Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

>>At the end of the day, if a business succeeds, then it is benefitting someone somewhere, regardless of my personal opinions. I will always say no if I say something I cannot stomach, but I speak out knowing that my role in the company is expendable, and I am owed nothing beyond the paycheck I receive for my contributions.

I don’t know how to say this un-offensively, so I’ll just say I think this is a morally bankrupt position that can be used to justify all kinds of fraud and crime because there was at least one benefactor. I think to make a utilitarian justification you need to take into account the negative impact on others too.

I don’t think you are morally bankrupt though, it sounds like you have another framework for determining what you personally will work on.




You make a great point. I hear this one a lot from those I admire deeply. Two counterpoints to discuss:

1. I am convinced that fraud and crime are directly related to exploitation, and are the result of decisions and actions of people in a position of control. Those in control know they are committing these bad acts, and continue to do so, making them "baddies." As someone who was never in a position of managing control, but who eventually gained insight and perspective into the underlying business practices, when I recognized the fraud and crime, I made the decision to quit and report to the legal governing bodies. My opinion is that it was in the right of the company (and management) to "go for gold," but they went too far, broke the law, and were appropriately punished. I don't believe I was bankrupt in that I severed my relationship immediately upon my discovery of their true nature.

2. This may be semantics, but my point on companies relying on "benefactors" was actually more of a capitalism argument, in that a company can succeed regardless of treatment of employees or practices of skirting the generally-applicable moral ideals, so long as the end user is benefitting and continues to patronize the business.

I do appreciate your feedback because I am always doubting myself on certain projects as to the setting of my threshold for revolt: is it when I feel someone, somewhere is being exploited, or when I know that the business practices are actively and knowingly conducted against the current law?


People can continue to use businesses that harm them if they have no leverage or have compromised judgment. Pay day loan operations with extortive interest rates, opioid manufacturers, casinos. All have some legitimate customers that derive real benefit, but likely more that are harmed.




Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: