The Corporate Obligations Debate
Patrick Deneen and Andy Puzder debate the obligations of business.
The role of American business in public life is under scrutiny. Over the last decade, challenges to the corporate status quo have sprung up from across the political spectrum. Some have criticized business practices that allegedly undermine the resilience of American capitalism. Others have questioned the basic, shareholder-centric structures of the American private sector. Meanwhile, the rise of so-called “woke capital” has redefined businesses’ support of political causes. Though distinct, each challenge raises a basic question: How should businesses balance shareholder interests with obligations to their workers, communities, and nation?
This American Compass debate brings together sharply divergent perspectives on the issue: Patrick Deneen, professor of political science at Notre Dame and author of Why Liberalism Failed, and Andy Puzder, former CEO of CKE Restaurants and author of The Trump Boom: America’s Soaring Economy and the Left’s Plot to Stop It.
Begin reading with Patrick Deneen’s opening statement.
- Opening, by Patrick Deneen: Corporations in the Community of Communities
- Opening, by Andy Puzder: Obligations, Yes, But Secondary Ones
- Questions, Deneen answers Puzder
- Questions, Puzder answers Deneen
- Closing, by Patrick Deneen: Corporate Profits Amid Communal Decay
- Closing, by Andy Puzder: Three Cheers for Capitalism
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