Does Competition Destroy Ethical Behavior?

poor manYou know how we’re told all the time that works”, and “competition brings prices down”.

That may be so, but what else does it bring down? Does competition destroy ethical behavior, or is caused by greed? What do you think?

Well according to Andrei Shleifer, considered one of the top economists in the world and Professor of Economics at Harvard University (since 1991) it is sometimes competition rather than greed that causes unethical behavior.

What types of unethical behavior is he talking about?

Shleifer has published a Harvard University paper on the topic looking in particular at five areas of unethical behavior …

  1. child labor – companies gain a ‘competitive advantage’  when low paid children can produce the same quality products or services. Parents in many third world countries feel they have no option but to put their children into work if they are to have food to feed the family, because other families do it.
  2. corruption – government officials and corporate representatives have all been found to use bribery as a way of gaining a ‘competitive advantage‘ and when one succeeds the door is opened to others, until it become part of the culture of some countries and companies.
  3. excessive executive pay – evidently a new skill especially in technology companies is an executives ability to raise the share price without necessarily increasing profits or the value of the company. Shareholders interested in higher share prices happily reward their CEO if the share prices go up.
  4. manipulation of corporate earnings –  similar to the corrupt executive pay deals company earnings are sometimes manipulated to give an unfair advantage when seeking capital. Capital raising is a very competitive industry and can be much easier when your share price is strong.
  5. university involvement in commercial activities – yes universities are BIG business too. They need money to attract the best faculty and students and continue their expansions so they do act as other businesses do pursuing commercial research projects and sporting contracts. Andrei Shleifer says “competition assures the spread of commercial practices among universities.”

Competition and unethical behavior is all around us.

I just watched a segment of the Filipino NEWS on SBS talking about attracting young Filipino women especially to come to Dubai to work as nurses, dental hygienists and cleaners. Thousands of Filipino men and women work away from home to support their family back in the Philippines.  This culture of exploiting others so you can benefit is surely unethical in today’s world of , and is sometimes justified as a transfer of skills.

In real estate contracts are drawn up for the auction and often not complied with. As an example, a ten percent deposit is called for on signing however the purchaser produces a cheque for less than 1%. The agents, happy to have made the sale advise that this is normal and the balance will be paid on the next Monday. The contract also stipulates 60 day settlement and the purchaser asked for 120 days with a 90 day settlement being agreed to. The other bidders at the auction were not given the ‘new’ or varied rules and so an advantage is being given to the purchaser who in this case ultimately fails to raise capita and losses his 10% deposit as penalty.

Stephen Hawkins article in the Intellectualist says that we may have gone beyond the point of no return, and it is our fault. He says that pollution coupled together with human greed and stupidity are still the biggest threats to humankind.

What can be done to clean up the mess?

It is IMPORTANT to know that it can be cleaned up, and that an ethical, sustainable, healthy and a prosperous future for everyone is indeed possible.

The first step however is always to become clear on what the problem is.

AAMI ParkWhen Buckminster looked at the problem back in the 20th Century he saw the SOLUTION to humanity’s problems already existed,  because the new technologies we were discovering were allowing us to do more and more with less and less resources.

The partial geodesic dome roof structure on the new rugby / soccer stadium in Melbourne Australia needed half the amount of steel because of the new design. Fuller was designing these structures 60 years earlier showing the lag or delay in the building industry is decades.

The CONTEXT of life is now ABUNDANCE … not scarcity.

Now that we actually have abundance ‘if we want it’ ask yourself if you are willing to accept it? Or are you so “dis-trusting” and determined that you will keep on competing against everyone for fear they may take your share and in the process destroy life as we know it.

Your Healthy Planet is one of the only platforms that recognize that competition can now be replaced by cooperation as a way of life, especially in business and commerce.

Most people do not understand how IMPORTANT ‘context’ is to their life. Maybe that is deliberate because it is not taught anywhere that I know?

A simple way to understand “context” would be to imagine we were fish swimming in water, and we evolved to walk on land. The context has changed and an entirely new set of rules apply to life living on land, and if we don’t adapt to or apply those rules, ie if we continue to try to swim or do not evolve we die.

Likewise and even more obvious is if land based animals enter the water without technologies capable of living in water they too will die. It makes sense yes? It’s the law.

So technology has created a NEW CONTEXT of abundance, however Fuller also said we were creating all the right technology for all the wrong reasons. Mainly we were interested in making money rather than making sense; and we must start making sense!

Buckminster Fuller was called the Grandfather of the Future by John Denver.Buckminster Fuller said in 1980 that “there are now 3.8 billion potential billionaires living on Earth, most of whom were unaware of their good fortune.”

Today, there are over seven billion potential billionaires on Earth, and we may well reach ten billion potential billionaires before we fully become aware of our good fortune and manifest this future that is awaiting us all.

But it is touch and go, as the ultimate competition is WAR.

At present we are closer to world war than most people realize, with heightened tensions between United States, Europe and Russia and China. This is ‘old context’ win-lose power hungry stupid behavior.

It is URGENT that we grow up and learn to work together for the benefit of everyone … and that way you win too. Any other way and you lose.

Are you still skeptical? Then click on the link and play the “X-Y”Game? It’s irrefutable that cooperation works now … and there’s an easy way to experience it for yourself on Your Healthy Planet. Click here to join today!

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About Alex Sprunt

Twenty years ago I participated in a game that changed my life. Called "The Barnyard Game" it threw groups of intelligent people into fierce competition for the chance to 'access the Ocean of Abundance' and the "Ocean only wants to OUTFLOW ... so come with a spoon, a cup, bucket or pipe it in, the Ocean doesn't care". The game was noisy, loud, had physical barriers and it was played hard. Then all of a sudden a realisation was made that swept through the game in an instant. "There is no need to compete ... the Ocean is abundant and wants everyone to enjoy her abundance." For forty years or more we have been living at a time when everyone on earth could be living the lifestyle of billionaires. Technology and a cooperation revolution makes this available and the way forward is to elevate everyone up above the level of the "1%" rather than try and pull the 1% down to a low level. We are all living in exciting times ...
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