Thursday, October 6, 2011

Proper Business

Business suffers criticism in many quarters of the public debate, sometimes for valid reasons, sometimes for false reasons.  Some who criticize business have well-reasoned arguments, others are false fronts for ideologies or groups who want power for themselves. 

Suppose one wanted to provide the public with a simple argument for business.  I heard such recently in re-watching the fine old movie, Sabrina, starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden.  It's a great movie, both funny and serious and has a happy ending.  The setting is the US - New York City - in the 1950s.

Linus Larrabie (Humphrey Bogart), the older son who operates the family business, explains to his younger brother, David (William Holden), why business is a good.

***quote begins***

Linus: Making money isn't the main point of business. Money is a by-product.

David: What's the main objective? Power?

Linus:  Ah! That's become a dirty word.
David:  What's the urge? You're going into plastics. What will that prove?

Linus: Prove? Nothing much.  A new product has been found, something of use to the world. A new industry moves into an undeveloped area.  Factories go up, machines go in and you're in business.

It's coincidental that people who've never seen a dime now have a dollar and barefooted kids wear shoes and have their faces washed.

What's wrong with an urge that gives people libraries, hospitals, baseball diamonds and movies on a Saturday night?

***quote ends***

There is nothing inherently sordid about business - it can be a noble activity, if conducted with values and virtues and honor.  Let's defend business - good business.

Word of the Day

"Lugubrious" - adjective [$10]
Lugubrious means 1. mournful esp.: exaggeratedly or affectedly mournful.; 2. dismal.
Sentence: Why let a lugubrious outlook oppress your psyche?  The world will be fine: people inherently want to improve their lives and that desire will carry the world to a new prosperity ... if the hogs and pharisees are stopped from enthroning a new aristocracy.

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