Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Corporate Greed Stinks

Well, yet another corporate apology which rings hollow, to say the least. Volkswagen, one of the world's leading vehicle manufacturer's has been caught in willful and sophisticated deception involving half a million diesel car in the United States and eleven million worldwide.  The onboard computers were installed with a program to provide impressive data regarding emissions of CO2.  It turns out that the program was only activated during E-testing and that it fact --in truth-- vehicles were emitting up to forty times the acceptable levels.

The CEO of Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn,said the company had “broken the trust of our customers and the public.” Hmm. When our kids were young there were occasions when their apologies for wrongdoing seemed less than sincere. We sternly asked "are you apologizing because you are sorry, or because you were caught?"  Doesn't it seem as though some of these corporate bosses are sociopathic four-year-olds? They are richly compensated to deceive the public, and there doesn't seem to be a lick of morality.

We saw that General Motors chose not to fix a problem in vehicles which led to the deaths of a number of people, even though the corporation knew the dangers. BP took shortcuts in the Gulf of Mexico which resulted in an environmental disaster. Canadian companies such as SNC Lavalin are accused of paying huge bribes to the despotic Gaddafi family and some Canadian mining interests are involved in practices which violate human rights and international environmental law. Apparently Exxon projected the effects of global climate change back in the early 1980's. http://insideclimatenews.org/news/18092015/exxon-confirmed-global-warming-consensus-in-1982-with-in-house-climate-models

Ya, ya, not all corporations are immoral or unethical. It's just that too many are. Greed stinks. It's a noxious and persistent gas. While BP, GM, and VW have lost or will lose billions of dollars for their sins, it seems to be an accepted cost of doing business.

Perhaps we should all go back to the award-winning documentary The Corporation which asks hard questions about our virtual idolatry of institutions which are "persons" by law in many jurisdictions yet are not expected to have a moral conscience.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4ou9rOssPg

Scripture and Jesus strongly suggest that we have a responsibility as Christians to be a conscience in our world, but it can be so daunting in a "David and Goliath" world.

Are you just cynical, or should we be chirping away as people of faith and people of conscience?

I hope that the caption for the cartoon above is not something terribly rude in German!

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