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npsimons's Journal: Ethics in who you work for 4

Journal by npsimons

Let's say you were approached to work for a big name company who is working on a lot of really amazing high tech products. Their current employees seem intelligent, motivated, friendly and happy to work there. The work environment looks sweet. The only thing making you have second thoughts is that some of their actions (such as pushing for lower corporate taxes) don't exactly mesh with your ethics. Sure, they're not anti-competitive; they even do a lot of open source; but more than a few of their actions have come under fire as unethical. Would you work for them? Would an employment boycott be effective?

Just for the record, no, I have not received an offer yet; I don't presume that I'm a shoe-in (they have a very high false positive rate). I'm putting this out early to get as many responses as I can. I currently work for the US DoD, which some would see as extremely unethical. If you can't figure out from what I've told you so far (and my comment history) which company this is, you probably shouldn't reply to this, but I'll take all the input I can get.

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Ethics in who you work for

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  • You have to put your well-being and that of your family ahead of your ethics. It is possible to behave ethically while working for a firm that does thing with which you disagree. In some ways, working at all contributes to a repressive system, so there's almost no way you can maintain ethical purity and survive in a society that places profit before ethics.

    I don't really blame corporations for pushing for lower taxes. Corporations are golems that only have one directive: to maximize quarterly profits. T

    • by npsimons (32752) *

      This was an excellent comment, and I hate to give it short shrift, but unfortunately other things intrude (packing for a funeral is never fun), so I'll get to the meat:

      Good luck. Trust your instincts.

      My instincts say yes! I want to work for this company so much, it's outshining all the bad I can think of. Perhaps I'm having grass is greener syndrome, but to be able to work for a company that is built on Linux? That would put me in control of what's on my dev workstation? How could I say no? Even looking at

    • Sorry family, I can't get a job because all businesses do bad things.
      I assume you are alright with the fact that I don't want to work for Microsoft(I don't mean that company is doing that, I just wanted an example) because they are funding the enemies of Germany.

      The problem with your idea is that companies can do all the bad things they want and still get employees.
      If more people do start employer-boycott then maybe the "bad" companies will start to do good things like not do business in enemy countries.

      To

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Maybe being homeless and keeping your ideals is better than working for a company that does bad things.

        Explain that to your children.

Your mode of life will be changed to EBCDIC.

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