Are Businesses Really Evil?

Are Businesses Really Evil?

After this election in particular, I found the language surrounding businesses and their intentions to be very interesting; I wanted to see if by screwing people over, employees and customers alike, could a business really succeed?
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Let me start this article off with two important notes...

  1. I am the daughter of a CEO for a large investment management firm in Boston (stating my possible bias).
  2. I am going to be speaking about businesses and their general successes/failures on a general scale; with this, I am trying to emphasize that there will, of course, be exceptions to my statements.

Now that we have gotten those out of the way, I’m going to dive into the intricacies of running corporations and if they really do succeed by screwing people over. My reason for writing this is a direct result of the language that I have heard from this previous election as it was the first in which I was able to vote. This fact made me perk up my ears, listen closely, and leave conversations wanting to know more.

Coming from Republican roots but also with a constant desire to defy the status quo, I found the language surrounding businesses and their intentions to be very interesting; especially with one of the candidates’ previously acknowledged fame being directly related to his own entrepreneurial wealth.

So, what did I do?

I listened. I sat back and listened to many people at my school bash the business sphere, correlating it directly to the Republican party. I listened while many classified corporations as “evil” or “out to get people”. I heard this with a bit of a chip on my shoulder. This chip, acquired by growing up watching my father work his ass off to get to where he is. It is also acquired by witnessing him pilot a program at his company, upon his promotion to CEO, to bring in more intelligent women to his field and give them the tools to see a brighter, more successful future in a career that has the odds stacked against them. So, naturally I was skeptical of my peers’ assumptions.

But, would a good philosopher, a good journalist rely on their sole perspective? Absolutely not.

That’s when I decided to do some digging. I wanted to see if by screwing people over, employees and customers alike, can a business really succeed?

Here’s what I found...

First, I looked at the top 10 most profitable companies in the world, according to USA Today. Let’s start with Apple because it comes up as #1.

Apple, among being extremely successful, is also rated among the top ten companies to work for based on employee satisfaction… AKA it doesn’t screw its employees over in the slightest; it actually does the opposite and provides its employees with enough benefits, respect, and overall kindness to earn its ranking among employees.

Not only is it exceptional in regards to employee consensus, but in regards to customer service: it also triumphs. Building up customer satisfaction is actually what flung Apple to the top of the business heap. Check out this article in Forbes Magazine that describes just how integral the improvement of customer satisfaction was to Apple’s rise to power.

And, Apple is STILL successful. It’s thriving even after CEO and visionary, Steve Jobs, passed away. It’s strong, it’s unfathomably prosperous, and it doesn’t screw ANYONE over. It’s the epitome of a virtuous company (never thought you’d see those two words together, did you?).

I won’t bore you with the rest of my research only because what I have stated above is pretty much repeated with each successful company I research. But, it is imperative to keep in mind that I was looking at the best of the best; the most profitable companies in the world. And with a yearly revenue surpassing $100 billion, it’s not too surprising that they are able to acquire the resources to build up their benevolence.

The Telegraph,a reputable UK newspaper, published an article that discussed business and ethics on a broad, historical scale. It attacks this problem I am presenting much more generally and it examines the work that’s been done over the past two decades to further intertwine those two terms.






“...A business that is not run ethically is likely to be a bad business proposition.”

Worcester (the author) states this after presenting more research that has been conducted by the Institute of Business Ethics, located in London. He even goes onto point out that just because that may now be true, doesn’t mean it stops people in high positions of power from taking advantage of those below them. As an example, he cites Enron, an energy company based in Houston, that faced a massive scandal when their executives decided to wander off the path that was set for the company in its code of ethics. Rightfully so, it ended up filing for bankruptcy shortly after its executives were accused of fraud.

If this research has proved anything, to me or to anyone reading it, it’s that screwing people over just doesn’t produce success these days. We have entered an age where companies are scrutinized (even more with the assistance of technology) for everything they do; and as it should be, the “evil” ones now can’t succeed.

My dad always told me that it’s just impossible for a company to function properly and successfully when its customers and its employees are unhappy. And guess what makes them unhappy? Being screwed over.
Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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A Little Skepticism Goes A Long Way

Be informed citizens and verify what you see and hear.

rahma
rahma
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These days more than ever before we are being bombarded constantly by a lot of news and information, a considerable amount of which is inaccurate. Sometimes there's an agenda behind it to mislead people and other times its just rumors or distortion of the facts. So, how do you sift through all this and get accurate information? How can you avoid being misled or brainwashed?

This is an important topic because the decisions each of us make can affect others. And if you are a responsible citizen your decisions can affect large numbers of people, hopefully positively, but negatively as well.

It's been said that common sense is not something that can be taught, but I am going to disagree. I think with the right training, teaching the fundamentals behind common sense can get people to have a better sense of what it is and start practicing it. All you will need is to improve your general knowledge and gain some experience, college is a good place for that, then add a little skepticism and you are on your way to start making sensible decisions.

One of the fundamental things to remember is not to believe a statement at face value, you must first verify. Even if you believe it's from a trusted source, they may have gotten their info from a questionable one. There's a saying that journalists like to use: "if your mother said, 'I love you' you should verify it.'" While this is taking it a bit too far, you get the idea.

If you feel that something is not adding up, or doesn't make sense then you are probably right. This is all the more reason to check something out further. In the past, if someone showed a picture or video of something that was sufficient proof. But nowadays with so many videos and picture editing software, it would have to go through more verification to prove its authenticity. That's not the case with everything but that's something that often needs to be done.

One way of checking if something sounds fishy is to look at all the parties involved and what do they have to gain and lose. This sometimes is easier to use when you're dealing with a politics-related issue, but it can work for other things where more than one person/group is involved. For example, most people and countries as well will not do something that is self-destructive, so if one party is accusing the other of doing something self-destructive or disadvantageous then it's likely that there is something inaccurate about the account. Perhaps the accusing party is setting the other one up or trying to gain some praise they don't deserve.

A lot of times all it takes is a little skepticism and some digging to get to the truth. So please don't be that one which retweets rumors or helps spread misinformation. Verify before you report it.

rahma
rahma

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