Published: Sunday, March 9 2014 12:00 a.m. MST
This letter is the first that I've heard of "Benefit Corporations".
After Googling the term, I found out that a "Benefit Corporation" is
not required to make decisions based on maximizing profits. I also learned
about a "B Corp", which is different from a "Benefit
Corporation". A "B Corp" must work for the greater public good, but
a "Benefit Corporation" does not have that responsibility. If I understand the rules governing corporations, it seems that a regular
"S Corporation" must maximize profits (if given a choice between
something profitable and something not as profitable), a "Benefit
Corporation" can choose, and a "B Corp" must choose whatever is for
the greater public good. A "Benefit Corporation" is not required by law
to make decisions that are for the greater public good; but, it is allowed to
make those decisions.
Sigh.Aren't we giving enough handouts to corporations already?
The gas and mining industry is subsidized and doesn't pay taxes. Malls,
don't pay taxes. We gave out handouts a few years ago when delta threatened
to leave SL airport. We let refineries pollute our land, air, and water. We
refuse to pay for education thus creating a cheap labor force which can be
easily exploited. We give $13 million dollar handouts to UDOT. We don't
regulate the loan sharks and let them charge 500+ percent interest rates. We let
Rocky Mountain power get away with being a monopoly. We give handouts to private
and charter schools and choke out public education. Just recently we are
debating whether or not to throw $200 million to Lockhart's technology
buddies.We are currently giving away the prison land and building a
new one way out west. All at the expense of the taxpayers. There's a hotel
being built in downtown slc subsidized by taxpayers.To be
Continued:We have the lowest min wage in the entire nation. We are a
right to work state meaning companies can fire you at any time. We don't
enforce break time every 4 hrs and allow restaurants to work their employees 12+
hrs without breaks.I think we give enough benefits to corporations
as it is. How about benefits to the people? They're different too. Benefits
for big business don't always nor often benefit we the people, contrary to
popular thought. In fact, we the people weren't built for businesses to
exploit and abuse. How about we do something that would benefit
people? Like expanding Medicaid? We hate federal money for people but love it
when it benefits corporations who build roads and jets.
Maverick,What does anything that you wrote in your two posts have to
do with a corporation whose goal is to BENEFIT society? I would think that you
would be the first one to congratulate a company for putting people and
society's interests above its own financial welfare.
I'll keep an open mind, but I think a better option would be worker owned
enterprise where the goal is to preserve their jobs - a steady state so to
speak. This way labor would be compensated for all the value it adds. If enough
such cooperatives were established the entire character of capitalism would be
improved. Maybe B corporations can accomplish similar goals, but with B labor
is still on the bubble.
The Real Maverick - just to be clear, the Benefit Corporation Legislation
doesn't give any "handouts" to corporations. In fact, I think if
you re-read the article you'll see that you are actually in favor of the
legislation. The purpose is to allow businesses to use their profits to give
back to people and planet. There is no tax or financial benefit for the company,
the directors are simply legally protected from being sued by shareholders if
they choose to use a portion of their profits for social benefit. The belief
here is that businesses can/should work together with communities and government
to make the world a better place. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
"A Benefit Corporation is a new type of business that allows for-profit
entities to pursue social and environmental goals, along with their focus on
maximizing profit." ========= That's why Utah
will never be a leader in B-Corps...Utahans have digressed over the
years and now hate anything to do with Social or environmental goals --
it's ALL abut maximizing profits, or cheating your neighbors.Network Marketing, and Scam Capital of the Nation...[Mammon,
Babylon, Master Mahan...]
LDS Liberal,On the contrary, I find Utahns to be among the most
giving, most service-oriented. In recent polling Utahan's have supported
efforts to encourage cleaner air, so I feel your environmental assessments of
Utahans to also be incorrect.It may be true that Utah is a focal
point of network marketing, scams, and Ponzi schemes, but might that be due to
the trusting nature of the people of Utah? There are bad people everywhere, but
not everyone is involved in these scams and schemes. Utahans, given their
trusting nature, are more often the victims, not the perpetrators. This is a wonderful state, filled with good people who love and serve others,
want a clean environment, and would be a perfect place for a focal point of
B-corps, as described in the article.
"I’m a believer that capitalism will continue to be a solution to the
world’s problems in the 21st century, but commerce needs to evolve. As
business leaders, we must do more for people and the planet."Businesses in and of themselves are not "capitalistic." They are
"monopolistic" which runs counter to capitalism but is the nature of the
beast and are big part of the world's problem in the 21st century. Let us
hope their solutions outweigh their problems. Capitalism is the
playing field in which all businesses operate. The rules and regulations to
keep the competition level and fair is the role of government. Businesses like
to view themselves as the harbingers of capitalism, but in reality they are the
result of capitalism. In today's D.C. environment, corporations hire
lobbyists in an effort to rig that playing field in their behalf. We've
seen this on the state level as well, especially with tax incentives granted to
only certain big businesses at the expense of the smaller businesses. I
haven't studied B-corporations enough to understand how they fit into the
capitalistic structure, but I will keep my eyes open.
Sounds like a reasonable idea.
It’s interesting to note that historically the goal of most chartered
corporations was something like this (i.e., for the benefit of the community).
It was only in the late 1800’s that they morphed into the amoral
“persons” with one objective only they are today.This
sounds similar to Triple Bottom Line rules started by the EU and as long as
additional goals can be measured in meaningful ways, approaches like this are
surely needed. @marxist – “I'll keep an open mind,
but I think a better option would be worker owned enterprise…”Curious… what’s stopping “workers” from starting
as many companies as they want and competing in the free market? Could it be
there actually is value in what the entrepreneur brings to the equation?
Scenario: B corp pays officers small salaries, pays shareholders dividends
after funneling massive amounts to the officers favorite charities and
foundations, tax free and penalty free. Then officers of company, also officers
of foundation, pay themselves massive salaries from the foundation, out of the
corporate shareholder sight. This is like the local dealership saying for every
car we sell we will donate $$$. They don't donate, they charged you the
extra $$$ on the price of the car. B corps are ripe for fraud.
I am still trying to figure out why businesses can't be incorporated using
existing standards and still do as the letter suggests? The LDS church and its
Deseret Management business arm are already doing what this letter wants. It
uses corporate profits to fund projects that benefit society.
@RedShirtUSS Enterprise, UTI am still trying to figure out why
businesses can't be incorporated using existing standards and still do as
the letter suggests? The LDS church and its Deseret Management business arm are
already doing what this letter wants. It uses corporate profits to fund projects
that benefit society.1:51 p.m. March 10, 2014========
The LDS Church is NOT a Corporation.Perhaps that's
why you can't seem to figure it out.
Deseret Management - Company Type: Corporation - Domestic - ProfitCorporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
SaintsDoing Business As Genealogical Society of Utah Farm
Management Company Promised Valley Playhouse Mormon Tabernacle
Choir Deseret Pasta Red Shirt "and its Deseret
Management business arm" omm snarkey comment
To "Open Minded Mormon" are you sure you are LDS, and are you sure you
actually read my comment?You see the LDS Church owns the Deseret
Management Corporation (DMC). DMC is a for profit business. The profits from
business are used to build new businesses AND are given to the church
humanitarian efforts.If the LDS church can get the business it owns
to have a "balanced existence" why can't the letter writer do the
same here in Utah?
Can a business do this now? Under certain circumstances, yes. But corporations
that are owned by a religious organization, a family, or are otherwise closely
held do not necessarily have the same pressures for profit first, last, and
foremost. A publicly held company might be able to address some of this in its
bylaws but every bit of protection from stockholder riots is a help. If this is
what the business is about, then having the option seems reasonable.
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