John Ransom

Mike wrote: Governments are made up of people. Your post left you open to the question, what do you think is the difference between governments and corporations, as far as being invested with moral qualities? Point of reference: Citizens United. –in response to Gospel According to Democrats: Woman, Behold Thy Government Program!

Dear Comrade Mike,

Neither governments nor corporations are moral. Morality is distinctly a human quality. I think when Romney talked about corporations being people, he meant “made up of people,” not actual human beings.

But that distinction doesn’t mean that corporations can’t have standing in law or in politics. It just means that we should recognize in both governments and in corporations their inability to be moral. They will always act in their own selfish best interest, even if that best interest sometimes looks like it has a moral objective.

We see this in “green” marketing. Do corporations care about “green” because of the altruistic benefit it can give to others? Or do they see “green” as a marketing tool?



Behind “green” marketing is a series of balance sheet and cash flow calculations that, once they come out on the negative side of the ledger, will determine whether “green” marketing is a short-term thing or something that’s a long-term trend.

Take for example autos, which in the late 1970s and early 1980s were all about mile per gallon. As the price of oil went down relative to inflation, automakers stopped caring about miles per gallon and started selling amenities instead. Now that oil is more expensive automakers will care again about miles per gallon.

Human beings are different, in the sense that they have the ability to innately know the difference between right and wrong.

CS Lewis believed that it was this ability to understand the moral absolutes that was the most compelling proof of the existence of God. 

Liberals believe that governments are moral and corporations are immoral. Conservatives know that both are amoral.           


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.
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