In his March 12 commentary, Larry E. Davis claims to explain the economic facts of life to us, to tell it like it is (“The Truths We Never Told Them”). Instead, he presents a carefully crafted excuse that seems to blame the victims for not seeing how innocent their victimizers were. To Mr. Davis, the economic dislocations that have ravaged wide swaths of the American economy were no one’s fault, like a blizzard. There’s no sense blaming corporate executives who outsourced thousands of jobs and shuttered countless factories. They were just pursuing profits. I’ll bet every scam artist and bank robber has used that defense.
But Mr. Davis goes even further, putting in a good word for the slave traders who, after all, were only pursuing profits. Mr. Davis seems to be saying that like yesterday’s slave traders, today’s CEOs didn’t do anything wrong; it was nothing but the pursuit of profit. Let’s hope Mr. Davis isn’t teaching business ethics!
When the slave traders participated in that obscenity, they knew exactly what they were doing. Executives who brainstormed outsourcing and plant closings knew exactly what the results would be. Like the slavers before them, they viewed fellow human beings as nothing more than a means to an end, which could then be dispensed with like a rusty tool.
In today’s world economy, amoral profit seekers have many allies who excuse and reward their actions through loopholes and tax breaks. We need a just and fair economy for all.