I know I’m late to the game, but since I rely on Netflix, I’m always watching movies long after the general population has seen them. However, we just finished watching the documentary “The Corporation” and I couldn’t recommend it more if you haven’t seen it already.
Even if you’re a tried and true Capitalist (like I am), it’s worth watching as it does a pretty good job of raising questions about how we define wealth and corporate responsibility among other things.
It certainly provides insight into the question of whether corporations should act purely on self interest. Corporations should definitely be responsible to their shareholders, but perhaps also to their stake holders. If a corporation is owned by people in the U.S., but pollutes the air in Chile, it’s being responsible to its share holders, but what about the stake holders?
In the end, I think the big take away from the documentary is that for corporations to be truly responsible to shareholders, they must redefine what it means to provide “value” to shareholders. Value is more than immediate cash profit. Value is also provided via sustainability. Clean air is valuable. Clean water is value.
A second take away is that when our news agencies are in the pockets of big corporations, how will people get the truth so they can make more rational decisions about policy regarding the environment and corporations? That’s a real disheartening topic.
Well not one to underestimate human nature, it leaves me with the big question of how do you make it profitable for companies to be sustainable? That’s certainly one way to enact change. But it has to be done in such a way that it is inherently profitable to be sustainable. Enacting policies might just make corporations leave U.S. soil. One approach is to wait till the environment has been plundered so much that there’s no other way. I’d prefer we not wait so long.