Martin Luther King's Moral Obligation

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During the 1960’s and 70’s, deindustrialization policies in the United States shifted our nation from a manufacturing based economy to a service based economy. In this paper I will argue that when a nation deindustrializes, large corporations need to make a moral obligation to lift up society, allowing people of all economic statuses to rise at the same time. In his speech, The World House, Martin Luther King, Jr. claims that “enlarged material powers spell enlarged peril if there is not proportionate growth of the soul” (King 191). King is arguing that if people in positions of power do not grow ethically, they are likely to widen the economic gap by leaving those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder there, while those at the top continue…show more content…
Buying and selling companies was more profitable than running them. Foner argues that “making deals, not making products, became the way to get rich” (Foner 837). This left a large portion of Americans economically stagnant. King claims that “the richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually” (King 191). King is saying that some people have developed a greed for success and wealth, and have misplaced all ethical thought for others in society. An example of this was the construction of the World Trade Towers in New York City in 1977. Political leaders wanted to revamp the city into a financial hub. However in doing so, hundreds of small businesses were displaced leading to a loss of thousands of blue collar jobs (Foner 822). As we can see these days, New York City has become one of the most expensive places in the country to live, and maybe one of the hardest cities to “make it in” if you are not a wealthy individual. Those at the top of the economic ladder do not seem to be doing enough to help their brothers and sisters at the bottom rise. This is apparent when we hear people like Wall Street advisor, Ivan Boesky saying “greed is healthy” (Foner 837). Because of this philosophy, the wealthiest of Americans continue to get wealthier, and…show more content…
By the 1980’s Japan was leading the world in the auto industry. Firms like Toyota were coming up with new technology and new innovative ways of manufacturing their automobiles (Cusumano). As of 2015, Japan ranks at #45 of 151 countries studied as one of the “happiest places to live”; America is listed at #105. Japan is also ranked #1 in life expectancy, whereas the United States is ranked #33 (NEF). Could the Japanese manufacturing and production models have anything to do with their country’s high Happiness Index and high life expectancy? By the 2000’s the Big 3 automakers in the United States (General Motors, Chrysler and Ford) were facing bankruptcy and a possible loss of three million jobs. The CEOs of these corporations went to Congress asking for loans to bail them out of their financial troubles. They eventually received the loans at a cost of $9.2 billion to taxpayers (Amadeo). $9.2 billion which could have been spent on public services such as education, healthcare, and feeding the underprivileged. What was most disturbing about this bailout was the fact that each CEO who flew to Washington D.C. asking for taxpayer money was transported via private jet. This blatant showing of greed and arrogance is exactly what King is arguing against in his World House. Kings explains that the “profit motive, when it is the sole basis of an
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