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Letter: Judging Corporate Behavior

To the Editor:

The Valley News surprised this reader in its editorial view that not only are corporations not people; more strongly, it is doubtful that they have a moral life. The paper defines such a moral life as “an obligation to conduct their business not to maximize the wealth of their owners... but to ensure that the fruits of their labors are enjoyed as widely as possible.” The editorial (“The Company We Keep,” Dec. 10) rejects this premise, and goes on to state that corporations are solely a means of economic organization (the Valley News’ term ; this writer’s emphasis). The newspaper presumably takes this position to justify limiting corporate speech and its associated spending.

We will be happy to argue that corporations as well as people have obligations for moral conduct. It is ironic that your editorial was adjacent to a political cartoon satirizing McDonald’s for having underpaid workers. Let the Valley News editorial staff remember your position the next time the paper argues that WalMart must pay a living wage, even if it is higher than the value of work people are willing to perform for less.

Tim Dreisbach

South Royalton