In Veblen’s view, businesses serve for little purpose other than making profit. “The motive of business is pecuniary gain, the method is essentially purchase and sale. The aim and usual outcome is an accumulation of wealth. Men whose aim is not increase of possessions do not go into business…” (Veblen 7). According to Veblen, the pecuniary goals of a business become more intense as said business grows in size. These aims then abate the entire ethical bearing of a business to the point where it is “a matter of indifference to [the businessman] whether his traffic affects the system advantageously or ...
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...e he knows that he is playing the system. He is taking some of the blame. He may promise to overhaul Wells Fargo’s ethical statutes. Regulations may be pushed to attempt to stop similar incidents. Fines will be paid, more employees may be fired. Sales may decrease, and their reputation may be momentarily tainted. Ultimately though, little damage will be done to the most important aspect of Wells Fargo: their profitability. All of the acts of forgiveness and “justice” are merely trivial, and are done so that Wells Fargo can persist indefinitely into the future, and continue their endeavors towards profit at an ever-accelerating pace.
Veblen’s prophecy is that devastation occurs when profit-hungry corporations’ disregard the world around them. And until these businesses become satiated, the prophecy will continue to come true, day after month after year after century.
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