Should be considered immoral to make profit? Watch

darzenhabils
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Why is there a need for profit, other than greed?
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Delta, Δ
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Without profit, how is an organisation able to expand and be more beneficial to society, for example.
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captain.sensible
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you misunderstand one basic thing: we all know (or should reasonably infer) that businesses exist for profits (and we customers exist for bargains). by buying their products and services, we are suggesting that giving them a profit is actually a profit for ourselves if we see buying that good as more valuable to us than our money (or else we wouldn't exchange it for our money in the first place). therefore, everybody profits, whether financially or materially
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The_Dragonborn
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Profit is necessary for a business to survive in a capitalist economy such as the UK.
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Chlorophile
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The problem isn't the act of making a profit, it's the fact that a profit is often made at the expense of someone or something else. If you make a profit without inflicting a negative impact on anyone else or the environment, then I think that's absolutely fine - why criticise someone for something that doesn't harm anyone?

Unfortunately, profit without externalisation is exceedingly rare in our western society.
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RandZul'Zorander
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
The problem isn't the act of making a profit, it's the fact that a profit is often made at the expense of someone or something else. If you make a profit without inflicting a negative impact on anyone else or the environment, then I think that's absolutely fine - why criticise someone for something that doesn't harm anyone?

Unfortunately, profit without externalisation is exceedingly rare in our western society.
Isn't there some kind of inherent harm though in profit? It is the nature of profit that you gain something from or over someone/something else. So, for example, in terms of money when I am profiting, isn't it inherently to to the detriment of someone else?
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De Pays
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
The problem isn't the act of making a profit, it's the fact that a profit is often made at the expense of someone or something else. If you make a profit without inflicting a negative impact on anyone else or the environment, then I think that's absolutely fine - why criticise someone for something that doesn't harm anyone?Unfortunately, profit without externalisation is exceedingly rare in our western society.
But the externalization is often positive, for example if you employ someone, there are positive multiplier effects.
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De Pays
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(Original post by RandZul'Zorander)
Isn't there some kind of inherent harm though in profit? It is the nature of profit that you gain something from or over someone/something else. So, for example, in terms of money when I am profiting, isn't it inherently to to the detriment of someone else?
He was referring to costs imposed not on the consumer or producer of a good or service. For example oil companies producing fuels which release high level of fossil fuels. Also almost all goods and services are already taxed.
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De Pays
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(Original post by darzenhabils)
Why is there a need for profit, other than greed?
Greed = having more than you need so to speak, in excess of your needs, lots of small businesses barely get by, so the profit they make is being used to sustain their owners basic needs.
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RandZul'Zorander
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(Original post by De Pays)
He was referring to costs imposed not on the consumer or producer of a good or service. For example oil companies producing fuels which release high level of fossil fuels. Also almost all goods and services are already taxed.
I would leave it to them to tell me what they were referring to. But your point is duly noted.
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RandZul'Zorander
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(Original post by De Pays)
Greed = having more than you need so to speak, in excess of your needs, lots of small businesses barely get by, so the profit they make is being used to sustain their owners basic needs.
Profit can only exist after you have fulfilled your needs though...so isn't then by your own definition greed synonymous with profit (at least in the financial sense)? :confused:
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De Pays
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(Original post by RandZul'Zorander)
I would leave it to them to tell me what they were referring to. But your point is duly noted.
He used the word 'externalization' it was clear.
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RandZul'Zorander
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(Original post by De Pays)
He used the word 'externalization' it was clear.
Like I said. Duly noted lol
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Alpha510
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If everybody is set for the same purpose, then profit is actually very moral. It's a two-way exchange. You cannot make a profit unless people are satisfied and derive benefit from whatever you're doing. It's the sum of the social benefit you create-- if everybody is following suit independently of each other. Otherwise, it's a snatch and catch game.
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RandZul'Zorander
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(Original post by Alpha510)
If everybody is set for the same purpose, then profit is actually very moral. It's a two-way exchange. You cannot make a profit unless people are satisfied and derive benefit from whatever you're doing. It's the sum of the social benefit you create-- if everybody is following suit independently of each other. Otherwise, it's a snatch and catch game.
I would only question how we measure this sum? What if the benefit being given does not balance out with the say, financial detriment it incurred?
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scrotgrot
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(Original post by Alpha510)
If everybody is set for the same purpose, then profit is actually very moral. It's a two-way exchange. You cannot make a profit unless people are satisfied and derive benefit from whatever you're doing. It's the sum of the social benefit you create-- if everybody is following suit (which is a rational assumption). Otherwise, it's a snatch and catch game.
I assume you mean that the buyer gets something he wants and the business gets money. But that isn't the whole picture, is it? The buyer only wants that particular good and nothing else because he has made a choice among the multitude of goods he could have. His choice is restricted by his means and his horizons, which are themselves restricted by the power exerted over him by large economic actors such as states and corporations.

By rights, we might say, that buyer deserves to lay claim to a lot more than that, and that's where the "dark matter" of economics is found.
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by De Pays)
But the externalization is often positive, for example if you employ someone, there are positive multiplier effects.
I'm not really sure what point you're making here. Yes, obviously there are positive impacts of business, otherwise it wouldn't exist. My point is that, taking an objective view of humanity's (and the biosphere's) survival, positive externalities are generally only short term whereas the negatives are both short term and long term. In the greater picture, the negatives are much more serious than the positives.

(Original post by RandZul'Zorander)
Isn't there some kind of inherent harm though in profit? It is the nature of profit that you gain something from or over someone/something else. So, for example, in terms of money when I am profiting, isn't it inherently to to the detriment of someone else?
No, not really. People profited sustainably from the natural environment for thousands of years, living in symbiosis with it, ensuring that they only take an amount from it that causes no long term harm to the environment or anything or anyone else. Profit has assumed a much more sinister guise in the western capitalist economy but this is the fault of the system, not the act of profiting.
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De Pays
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
I'm not really sure what point you're making here. Yes, obviously there are positive impacts of business, otherwise it wouldn't exist. My point is that, taking an objective view of humanity's (and the biosphere's) survival, positive externalities are generally only short term whereas the negatives are both short term and long term. In the greater picture, the negatives are much more serious than the positives. .
My point is that you wish to disregard the positive external effects that the production of goods and services have, This is in regard to your original point that most production carries with it external costs, yes, but the external benefits generally far outweigh the external costs of most economic activity. For example take this laptop, parts were made in China and shipped to the UK thus there was pollution created by the transportation of this product, however my buying of this product stimulated employment in areas across the world, I derive happiness from it and those who receive incomes due to the purchase of this good spend those incomes creating another multiplier effect etc. This multiplier is external to the original consumption and production. Also there are other positive externalities such as herd vaccination via vaccine production or health benefits from production of certain foods etc etc you get the point. If you disregard points such as providing people with a basic income as being significant points then I'd say your out of touch with ordinary people.
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by De Pays)
My point is that you wish to disregard the positive external effects that the production of goods and services have, This is in regard to your original point that most production carries with it external costs, yes, but the external benefits generally far outweigh the external costs of most economic activity. For example take this laptop, parts were made in China and shipped to the UK thus there was pollution created by the transportation of this product, however my buying of this product stimulated employment in areas across the world, I derive happiness from it and those who receive incomes due to the purchase of this good spend those incomes creating another multiplier effect etc. This multiplier is external to the original consumption and production. Also there are other positive externalities such as herd vaccination via vaccine production or health benefits from production of certain foods etc etc you get the point. If you disregard points such as providing people with a basic income as being significant points then I'd say your out of touch with ordinary people.
The problem with people like you do not understand the implications of unsustainability. You are simply incapable of understanding that an unsustainable system is going to fail. This isn't some left-wing greenwash, this is a fact. Ultimately, we are all completely dependant on the natural environment. If you destroy that environment, everything built on top - our economy, our society, everything - collapses. What we are doing at the moment is destroying the environment and ultimately, humanity is going to be the element that suffers the most from it. Capitalists suffer from some kind of a god complex that the economy is the most powerful thing in existence, but they forget that the economy still depends on nature at its source. If the source shuts down, the entire system dries up.

Talking about economic benefits doesn't make an iota of a difference to the environmental cost. You can get as many people into employment, lift as many people out of poverty, make as many people euphorically happy as you want, but if that practice is unsustainable, it will result in long term devastation. This is a fact and it's true regardless of what excuses you make to legitimise your actions.
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De Pays
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
The problem with people like you do not understand the implications of unsustainability. You are simply incapable of understanding that an unsustainable system is going to fail. This isn't some left-wing greenwash, this is a fact. Ultimately, we are all completely dependant on the natural environment. If you destroy that environment, everything built on top - our economy, our society, everything - collapses. What we are doing at the moment is destroying the environment and ultimately, humanity is going to be the element that suffers the most from it. Capitalists suffer from some kind of a god complex that the economy is the most powerful thing in existence, but they forget that the economy still depends on nature at its source. If the source shuts down, the entire system dries up. Talking about economic benefits doesn't make an iota of a difference to the environmental cost. You can get as many people into employment, lift as many people out of poverty, make as many people euphorically happy as you want, but if that practice is unsustainable, it will result in long term devastation. This is a fact and it's true regardless of what excuses you make to legitimise your actions.
The capitalist mode of production is not 'unsustainable' the problem with you anti-capatalists is that you don't understand how economic systems work. Firstly, it is not either capitalism or socialism (for example) there is a spectrum between various economic systems, with a shift towards alternative power sources and suitable use of economic instruments such as fiscal policy to combat externalities there will be no environmental Armageddon. The only significant environmental threat to the UK is global warming and we can deal with global warming without abolishing capitalism, If you cannot see this then you either are merely anti-capitalist in principle and are using environmental concerns as part of a wider agenda is or do not understand the basic of macro-economics.
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