Thursday, September 08, 2005

Justice, Inc.

I was reading the Tyler/Alan e-mail exchange on concering Barbara Ehrenreich's new book Bait and Switch. Then something Alan wrote popped out: "I know no corporations interested in spreading justice."

How about all of them? On an everyday level, companies want to those that steal from them to be punished. That spreads justice. They want anyone that backs out of a contract to pay for it; that spreads justice. If the mafia (or similar organization) threatened them with violence to extort payment, they'd demand the extorters are arrested. That spreads justice. (This is why Tony Soprano doesn't have a lot of Manhattan business.)

On a more general level, companies want a safe society. Communities that are prone to theft, war, murder, lying and corruption (directed at the company or not) are not good places to run businesses. Certainly there are firms that do nasty stuff with the institutions that protect them, but that unfortunate activity shadows in comparison to the benefits they gain through an evenly weighted legal system. Spreading justice increases the number of places companies can operate safely and profitably.

To say that corporations aren't concerned about spreading justice is the same as saying drivers aren't interested in building roads.

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