Regarding the Dec. 1 letter “Mass corporate exodus”: The writer says corporations are not obliged to be patriotic. He then invokes the mantra taught by MBA schools that a corporation’s only duty is to maximize returns to investors. This belief carries no responsibility for how corporations treat customers, employees or communities, except that such treatment not blaspheme against Almighty Profit.
If corporations make their profits in the U.S., why should they not pay for the infrastructure and governments that support and protect their businesses? If the U.S. resigned from the world, could Ireland or the Cayman Islands give them the same stability and protections? Besides, Supreme Courts have declared corporations to be persons. Don’t we expect persons to behave according to standards of decency and citizenship, which include respectful treatment of neighbors and, yes, loyalty to country?
Isn’t it reasonable then to expect corporate “persons” to respect their employees, customers, communities and country? But if a corporation holds its first loyalty to money, it holds the rest of us in low regard. Why should we care about it? If corporations are to be persons, then they need to own the responsibilities of persons.