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Profit is Not a
Four Letter Word

September 1, 2014

Are corporations people?  For that matter is any business?  These questions may not seem profound to some, but look below the surface and beyond what you see on the evening news, online, or in the newspaper and you will see the answer is a definite "Yes!"  Regardless of whether there has been an overt or covert attempt to dehumanize business the fact remains that business = people.  Just one example of the effort to dehumanize business came when the Supreme Court announced its decision in the Hobby Lobby case - where the court found that a closely held corporation had the right to religious freedoms - and those on the left of the political spectrum cried "fowl."         
Actually businesses bring together people who, through teamwork, produce more than they could by individual efforts.  Hopefully they make a profit; not unlimited sums of money but a profit nonetheless... a return on their investment of resources (time, effort, and money).  In the process, much of the gross income businesses receive from the sale of their products or services goes toward paying workers (e.g., people), making capital improvements and yes, hiring more people to make more of the products or services demanded by their consumers (people willing to purchase the products/services to meet their needs).  And don't forget the  investors.  They are people too.  Many investors are folks like the retired teacher or plant worker who has a 401K or who made small investments in the market.  When the economy goes south  -- be it because of high corporate tax rates, Obamacare taxes, or the like - it affects them as well.
Although large corporations appear to do well; medium sized businesses produce more total revenue than large corporations. Small "mom and pop" businesses produce even more total revenue than them all.  Why? Because there are more small businesses.  Many large corporations would not be in existence without small businesses that are their suppliers or which consume their products and services.
It is amazing to us that many of those, who have disdain for entrepreneurs, talk about the circle of life and how each organism is dependent for its survival on every other species while they don't seem to comprehend the circle of business life. Yes, businesses have a life and a life cycle. No person is, or can be, truly successful in business without meeting the needs of others.  Zig Ziglar said, "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
It is also true that we eventually reap what we’ve sown. That’s why those who riot and rob businesses while brandishing the motto, "No Justice, No Peace" are short sighted.  They’re not only destroying their own economic chances, but those of their children and their communities.  But is it their community?  Many times the rioters are opportunists who are bused in to fan the flames of communities with broken families and raw emotions.  In our view, it is criminal to exploit the broken-hearted; leaving them in worse condition by destroying the hopes and dreams of family owned businesses that provide economic hope to the community. 

John and Bill and Mark

[John and Lisa Gay are small business owners in Dickinson, Texas. Bill has been a small businessman in both McLean, Virginia and Galveston, Texas before joining the Galveston County Elections Division in 2011]