laws of the market. A great many corporations start off with more or less genuine ambitions of being “good,” but again, they simply cannot get really big and last AND remain good. Remember when Google’s motto was “Don’t be evil”? I’m sure the founders meant it at one time. Last year the phrase was scrubbed from the company’s Code of Conduct.

    • TomF April 4, 2019 at 8:59 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your comments.

  3. Josh April 3, 2019 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    Adam Smith, the Jesus of American capitalism, wrote at length about the need for morality and ethics in the marketplace. Of course, people are who they are, and in every domain of human life, there will be bad actors. Around the world, even where there is no formal legal absurdity that a corporation is in any way a “person”, there is greed and corruption.

    • TomF April 4, 2019 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      Scale is the issue. Peeing in the creek is one thing; 7 billion people peeing the the same creek is another.

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