Course: Moral Issues in Business Date: October 19, 2010 Export Capital for Production Abroad The export of goods and services is a common business which takes place all over the world, and at the same time it raises many ethical and moral issues.
Exporting capital for production abroad raises many ethical issues and moral dilemma that would dictate whether limitations or constraints should be placed on this freedom business. In answering the question on should any constrains be placed on the freedom to export capital for production abroad, I personally will answer that there should not be.As an example I would take the case of an individual or corporation exporting capital for the purpose of increasing return on investment by seeking lower labor cost abroad or other beneficial skills. Based on utilitarian theory, there would be no ethical objection to capital export. Based on what we have studied on the book utilitarianism is the idea that the moral worth of an action is determined by the total outcome it produces in the society or in the business environment it is applied.It is also seen as a theory that produces the greatest overall utility for everyone that is directly or indirectly affected by the action. In the case of capital export for production abroad the greatest degree of happiness would be gained by a cheaper product, resulting in more sales and a more beneficial company as well as more jobs available for workers in the production country which would meet utilitarian criteria.
But the other side of the coin of this discussion is that there would also be unhappiness for the people who lose their jobs in the home country.The capital export would develop new trading partners, and will increase a country’s standing in the world’s economy. And I can say that these two considerations are in the best interest of the receiving country, which would fall under egoism theory. As a conclusion I can say that the greater degree of happiness would be achieved by the whole society, as the unrestricted flow of investments would increase the overall economy for both countries. Export Commodities which have been banned from Sales in the US I think that this topic should be analyzed based on different case studies. Just because commodity has been banned in the US does not mean that it is necessarily unsafe, and on the other hand because the product is approved for use in the US does not mean that it is safe. Let’s take in consideration the use of tobacco, everyone knows that its use will damage our health and in the long term it can also kill people.
Tobacco is legal in US, and also tobacco industry is trying to create new tobacco laws that favor their business without considering the health of people. My point is that each country should make its own decision based on what products best serve their interest.In the tobacco example the utilitarian would probably feel that the export of American cigarettes would bring the most total happiness because cigarette manufacturers would benefit from international trade as would American economy as a whole. In the same way international consumers would benefit from the higher quality of cigarettes and also they will have more tobacco products available to choose. So, in this case the export of cigarettes would bring more happiness as compared to the unhappiness that the health effects would bring.So, act utilitarian would be in favor of exporting this product, while rule utilitarian would consider the export of cigarettes as a wrong action. Rule Utilitarianism considers the law and the moral codes as being the only one to promote the greatest happiness and pleasure to people.
They would take in consideration the effects of the society as a whole and the health risk tobacco has. For them, based on the rules, tobacco could actually hurt more people than they help. I believe that this type of argument could be made for all other products exported, and each case should be studied individually.But, just because US bans a product does not mean that it is morally wrong to export it. Downsize in the Face of Economic Difficulty The economic difficulty has driven many companies to choose between reducing jobs, force retirements and layoffs and many other downsize actions in effort to bring operating expenses back into balance. I don’t think that this is a good idea for companies to increase their profits, I believe that downsize in the face of economic difficulty will influence more negatively on companies.A company that provides no jobs and no benefits for the current employees has a net worth of absolutely nothing at best, and is harmful at worst, as people have invested their lives and knowledge in the firm, and will have to seek employment elsewhere and give their knowledge and experience to the new company.
Sometimes downsize is a waste of time and money for the company and the best solution is to make reductions without affecting the organization’s capabilities and productivity. Based on Nozick theory, the downsize in the face of economic difficulty would not be allowed, as he considers it as an action that violates people’s rights.Nozick’s theory states that “people are entitled to their holdings (that is, goods, money, and property) as long as they have acquired them fairly. ” (Barry&Shaw, pg. 110) So, we see that violating people’s rights and living them without a job will be considered as not being ethically. Companies should find other better ways in order recover from their economic problems, without touching employees’ life. Break Union Contracts in the Face of Economic Difficulty I think that form the level of braking union contracts in the face of economic difficulty is not accepted from the ethical point of view.
We know that union contracts are used for the rights in order for every employee to be treated equally. Based on Rawls theory of distributive justice, liberty, fairness and the moral equality of people are the main principles when considering on distributing assets. Rawls has looks the society as a cooperative group, and he thinks that members of a society should be treated equally, no matter if they are rich or poor. Breaking union contracts means to also break Rawls ethical theory. Braking union contracts is in the negative side of employees and it violates the rules presumably set forth for the greatest benefit of all.Bibliography: Barry V. & Shaw W.
(2004) Moral Issues in Business. (9th Edition). “The Ford Pinto Case Study” pg. 84. Wadsworth: Holly J. Allen ? An interesting moral analysis of the exportation of capital for production abroad, would be to apply Kant’s ethics. To take this approach, it is necessary to look at the reasoning for the export and the motives of the companies who do the exporting.
Now by the exporting of capital for production abroad, I would define this as American investment into manufacturing facilities in Mexico and abroad including Third world countries.The Categorical Imperative here tells us that if we are going to offer employment, utilize resources, export goods and the host of other factors involved, we must do it in a way that our actions (as the investor) could be recognized as following a strain of a universal law. To rephrase, our actions should be done only if we can imagine the way they are done creates a moral, universal law. Inherent in this way of thinking is a form of the golden rule, for the law which you chose to set in your actions regarding the investment, would apply to you were you the foreign worker, displaced American worker or expatriate.The theory here begins to sound a bit like Rawl’s “veil of ignorance” in the original position, but Kant went on to include that doing something in one fashion be done in a morally correct way, for the sake of morality alone. In other words, offering health insurance to manufacturing workers in another country if done, should be done because it is morally correct, not because it will make your company “look good” to host governments or other countries. The main reason I chose to examine this case according to Kant’s ethics is the way he theorized treating humans as the “end” rather than the “means.
Business is about humans as means in most ways of thinking with the customer at the end of the chain. So many other humans comprise the chain of business however, and treating them as a method or factor of production is to treat them as a means. If American investors were to treat the workers in plants in other countries as an end, that is to come into a region and genuinely improve the area economically and bring up the standard of life, would this be morally right?Certainly, but on the other side of the coin, the displaced American workers who lose jobs to foreign direct investment must also be treated as an end, rather than a means. In no situation should a company pick up and leave the employees behind without retraining, relocation options and other programs that treat humans as humans and not merely “factors of production. ” Export capital then, should not be limited then where it improves the way of life for some identifiable group of workers, and improves the economy for a region that is to receive the new business.If a company does not look at potential employees as solely a means for profit, but as a block of workers that will truly benefit from investment, by all means constraints should not be used. If however, a company decides to “pick up and move,” leaving hundreds or thousands jobless only to enter into an underdeveloped region and wreak havoc on the ecosystem and treat the locals as a cheaper “mean” to the almighty profit factor, then the most stringent constraints to the export of such capital should be enacted.