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It is easier to believe in Godzilla than that Corporations have values

Posted by Clyde Hutchins | Feb 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

It is easier to believe in Godzilla than that Corporations have values

Recently, I have seen many news stories discussing corporate values. It seems that every prominent corporation has suddenly developed feelings and morals and has "values" that it wishes to impose on the rest of society. This is ludicrous. 

As a lawyer with corporate law experience, I am well acquainted with the corporate form. I can tell you quite authoritatively that corporations do not have "values", except for the shareholder imposed "value" to make money. Anything to the contrary is a fantasy. Do not believe it.

Corporations are pretend. In the legal profession we call corporations legal fictions. We pretend that there is a "corporation" so that folks can pool their money for investment purposes and earn a return on their investment. Being pretend, corporations do not think and do not have feelings. Consequently, they cannot have "values."

Now, you might ask yourself, why are intelligent CEOs and other corporate leadership telling us that the corporations have values? I think that this is for one of three reasons:

(1) Oftentimes, corporate leadership realizes that if the corporation seems more human, compassionate or caring, it can drive sales. People like to connect to others. Corporate leadership manipulates this human need by declaring that the corporation has "values." This leads to people feeling an affinity for the corporation and making them more likely to buy more goods and services from the corporation. The corporation then makes money off of the manipulated customers.

(2) The corporate leadership has strong feelings about society and wishes to change the world to match their feelings. The corporate leadership uses its position of power to push its strong feelings of how society should be by declaring that the corporation has "values."

(3) Sometimes it is a combination of the two. Corporate leadership may have strong feelings about certain issues, and believe that defining corporate "values" will drive greater sales. 

To summarize, corporations are pretend. Being pretend, corporations do not have feelings or "values." Instead, corporate leadership essentially pretends that the corporations have feelings or some sort of belief system that develops corporate "values." 

I think it is easier to believe in Godzilla than that Corporations have "values." We all know that Godzilla is a fictional creature from the movies. Godzilla was supposedly a creature that developed from the harmful affects of nuclear radiation. We know from the Chernobyl incident that biological creatures affected by radiation sometimes develop physical mutations and abnormalities. Radiation does that to biological life. So we can say that even though it is probably impossible for abnormalities to develop so such an extent that a creature like Godzilla comes to life, at least there is factual basis for the idea of the movie. The same cannot be said for the idea that Corporations have "values." There is no basis in fact to suppose that a Corporation has "values."

The bottom line of my blog today is that it is ludicrous to buy into the idea of corporate values. Just ignore statements like that and look to the actual value and quality of the products or services provided by the corporation. Do not base your purchasing decision on whether the corporation seems to have values, feelings, thoughts or any other human characteristics. If you do, you are allowing yourself to be manipulated by corporate advertising. 

About the Author

Clyde Hutchins

Clyde Hutchins is the founder of Harmony Law. Mr. Hutchins started his career as a lawyer in Cheyenne, Wyoming. First gaining experience as a law clerk for the district court judges, Mr. Hutchins entered private practice with a Cheyenne firm focused on civil litigation, business law and some general practice law. Later, Mr. Hutchins went to Alaska, where he was the chief litigator for a firm that engaged in bond law, corporate law, securities law, and the broad reach of municipal law. Mr. Hutchins returned to Cheyenne to represent the State of Wyoming in the national tobacco arbitration. While in that position, he developed the consumer protection unit for the Wyoming Attorney General's Office. He led over 120 investigations and enforcement actions in Wyoming and worked on numerous joint cases with the Federal Trade Commission and other states, including Colorado. Mr. Hutchins relocated to Colorado in 2016 and founded Harmony Law. Mr. Hutchins has established Harmony Law in three principal areas of law. First, it is a general practice firm in the areas of business law, estate planning and family law. Secondly, it is a civil litigation firm, practicing law in state and federal courts throughout Wyoming and Colorado. Finally, it is one of the few firms in Wyoming or Colorado that focuses on consumer protection law.

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