Writing 06: Government and Companies

Given that corporations are largely considered to be people, they should certainly be held accountable for their decisions. Further, they should be responsible for immoral or unethical consequences of their products. If we compare corporations to people, we must understand that every person has the right to do whatever they want. While we want all people to be moral and ethical, we don’t require this behavior unless it violates the law. Similarly, though we want corporations to be perfect moral entities, sometimes business decisions may be considered immoral and unethical yet legal. While persons and corporations are free agents, they must be held responsible for missteps and mistakes. I think the “moral and ethical limits to how ruthless” a corporation can be is determined by the law. Further, the law defines what is right and wrong for a company. The debate over if companies are “right” or “ethical” is and has been determined by the constraints of the law. 

One of the fundamental challenges of growing tech giants is the inability for law makers to catch up to them. What I mean by this is that tech grows so rapidly at a pace that is difficult for the common man to understand. Therefore, it is hard to evaluate whether these companies are right in their actions or how far they overstep in regards to privacy and personal security. There need to be fast acting lawyers who understand the technical side of these companies while also understanding the relation of the companies under the law. In 50 years, it will be evident that currently companies are too large, too powerful, or too invasive. Our challenge at the moment is finding talented individuals who can understand the constraints that need to be placed now. I am not close to an expert on the law of corporations or government interaction with large companies. I understand the danger of monopolies, not only for the sake of power but of competition in the economy. Personally, I care much more about a company, say Amazon, make great strides in promoting positive good such as delivering affordable health care than I care about them becoming “too large.” If a company is helping the common good, creating jobs, and acting morally, I don’t see the need of breaking it apart. I do, however, believe in a large digital tax on giants in the tech sphere. Humans are taxed and corporations should be too. The US government definitely needs to make greater efforts in regulating tech giants in two main efforts: taxation and privacy. We are strides behind the European Union regarding regulating tech giants in regards to privacy. The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) regulates companies in efforts to protect user privacy. The US needs to have a blanket approach such as this to regulate and protect US citizens. Further, given that the majority of tech companies find a home in the US, we need to apply a digital tax for their services. Again, many European countries have already applied digital taxes–the US needs to follow.