Ethics, capitalism and the little guy

E-mickann discusses ethics in her office in her latest blog posting.  Some of the scenarios that she presents don’t strike me as morally ambiguous.  She works for a large firm and because of their larger budget, they can spend more on Search Engine Marketing than their smaller competitors.  This is pretty much the essence of capitalism and a free market economy.  They do things differently in China, North Korea and Venezuela but I’m not sure we want to move to those countries where the smaller fish get an equal share of the pie (at least in theory that is!).

While I can sympathize with the compassion she feels towards the little guy, they have advantages too.  I work for a fairly large company as well and we’re stuck with bureaucracy, incredibly slow processes and sometimes a resistance to change.  These hindrances may exist in smaller companies but I doubt they occur with the same regularity or depth.  Also in this day and age, it’s actually seen as advantageous to be the little guy since people feel like they’re doing a good deed by purchasing from a company that’s not a behemoth.  Etsy.com, farmer’s markets and foodzie.com are good examples of these.  Large companies are often seen as monopolistic, greedy and sometimes corrupt (see Microsoft, Google and Pfizer as good examples).  The little guy can make it, they just need ingenuity and intelligence but those are ingredients that were always necessary for their success.

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