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Is it possible to be good and moral, and a successful businessman/woman?

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posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 07:05 PM
The political party that constantly claims the moral high ground has at the moment Mitt Romney a former Venture Capitalist or some will argue a vulture capitalist leading the polls for the Republican Nominee. Do the ends justify the means? How many people lost there jobs/livelihoods directly because of Romney? How much money did Romney make for his investors and does one action justify the results?

My question is very simple, can a "successful" business person also be a good person?
This is not meant to be a political thread, I'm only using Romney as a example.

Spend anytime at work or in business and you will quickly see that those people who are honest, caring, and plain old good usually don't fair well in today's business world.

I often see on these threads that Soros is a terrible person because he is a Democrat, just as Murdock or the Koch brothers are terrible because they are Republican. Or are they terrible because they are successful in the business world?

Or is it capitalism that is terrible? What makes people back stab another person or to lie, steal and cheat to climb there way to the top?

I'm not a fan of socialism, communism, or capitalism so Im not pushing any kind of agenda. The best way that I know of and have studied is tribalism, when you take the economics out of the equation people tend to be happier and more honest with each other and behavior that is rewarded in capitalism and most other isms is frowned upon in this setting.

Humans thrived for thousands of years under tribalism, so why did we attempt to fix what was never broken?

posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 07:07 PM
It is good business to be excellent in all things, as it is excellent to do business in good faith.

posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 07:17 PM
Sam Walton comes to my mind, he was the founder of WalMart. It is a very different company now he is gone...while he was alive he treated his employees with respect and his customers too.

I am sure there are many many examples. The people that run Chick-fillet, the people that run Hobby Lobby also. I am not saying these companys are perfect, just that they operate under certain principles.

Have you watched that new show on cbs, "undercover Boss"? I have caught it a few times and the Bosses on there are what I would call moral business persons. I have no idea about their personal life, nor do I care, I am refering to business practices only.

posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 07:22 PM
reply to post by LDragonFire

If you look at past presidents many are born with a golden spoon in their mouth, greed is a compulsion which lessens your morales about society in general.
When your fired from a bank or large company your just a number(bum) on a seat, i've found small businesses especially family run businesses, where your input is more valued and when they have to lose a few poeple you know they have worked hard to try and keep you aslong as possible.
My own experience working for a small family run business where you get better rewards for the efforts you put into your work, bring in more work for that business and you gain better fiancial rewards(bonuses) from them when they do well.

posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 07:27 PM
I have a veterinarian who if you knew you could understand how it works. He loves animals and will show up to your house at 3 am on Sunday to save your dog's life if it got hit by a car and not charge a pretty penny. He has a lot of customers because he is cheap and genuinely cares about the animals and isn't in it for the money as you can see with how much he costs. Or you can be the veterinarian who charges out the a** and not do emergency visits and have a few customers just because you do an okay job and do what needs to be done on some and sacrifice the rest just because it isn't worth the cash. Usually people who care about their work gets heard way better than one who just cares about the money.

posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 07:42 PM
I disagree with the Sam Walton example. He put thousands of small businesses out of business amongst other things. To harm another is BAD, not good.

I disagree that the Undercover Boss shows bosses are good or ethical. They are "showmen" and getting free publicity and advertising. It's all an act. Their goal is cheap advertising and publicity and the pitance $1,000 scholarship and other trivial gimmicks paid to the employees is a thousand times less than they would have normally had to pay for that amount of publicity.

I believe one can be a successful business person IF your definition of success is not the commonly touted, mammon worshipping, greedy, he who makes it to the top is a saint definition.

To me, success is having a small business that makes enough income to cover the costs of doing business, plus a very small profit, and harms nobody else, helps others and is never in debt. This is not the standard definition of success though.

No, with the standard definition of success it is impossible to be good and ethical.

Example, a bible thumping salesman who sold anti-slip tub strips for THOUSANDS of dollars. The strips cost the company mere pennies, and were locally available in hardware stores for mere dollars. The target customers were the elderly, under the misguided assumption that all elderly were rich and could afford to be ripped off. When asked how that saleman could justify his excessive bible thumping with ripping off old people, he quit his job.

The bible thumping salesman's wife worked for an oil company I won't name as it applies to all of them actually. She was a secretary and the conversation was about illegal and unethical business practices. When asked how she could justify her excessive bible thumping with working FOR a company whom she knew was doing illegal and unethical practices, she replied that it was the company doing it, not her. When she later figured out that being an accomplice or condoning illegal or unethical company practices actually went against her religious beliefs, she retired.

I have seen many good and ethical businesses; but, they fall into MY personal definition of successful, and not the common perception. They made little profit; but, were happy, treated employees and customers well, and either had no debt or were responsible with paying debts promptly and on time.

So, define success and the answer is clear upon your definition.
edit on 18/1/2012 by Trexter Ziam because: typo

edit on 18/1/2012 by Trexter Ziam because: add Undercover Boss

posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 07:44 PM
I guess it would depend on what a person perceives "success" to be.

In my mind, a successful business is one that can accomplish happiness and contentment in both its employees and its customers while still being able to put a couple of extra bucks in your pocket at the end of the day with no need of superficial grandeur and glory.

posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 07:51 PM
reply to post by LDragonFire

You obviously don't know how "loaded" that innocent question is.

What is "moral" in some religions would be completely unethical from a ourtside position based on pure ethics and not religions. Or when viewed from a different religion where the "religious" seller it told to believe that it is OK to lie, steal, cheat if not kill those of another religion.

posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 08:15 PM
reply to post by LDragonFire

I can't speak for Romney, but I can for myself and my coworkers. The answer is yes.

posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 08:17 PM

Originally posted by Aliensun
reply to post by LDragonFire

You obviously don't know how "loaded" that innocent question is.

What is "moral" in some religions would be completely unethical from a ourtside position based on pure ethics and not religions. Or when viewed from a different religion where the "religious" seller it told to believe that it is OK to lie, steal, cheat if not kill those of another religion.

Well, actually, there is and has only ever been one religion that goes by that creed. Very specifically, in fact, and in many different ways.

posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 08:24 PM
I can speak for my small business. Yes. I only have on person that works for me so I'm right beside them working. My guarantee to my customers (cleaning company) is that if they aren't happy we will re-do the work at no charge. My rule to my employee, if the customer is unhappy with your work, you have to redo it for free and without pay. The rules are known up front. The person that works with me is in complete agreement.

I had one that wasn't. She went her own way and we are still friends. No hard feelings.

I've lost a couple of customers over the last year but I know it was not due to our performance. Bugs the hell out of me still but I can't really fix it so I have to let it go.

posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 08:25 PM
I just saw this quote the other day and I think it's about the wisest comment I've ever heard on the subject....
"I always say to people, no one earns $100 million, you steal $100 million. People earn $10 an hour, people earn $40,000 a year. Earn means work, it doesn't mean steal, which with these vast amounts of money, of course you steal them"
Fran Lebowitz

People who accumulate huge sums of money should be punished, not praised. The folks on the Forbes list should be afraid to leave the house for fear of having to justify or explain their profit margins to the media. Greed is not a virtue, it is a flaw.

posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 08:29 PM
A business is moral that it employs a human being in productive labor, achieves its goals and pays a livable wage (one that does not require external assistance to reach parity).

A business is immoral that it employs a human being in any kind of labor and pays a wage which is so substandard to the actual cost of living that its employees could not survive without state / charitable assistance.

By this admittedly subjective standard it is possible to be a moral business person, but many of the biggest corporations in America today are NOT moral.

posted on Jan, 18 2012 @ 08:44 PM
IT is possible to be a good and moral businessman. It is even possible to be good, moral, and be successful.

Unfortunately, those who are successful will be driven out of business, or swallowed up, by the immorally and ruthlessly successful ones. If you do much more than make enough to get by, well, the nail that sticks up is the one that gets hammered down.

It is the nature of the sick system the entire world is in thrall to. The more evil and backstabbing ones will rise to the top. It has been shown over and over again that this is true. The media gets everyone to believe that "he who dies with the most toys wins", and so they even idolize the ones that are bleeding them the most, and call them "captains of industry".

Actually, they don't even have captains of industry anymore. The banksters own them all already. Another case of the MORE evil and conniving ones winning.

posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 12:58 AM
reply to post by LDragonFire

I’m not a businessman…yet.

And who knows? I may never be. But I treat the people I work with at an honest level. I ask honest questions, since I’m new to the position, and receive the standard line of, “It’ll come to you.” in return.

If I ever start a business, I will never treat my employees this way. A well trained employee has the potential to be a happy employee…not only that, but a asset to the company.

Not to brag, but after only working sixty days at the company I work for and practicing what the company wants in a workplace, I am seeing fellow employees starting to return to the basics.

A neater workspace (I work distribution), More attention to detail, Maintenance, etc.

The part timers are starting to show up the full timers. More for less. And I can see that they are getting annoyed...well, some of them. Others seem to appreciate the assistance we provide.

By the way, the company I work for does pay the part timers well.

posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 01:20 AM
Not to turn this into a religious thread, there are Christian based businesses out there that are moral and successful.
Take the restaurant chain Chick-fil-A. I always wondered why they were closed on Sundays. A friend informed me about them and he is fairly devout. According to him, there are many and I think he said they are listed on the web, but I never looked them up.

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