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Thread: Business owners: does a businesses' social policies matter in your trading?

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    Business owners: does a businesses' social policies matter in your trading?

    I own a small business. You won't find it on a Fortune 500 index; it isn't traded on Wall Street; odds are good you've never heard of it. I don't want to go into specifics about what I do, because I want to keep my business as separate from my personal life and personal views as possible. But suffice it to say that I have a decently-sized clientele, enough to support a very comfortable lifestyle for myself. I do business in several different nations, mostly in western Europe, and while the volume of my business is small, I do interact with other businesses on a regular basis.

    Early last year, I was contacted by the corporate management of a large business centered in the American South which is quite famous. They wanted to contract out work to me; accepting the contract would have backlogged me into the middle of 2013. It was a big order, and business sense would have dictated that I accept it.

    But I declined. Because this business also has a reputation for being particularly outspoken on social issues - it has been at the forefront of funding organizations like Focus on the Family and similarly arch-conservative groups. I regard its mission statements with hostility, and I could not benefit it in any way it good conscience.

    Surely there are others here who operate their own businesses. And I'd like to get their perspective on things.
    I dip my forefinger in the watery blood of your impotent mad-redeemer (your Divine Democrat — your Hebrew Madman) and write over his thorn-torn brow, “The true prince of Evil — the king of the Slaves!”
    - Ragnar Redbeard, Might Is Right, 1890

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    Re: Business owners: does a businesses' social policies matter in your trading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Einzige View Post
    I own a small business. You won't find it on a Fortune 500 index; it isn't traded on Wall Street; odds are good you've never heard of it. I don't want to go into specifics about what I do, because I want to keep my business as separate from my personal life and personal views as possible. But suffice it to say that I have a decently-sized clientele, enough to support a very comfortable lifestyle for myself. I do business in several different nations, mostly in western Europe, and while the volume of my business is small, I do interact with other businesses on a regular basis.

    Early last year, I was contacted by the corporate management of a large business centered in the American South which is quite famous. They wanted to contract out work to me; accepting the contract would have backlogged me into the middle of 2013. It was a big order, and business sense would have dictated that I accept it.

    But I declined. Because this business also has a reputation for being particularly outspoken on social issues - it has been at the forefront of funding organizations like Focus on the Family and similarly arch-conservative groups. I regard its mission statements with hostility, and I could not benefit it in any way it good conscience.

    Surely there are others here who operate their own businesses. And I'd like to get their perspective on things.
    You've got to go with that which you are comfortable. I certainly, therefore, can't fault you for standing back from the offer. Besides which, some small business owned by someone who isn't such an incredible pinhead will now benefit because you didn't jump at the opportunity. It's win win win as far as I can see. They get the business and the money, the customer gets served, and you get that warm feeling of self righteousness.

    I hope this puts things in perspective.

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." --HL Mencken

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    Re: Business owners: does a businesses' social policies matter in your trading?

    Quote Originally Posted by LowDown View Post
    Besides which, some small business owned by someone who isn't such an incredible pinhead
    Do you do anything constructive, LowDown? Besides plagiarize bad German philosophers, I mean.
    I dip my forefinger in the watery blood of your impotent mad-redeemer (your Divine Democrat — your Hebrew Madman) and write over his thorn-torn brow, “The true prince of Evil — the king of the Slaves!”
    - Ragnar Redbeard, Might Is Right, 1890

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    Re: Business owners: does a businesses' social policies matter in your trading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Einzige View Post
    I own a small business. You won't find it on a Fortune 500 index; it isn't traded on Wall Street; odds are good you've never heard of it. I don't want to go into specifics about what I do, because I want to keep my business as separate from my personal life and personal views as possible. But suffice it to say that I have a decently-sized clientele, enough to support a very comfortable lifestyle for myself. I do business in several different nations, mostly in western Europe, and while the volume of my business is small, I do interact with other businesses on a regular basis.

    Early last year, I was contacted by the corporate management of a large business centered in the American South which is quite famous. They wanted to contract out work to me; accepting the contract would have backlogged me into the middle of 2013. It was a big order, and business sense would have dictated that I accept it.

    But I declined. Because this business also has a reputation for being particularly outspoken on social issues - it has been at the forefront of funding organizations like Focus on the Family and similarly arch-conservative groups. I regard its mission statements with hostility, and I could not benefit it in any way it good conscience.

    Surely there are others here who operate their own businesses. And I'd like to get their perspective on things.
    I mostly don't get involved with the politics of my clients. I once worked with someone who vocally expressed his doubts with liberalism, global warming, etc. etc. I bit my tongue, concluding I was there do a job and not get into a stupid political debate with my own client. Political debates are what this forum is for.

    We all have a line, I just haven't found mine yet.

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    Re: Business owners: does a businesses' social policies matter in your trading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    I mostly don't get involved with the politics of my clients. I once worked with someone who vocally expressed his doubts with liberalism, global warming, etc. etc. I bit my tongue, concluding I was there do a job and not get into a stupid political debate with my own client. Political debates are what this forum is for.

    We all have a line, I just haven't found mine yet.
    There have been times I've been required to do business with individuals I find unpleasant; in those cases I also suck it up and plow on. But it's different, I think, when an entire organization is essentially a political front for causes I find repugnant. Any contribution to them then becomes inexorably linked to those views.
    I dip my forefinger in the watery blood of your impotent mad-redeemer (your Divine Democrat — your Hebrew Madman) and write over his thorn-torn brow, “The true prince of Evil — the king of the Slaves!”
    - Ragnar Redbeard, Might Is Right, 1890

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    Re: Business owners: does a businesses' social policies matter in your trading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Einzige View Post
    I own a small business. You won't find it on a Fortune 500 index; it isn't traded on Wall Street; odds are good you've never heard of it. I don't want to go into specifics about what I do, because I want to keep my business as separate from my personal life and personal views as possible. But suffice it to say that I have a decently-sized clientele, enough to support a very comfortable lifestyle for myself. I do business in several different nations, mostly in western Europe, and while the volume of my business is small, I do interact with other businesses on a regular basis.

    Early last year, I was contacted by the corporate management of a large business centered in the American South which is quite famous. They wanted to contract out work to me; accepting the contract would have backlogged me into the middle of 2013. It was a big order, and business sense would have dictated that I accept it.

    But I declined. Because this business also has a reputation for being particularly outspoken on social issues - it has been at the forefront of funding organizations like Focus on the Family and similarly arch-conservative groups. I regard its mission statements with hostility, and I could not benefit it in any way it good conscience.

    Surely there are others here who operate their own businesses. And I'd like to get their perspective on things.
    I would say it is strictly up to you. You do what you feel is the right thing, if some business's social policy bothers you, nothing says you have to do business with them.
    This Reform Party member thinks it is high past time that we start electing Americans to congress and the presidency who put America first and their political party further down the line. But for way too long we have been electing Republicans and Democrats who happen to be Americans instead of Americans who happen to be Republicans and Democrats.

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    Re: Business owners: does a businesses' social policies matter in your trading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    I mostly don't get involved with the politics of my clients. I once worked with someone who vocally expressed his doubts with liberalism, global warming, etc. etc. I bit my tongue, concluding I was there do a job and not get into a stupid political debate with my own client. Political debates are what this forum is for.

    We all have a line, I just haven't found mine yet.
    Same here. I never ever discuss politics with clients or suppliers. IMO, those discussions have no place in business.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

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    Re: Business owners: does a businesses' social policies matter in your trading?

    well, it's not the way I run my businesses, but it's your business and you're free to make business decisions based on ..well... anything you want to base them on, I guess.

    I could see me opposing affiliation with say NAMBLA or the KKK or some such extremist group... but I wouldn't do so with mainstream groups or companies.
    while I consider it a right as a business owner to choose his criteria for affiliation, i'm not going to go off half cocked over simple mainstream political affiliations.

    in any event, it's your choice to make and you and the employees will simply have to live with the decision.

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    Re: Business owners: does a businesses' social policies matter in your trading?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Same here. I never ever discuss politics with clients or suppliers. IMO, those discussions have no place in business.
    it doesn't sound like he had a conversation with them... sound more like he was going off of their public reputation.

  10. #10
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    Re: Business owners: does a businesses' social policies matter in your trading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrilla View Post
    it doesn't sound like he had a conversation with them... sound more like he was going off of their public reputation.
    This is correct. I wouldn't be bothered if the representative of a client organization expressed personal views I disagreed with, because a business is always more than one person, even its owner. But this business in particular - I don't really think I need to say too much more about it for you to know what group I'm talking about - is very public about its social views, and its donations to causes reflective of those views.
    I dip my forefinger in the watery blood of your impotent mad-redeemer (your Divine Democrat — your Hebrew Madman) and write over his thorn-torn brow, “The true prince of Evil — the king of the Slaves!”
    - Ragnar Redbeard, Might Is Right, 1890

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