Many who oppose individual liberty and free exchange levy the common charge that big corporations are necessarily exploitive of both consumers and workers. I can’t tell you how many times, even in polite company, I listen to people argue how evil Exxon is because they earned over $10 billion during the last fiscal year (over $1,300 per second!!!). Let’s take this as truth for the moment – that profits are directly proportional to the degree of exploitation.
Permit me to ask two simple questions.
- What are we to make of Bear Stearns right now? Or General Motors? Because they are billions of dollars in the red does that mean they have been treated badly by customers? And should American consumers be levied with an “excess loss tax” in order to level the playing field for these poor companies? My tongue ain’t in my cheek either. Excess loss tax is more direct name for bailout, pension guaranty, etc.
- When you have a good year at your job and make a higher salary or receive a nice bonus, is that evidence that you have exploited someone? Are professional athletes exploiting anyone?