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PHIL 215 (3)

Business Ethics and Ethical Business

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University of Waterloo
PHIL 215
Brian Orend

Business Ethics and Ethical Business The Role of Business in a Free Democracy - Free democracy is important for businesses to run. A free democracy implies two things 1. Liberty is protected and 2. A democracy in which everyone gets a free vote - There will be freedom… but how much freedom? - There will be inequality… but how much inequality? - - Usually the wealthiest people are those with 1) Special Skills or 2) Good Fortune - Favor freedom or favor equality? - The two democratic traditions - Capitalism  Modern democracy  Declaration of Independence -->> life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness  John Lock-->> life, liberty and property  Property  You need property rights and a free democracy to be happy  Property is something owned, you can use it, give it or own it.  Property rights with legal values are important for economic freedom  Capitalism is built off of social system where free trade is protected  “ What we own we trade, what we legally own, we legally trade”  Capitalism is the opposite of socialism  Socialism  little private property, everything is owned and distributed by the government  Joke: The difference between capitalism, socialism, and totalitarian communism  Two cows:  Totalitarism – Government takes the cows and shoots you  Socialism – Government takes the cows and lets you milk them  Capitalism – You have two cows, and you sell one for a bull  - Democracy  Liberty  John Lock’s Lockean View  Tradition of English Liberty  Liberty = the right to become UNEQUAL in wealth, political influence, and cultural influence… Since each person votes, each person gets a fair chance  Property rights are essential for a just and fair society. In John Lock’s theory of property acccuisition, he noted that the wealthiest in America, are those who acquired unowned land ( unsettled America), mixed it with labor i.e. farming, and then eventually passed it through generations and generations to get money. This is why people who come to the country late, have to labour for others at whatever they can get  Locke believes the government’s job is to use laws and contracts to protect property not to restrict the economy, or free trade, but to make sure there is no theft or invasion.  Free democracy would be like taxes where government takes money an
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