The right of work is expressed in the opportunities that the society provides for its citizens, and no one can legally create obstacles for one to exercise this right. The right to employment, in the meantime, becomes an issue with the growth of population and with technical advance. It is not a human right itself, but in the industrialized society it becomes a specification of the right to work. The American society has created an alternative to the benefit of employment, and those who do not work can also enjoy this social benefit. Competitive individualism created the conditions when everyone was fighting for himself or herself, but as the American civilization went on, the bounds between social systems, institutions and members of this society became firmer. And now one has a right not to work apart from the right to work and in case one does not work for certain reasons he or she has a right to receive support from the state. This is regarded as a type of insurance program, but it is provided only to those who have been previously employed and who have not passed through a period longer than one covered by unemployment insurance. Nevertheless, the paradox is that sometimes this support turns out to be more beneficial for a citizen, as the right to a just wage is also ignored regularly. All the documents speaking about the human right to work mention fair compensation for one’s effort, but no one knows who is responsible for that fairness. “Although private businesses may be prevented from discriminating in their employment practices, and although they may also be precluded from dismissing employees arbitrarily and without cause, they are presently required neither to hire any particular person or persons nor to keep their work force at a certain number if their needs change, their financial situation deteriorates, or their desire to cut costs or increase profits mandates closing a plant, laying off workers, or trimming the number of employees,”¯ De George (359) admits.
Provide an argument for why there is an unfair competition of Multinational Corporations (MNC) versus local firms in Less Developed Countries (LDC’s). Do MNC’s exploit LDC’s? Provide an argument for and against this view. According to De George, what are the Ethical Guidelines for Multinational Operations? Do you think, then, that there can be an ethical globalization?
Creating a Multinational Corporation is first of all beneficial for its creators, as they find new resources to involve; new markets and cheaper working force. Their opportunities are broadened and get even more perspectives when a new, unexplored region is entered. However, business ethics makes it necessary to think of the other side of the medal. How does the activity of a Multination Corporation impact local businesses and local population on the whole? Multinational Corporations are harshly criticized for exploiting the resources of the lands they come to. The best lands are bought for crops to export, while local population is left insufficient arable land only. The good land is exhausted and local population gets nothing from that. Further, jobs are taken away from the United States industry; and local cultures are being destroyed. The negative effect is, for example, demonstrated on the sphere of financial structures. Banks and other financial institutions usually have not many employees, and they are created to provide loans for various types of development. On the example of Africa it is shown that Multination Corporations tend to support the government’s policy of apartheid, strengthening it and thus doing more harm.
De George underlines that it is necessary to take to account cultural background of the country entered by the MNC, even in the case when it is not beneficial for the owner. “We must be careful not to set out standards as the model of what every nation should do if it wishes to be moral,”¯ De George (250) claims. When a Multinational Corporation crosses the borders of a foreign country, there are certain moral responsibilities for the MNC to take. There is a moral minimum that is advocated in all societies, and human rights cannot be violated by the MNC even if this violation is practiced in the host country. No intentional harm can be done to the host country, and the development of this country should be contributed. Local culture should be respected and local governments should be cooperated with. In the third world countries there are not enough institutions that would protect moral standards; that is why MNC feel free to act the way it is more profitable for them, but that is not morally justified. There is a need for international organizations that would watch and guarantee the fulfillment of moral duties of the MNCs in local communities.
On the other hand, there are also obvious advantages brought to the local communities by Multinational Corporations. While Less Developed countries are often not able to employ their citizens, the MNCs bring new jobs for them and provide adequate salaries, raising the overall level of living standards. Technology is transferred and making life conditions better as well. In fact, moral norms are not the same is not the same as moral responsibility of each Multinational Corporation, and the main rule one should at least follow being a guest in a host country is again not to do harm, at least not to do intentional harm first of all. “What host countries cannot expect is that they can demand control without accepting correlative responsibility,”¯ De George (266) focuses.
Apart from that, the argument of improving living standards is opposed by the fact of pricing. When MNCs come into a less developed country, they bring their goods to the local markets, but these goods come with their initial prices. These prices are usually rather high than those of the local producers, and the buying ability of the local population falls. The local producers are displaced, as they are not able to compete with the powerful invader, and cheaper goods become unavailable, because they cannot reach the market. The products of foreign producers stay unaffordable, as buying ability of the local population stays rather low. “The poor, small, developing nations have no leverage and are in affect forced to accept whatever the developed countries dictate,”¯ De George (185) assumes. It goes without saying that developed countries tend to dictate the conditions they find most beneficial and favorable for themselves, but this egoism cannot last forever. The levels of literacy and education is much higher in the United States that in many other counties of the world, but is does not permit the States use the less developed countries as once they used to exploit the African Americans. The complaints of less developed countries grow, and the level of awareness is rising there, so it is time to speak about ethical globalization. As the less developed countries advance, they become more able and hospitable to the goods of Multinational Corporations, as their buying ability and overall standards of living grow. That is why more developed countries are interested in the progress of less developed countries and should follow some ethic codes in their business activities. Conditions favorable for both the developed countries and less developed countries can be found as a compromise and the Do No Harm principle can be followed.