Towards Quantifiable Metrics Warranting Industry-Wide Corporate Death Penalties
2.1. Model Assumptions
- Everyone has the right to life.This is explicitly called for in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the U.N. General Assembly. In addition, it is intuitively obvious that the right to life is the primary right as it is necessary to be alive to enjoy any other right (i.e., the right to work).
- Everyone has the right to work.This is explicitly called for in Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Corporations are large companies or groups of companies authorized to act as a single legal entity (person) to efficiently generate profit for the benefit of humans, and one of their primary additional benefits is job creation. Thus, corporations help facilitate the right to work.
- Human law should give corporations the right to exist if they are beneficial to humanity.Corporations are human constructs created by law to benefit humanity. Thus, in the simplest possible case, corporations can be viewed as good as they create profit and jobs, unless their operation interferes with the right to life of humans they are meant to benefit.
2.2. Quantifiable Metrics
3. Case Studies
3.1. The Tobacco Industry
3.2. The Coal Mining Industry
4. Results and Discussion
4.1. Case Study Results on the Tobacco Industry
4.2. Case Study Results on the American Coal-Mining Industry
4.3. Enacting Industry-Wide Corporate Death Penalties
4.4. Future Work
Conflicts of Interest
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This refers to the net impact on human life (e.g., a company/industry might make products that saves lives like medicine, but does kill a small fraction of users). The net impact on premature death is the important factor used here, which refers to deaths that occur before a person reaches a standard life expectancy. These deaths are preventable by the elimination of the given industry.
It should also be noted here that these deaths and the following analysis is only in reference to the coal mined for power production (steam coal). Other applications like the use of coking coal for production of coke for blast furnaces and coal used for activated carbon, carbon fibre and other chemicals is left for future work and not included here.
Critics will point out here that the context of industry-wide death penalties, it may not be appropriate to allow companies to pivot into a new line of business. This idea is presented here as a pre-emptive recommendation for companies to avoid corporate death penalties by reducing the harm they due to humanity. Future work is needed to address what a just and fair distribution would be of company profits from an industry slated for elimination. For example, should such companies be allowed to invest them in a new business or should these profits be earmarked for victims and their families, employees for retraining, or to pay the costs shouldered by larger society (e.g., environmental remediation)? Similarly, the liability for executives and majority shareholders that benefited from past profits of a deadly industry is also left for future work.
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Pearce, J.M. Towards Quantifiable Metrics Warranting Industry-Wide Corporate Death Penalties. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 62. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8020062
Pearce JM. Towards Quantifiable Metrics Warranting Industry-Wide Corporate Death Penalties. Social Sciences. 2019; 8(2):62. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8020062Chicago/Turabian Style
Pearce, Joshua M. 2019. "Towards Quantifiable Metrics Warranting Industry-Wide Corporate Death Penalties" Social Sciences 8, no. 2: 62. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8020062