PUBP: Week 3, Corporations

>>Thoughts on last week
Economic personality and trends are often shared by generations. Post-WWII generation saw epic growth, which led to healthy spending and financial security, assumed it would continue. 1980s generation saw major downturn, forcing more saving habits and drive to ensure a better future for next generation.

Readings touched on globalism, considering the effects of economic growth dependant on those in charge of money. Corrupt governments may contribute to hyperinflation or poor distribution of wealth, whereas healthier governments look out more for citizens. From this I could derive ideas for globalism, in that if there were more healthy governments, or elimination of poor governments and the people were absorbed into healthy governments, then economic growth would be more efficient. Readings borrowed heavily from Adam Smith’s ideas of invisible hand and social standing as major result of economic prosperity; merchant level of Enlightenment are source. These two ideas are a societal equivalent of low-level programming languages, directly manipulating the variables that individually would be near-irrelevant, but are the strongest and most important factors in an economy. Page 90. Also, strong and prosperous economies tend towards development of democratic governments. Opening of second reading harks back to the last reading where Friedman was saying that economic growth on the individual’s part is greatly dependent on the desire for social status. Humans’ because-we-can mentality is underlying reason for economic growth from self-sufficiency and sustainability to excessive resource use for sake of enjoyment.

The best example I can think of for government inefficiency and its influence on economic growth in Burma. The Myanmar government being a resource whore, keeping its country (resource-rich and agrarian) under pressure via the junta. The upcoming elections are seeing retirement of top generals to become civilians and thus qualify for elections (the first since the 90s when Aung San Suu Kyi was detained), which would put the same corrupt officials in both the junta and the civilian-intended government. The huge natural gas and agrarian exporter suffers from poor fiscal and monetary policy, poor data collection, and very small foreign investment. Don’t get me started on North Korea..

>>Thoughts for next week (tuesday at least)
I just accidentally deleted this entire section.. i hate you tsquare.. Anyway, rewriting this whole thing now. This was a great packet of publications, first off. Last week’s social capital topics segued very well into this section on stakeholder theory and social responsibilities in business. Friedman’s bit was a bit confusing, probably because I’ve never read anything directly from a nobel laureate, but I at least understood that the system works best when the components work best and don’t try to work like or for the system directly. That is, a business should not go Ramboing into the marketplace brandishing a Bowie knife of social responsibility, rather it should first acknowledge and carry out its duties to their primary responsibility: the shareholders, as defined by the shareholder theory (or theories, according to the reading and other research). However, a firm could venture into the social/environmental sustainability areas should it be profitable, either immediately or in the future via investment in social/environmentally sustainable markets. This is covered by the “Green and Competitive” reading, which asserts that the stalemate could be overcome should more companies take the time to research their options and use any leftover capital to invest in sustainable practice so both their primary investors and creditors be satisfied and potentially improve their company and their user base by this investment.

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