Why is it okay to cheat a corporation but not a person? Or a stranger but not someone you know?
Does it seem weird to anyone else that these distinctions exist? And that they’re relatively common beliefs?
People rationalize it by saying that a company can afford it. I think maybe it’s just because a corporation doesn’t have a face. We tend to empathize better with something we can put a face on.
I don’t approve of stealing, but that’s only a small part of the question I’m pondering.
What about big businesses, especially creditors and mortgage holders, who aren’t getting their money? As people default on their cards, or even go into bankruptcy, their creditors can’t get the money they are owed.
I know a lot of people who don’t see a problem with that. Banks’ irresponsible policies are part of the reason we’re in this mess, so they don’t feel particularly choked up by the idea of those companies losing money.
But should the size of the company matter when it comes to honoring your commitments?
I’ve seen discussions on bankruptcy where people felt no guilt about leaving their creditors high and dry. After all, they were large corporations, not individuals or small businesses that really need the money. Not to mention that credit card companies and the like pretty much want to get you in debt so that they can make money off you.
Is that a good enough reason to not pay?
For me, no. I think you should honor your debts, so long as you’re financially able to. Unless a bank tricked you into a mortgage — note: tricked, not enabled — I think you should live up to your end of the bargain. I don’t think bad behavior gives us an excuse.
But that’s just me. What do you guys think? Do you believe it’s okay to cheat a big company? Is it okay to default on payments when the only ones suffering are large corporations?