- McDonald's -

My beliefs and how I came to them

Posted by: Ludwig von Mises ( USA ) on June 29, 1999 at 11:39:43:

In Reply to: They are guilty by association. posted by Kilroy on June 27, 1999 at 22:26:22:

: : : well, if you don't believe that promoting the destruction of the worlds only tropical rain forrests is wrong, than i guess you could say that mc d's is a nice establishment.

: : They don't promote ruining the rainforests. They don't actively destroy rain forests. They aren't wrong, their suppliers are. All supliers are like that. Anything else?

: They are guilty by association. If someone hires an assassin to take out someone they don't like, the person who hired the assassin can definitely be prosecuted. In much the same way, McDonalds is guilty of massive deforestation. Not because McD's actually has it's own workers go out there and chop down trees, but because they pay someone to do it. In fact, I'm sure LVM could come up with an argument vindicating McD's even if they DID have their own workers go out there and chop down trees. They're still hiring someone else to do it, right?

I would not justify McDonalds cutting down the worlds rainforests with their own workers. However, because of the way that burgers are put togeather, it is impossible to avoid using some amount of beef that came from destroyed raind forest land. The way the system works is this: The cattle are raised somewhere. They are then sold to slaughterhouses, which kill the animals, take every scrap of flesh off of them, and sell all of the meat to a supplier, which mixes all of the meat from all of the different suppliers and all of the different cattle, and makes them into patties which they sell to McDs, Burger King, etc. A single quarter pounder could have the meat from 50 different cows from 30 different countries in it. Therefore, it is impossible to avoid using animals which come from deforested land. It is equally impossible to get the beef from a "pure" source, as there is probably no slaughterhouse in the world that doesn't accept all the meat that they get, and even if there is there is no way that the meat that they put out won't get mixed with beef from other slaughterhouses. This isn't McDonalds fault, it is simply the way the world works.

: By the way, LVM's challenge is ridiculous. First of all, no one will ever be able to convince him that McD's is bad business, unethical, etc. Neither will they convince him capitalism is an unjust system. A logical argument simply will not work. This is not to say LVM is an illogical prick, he certainly isn't. Both sides of this argument have been repeated again and again and again on this message board. It is possible to justify EVERYTHING McD's has done, the same as it is possible to prove how horrible they are. I'm not saying both arguments are equally valid, they're not. My point is, if you REALLY want to believe something, you will, no matter what.

If you can prove that they did something really unethical, and it is something that is in their complete control, I would not defend McDonalds anymore. I would be the last person to defend a company that does something awful when they didn't have to, like dump nuclear waste into the oceans. However, as you have seen, I am the first to defend a company that has claims against it saying that it 'exploits children' by advertising, or that it 'is unethincal because they make people unhealthy' by supplying and advertising unhealty food.

I support capitalism for a few main reasons. One is that it simply makes sense to me. Another is that I find it to be unethical for a large percentage of the population to have to give up everything for the good of those below them, which is what socialism suggests. Finally I beleive in that form of freedom over the socialist one because its followers are more down to earth and principled. That's not to say that all followers of socialism are unethical, but a good lot of them are. I've never heard or seen a real capitalist say something like: 'you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette', or suggest violent suppression of opposition, or propose anything violent or propose a dictatorship for a 'transitional government'. You know, the ablosute leaders may not be all that willing to give up everything in order to have a "perfect world" after they take power in a revolution.

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