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Published: Thursday, December 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Profit is how fittest survive

The writer who thinks corporations are not people as our Supreme Court has ruled, does not understand the concept of a legal entity. A legal person, or a corporation, can purchase, own and sell property, enter into contracts, earn money, have a bank account and pay taxes. A partnership between two legal persons is no different than a business partnership between two or more companies, or between a company and its employees. We have recognized for centuries that even marriage is partnership with legal obligations.
Profit is not evil. It's the force that drives the world of business. It provides corporations with the money needed to purchase buildings, equipment and the necessary materials to manufacture products. Earned profit also pays the salaries of the engineers who design a corporation's products. Profit pays for the expensive research needed to develop new materials and processes required to remain competitive in a worldwide economy. Profit pays the salaries and benefits that workers receive.
Corporations are owned by ordinary people who take on risk by investing their money in company stock. They purchase stock in the hope that investment money will return a profit and keep them ahead of inflation. If the company can't earn a profit, they have only three choices; They can go out of business, move to a state where tax rates and expenses allow them to earn a profit, or move off shore to a country that is more than delighted to support any business that will provide jobs and provide a transfer of technology.
Assigning corporate greed as the driving force within a company is totally misguided. Corporations, just as legally recognized persons, are driven by the same basic instinct for survival. They both understand that if they don't survive they must perish. Boeing employees need to think about and understand the business concepts of profit and survival. Failing to do so will produce an unthinkable outcome. Boeing will survive. If not in Washington, Boeing will move to a place where they can build and prosper.
John Branthoover
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Herald Editorial Board

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