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Unacceptable Costs and Risks


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Unacceptable Costs and Risks   

Includes
Profit Motivation,
Real-world Problems,
Social Responsibility and Social Accountability, and
LHC operations at CERN.


Essential Principles of Economics

PURPOSE OF ANY ENTERPRISE,
PROFIT MOTIVATION and
REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS

The purpose of any enterprise is to satisfy the community's needs by providing high quality goods and services at reasonable prices.

Those who can satisfy its needs are motivated by the community towards doing so by the reward, that is by the resulting profit. This process is generally referred to as 'profit motivation'.

But enterprises which may be badly managed or which offer inferior products, become uncompetitive and cease to trade in this product or service.

In this way the community attempts to ensure that its needs are satisfied at reasonable prices, that it gets good value for money.

But enterprises are not only formed by people who care for other people and who are motivated by the intensity of the need, but also by those who care only for personal gain in wealth and power over others and who are motivated by this.

So we have enterprises being formed which are generally managed by directors who are appointed by the owners. It is the directors who generally take the key decisions on behalf of the owners. At times owners may appoint themselves as directors.


SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

In other words, directors and managers are responsible to the community for what they do, are accountable to the community for the results of their work and for the way in which such results are achieved.

In practice directors are generally required by man-made laws to act first and foremost in the interests of the owners, so that it is profit which is maximised. Short-term and long-term profits can be and are being maximised regardless of the cost to others, that is regardless of the cost to the community, limited only by the likelihood of unpleasant consequences.

We are here considering the high cost of putting profits first. What we see are the effects of speeding on in the search for profits either negligently unaware of the dangers or else without concern about likely or possible consequences (social costs) to the community.


SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY

But how can one ensure that those in important positions become aware that they are accountable to the community and how can one make them accountable to the community?

The phrase 'the polluter pays' sums up popular feeling about how to right past wrongs, about how to hold to account those whose profits are made at the expense of the community and those who benefit from antisocial activities.

In reality, it is the customer who is made to pay because enterprises recover any cleaning-up costs and compensation payments by increasing their prices.

The owners appoint directors to take decisions on behalf of the owners, with the directors in turn appointing senior managers to have the decisions carried out. Hence it would seem to be the owners and/or directors who should be held accountable, who should pay, and they should not be permitted to pass cleaning-up costs and compensation payments on to the community or to their customers.

After all, if one does not evaluate performance then how can good and outstanding performance be rewarded appropriately?

Those who took the decisions which caused the damage, or who failed to take decisions which could have prevented damage, should surely suffer the consequences. It is they who need to be exposed and punished for the decisions they took or failed to take.

See the report
Community Economics: Principles
by Manfred Davidmann
And see the report
Social Responsibility, Profits and Social Accountability
(Incidents, Disasters and Catastrophes
The World-wide Struggle for Social Accountability
Community Aims and Community Leadership)
which is also by Manfred Davidmann


The Unacceptable Risk of the LHC Operations

Dr. Angelika Schaumberg, writing to the European Union Commission about 'The unacceptable risk of the LHC operations at CERN', considers that

The operations at the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) risk the survival of humanity for no expected useful result and benefit. The commissioning of the LHC seems to have been delayed till next April, apparently because of human error. No matter how small the 'predicted' risks are, some risks like the possible destruction of humanity cannot be taken. Scientists are concerned and warn that the experiments at the LHC could have unintended consequences which could endanger humanity and the earth. They even went to court to stop it.

Manfred Davidmann warned us very clearly in his report 'Social Responsibility, Profits and Social Accountability' about the devastating consequences of socially irresponsible application of science and technology. 'How close are we to the one suicidal mistake which cannot be put right?' he asked in 1979. In 2007, he warned more intensely that 'a new factor has entered the equation. It is now possible for the first time in the history of human beings on this planet for just one or only a few socially irresponsible persons to do something or to introduce changes, which could destroy us all or else make this planet uninhabitable for human beings.' The Los Angeles Times put on record 'when a scientist of Manfred Davidmann's proven track record (of achievement and objectivity) and international standing makes such a statement, this needs to be taken seriously'.

He who pays the piper calls the tune. Employers have a strong influence on what their employees say in public and employees are likely to be advocating viewpoints, which are employer-serving instead of being people- and community-serving. We need experts to assess the risks, and hoped-for gains, involved in the operations at the LHC at CERN. Experts who are completely independent and would not be tempted to put personal gain, grants and Nobel Prices before the welfare and survival of humanity.

And she calls on the EU for a completely independent community-orientated evaluation about the spending of enormous sums on a project which seems to offer no real return to the enpoverished Europeans while posing an unacceptable risk to the survival of humanity, saying:

In 1993, the US Congress stopped the construction of the then largest collider in Texas, because the value to the community of the scientific gains it could produce was questioned.

Here, as a deeply concerned citizen of the European Union, I am asking you, our Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, to stand up and be counted. Act for us and proceed to have these experiments at the LHC at CERN stopped before it is too late, at the least have them stopped till their safety can be guaranteed by independent experts.

See the open letter about
The unacceptable risk of the LHC operations at CERN
To: Jacques Barrot
(Vice President of the European Commission;
Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security)
by Dr. Angelika Schaumberg


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Short Descriptions

Title   Description
     
Community Economics: Principles   This statement of the fundamental principles of the free-market economic system is unique and outstanding because it allows for the needs of the community.
     
Social Responsibility, Profits and Social Accountability   Incidents, disasters and catastrophes are here put together as individual case studies and reviewed as a whole. We are facing a sequence of events which are increasing in frequency, severity and extent. There are sections about what can be done about this, on community aims and comunity leadership, on the world-wide struggle for social accountability.
     

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Manfred Davidmann

Manfred Davidmann is an internationally well-known and respected scientist and author of a number of books and reports which have had and are having considerable impact. His work usually breaks new ground and opens up new understanding and is written in meaningful and easily understood language. Outstanding is that his work is generally accepted as factual, objective and unbiased.


Other Subjects; Other Publications

The Site Overview page has links to all individual Subject Index Pages which between them list the works by Manfred Davidmann which are available on the Internet, with short descriptions and links for downloading.

To see the Site Overview page, click Overview

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Updated    2014