Friday, June 19, 2009

The Freedom to Fail

Lot of crap articles over at Townhall, mostly decrying President Obama for failing to attack the the Iranian leadership forcefully enough. What's hilarious is how regularly these articles deny the need to get militarily involved while setting up situations that will almost certainly get us involved militarily. I mean really, if Obama says to Tahran "Stop persecuting those protesters." And the Iranian government says "Nope," that our friends on the right are going to shrug and say "Well that's that." No, these articles strike me as attempting to build the foundation for a war with Iran.

But enough of that; lets move on to Jonah Goldberg's latest, in which he decries Big Business's willingness to get into bed with liberals.
While doctrinaire socialists might feel betrayed by liberalism's cozy embrace of big business, their betrayal pales in comparison to the bitterness of free-marketers who defend big business's freedom to operate, only to see these businesses use that freedom to hide behind the skirts of the nanny state. Real freedom means the freedom to fail as well as succeed. Big business wants to be protected from the former and deny competitors the latter. And their betrayal, more than anything, disheartens those who would defend both freedoms.
I agree with him to a certain extent. But it is odd that he is suggesting that Big Business should act according to some moral code in this particular area. Free marketers generally defend Big Business's core principal which is make money for the stockholders. If a company can make more money for their stockholders by hurting the environment or mistreating their workers, than that is the fiduciary duty.

Not to mention the longstanding complaint that CEOs are regularly shielded from their own mistakes; they negotiate such protections before taking the job. Presumably Goldberg is ok with that practice.

So it is odd that in this one particular area, Goldberg feels that Big Business should place principal above their stockholders. But I suppose harming capitalism is far worse than harming the environment or harming their workers.

No comments: