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Benefits of the CalTex plant - Essay Example

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Benefits of the CalTex plant

The utilitarian benefits are many for both CalTex and the people of South Africa. Many needed jobs would have been created for workers in South Africa. Native South African would have taken many of these jobs. A job at a CalTex plant might be their best means for improving their own economic situation. CalTex had a history of paying better than average wages and they were also known for promoting employees from within. I know that if I were a black South African, I would have been very upset about the unfair political situation in my own country. But I also know that I would love to have the sort of economic opportunity that would be provided to me by working for a good paying corporation like CalTex. I think I would understand that CalTex was not the reason behind the current political system. I do not believe I would even feel that their presence aided the current political system or helped to keep it in power. The utilitarian benefits I would see as a native South African would be great. I would have a dependable job, food on the table and a possibility for working my way up in a company. I would be living in an unjust society, but I would not blame CalTex for doing business in my country. It is true that the white controlled government would get a more stable supply of petroleum products if the CalTex expansion occurred, but that same expansion meant that all South Africans would have access to more abundant, cheaper petroleum products. The reality of the situation is, South Africa had enough of their own engineers to make their own petroleum refineries. If CalTex completely divested, the only loser would be the corporation. If I were a stockholder, voting on the first two resolutions would have been very easy decisions. I would not have voted to cease operations in South Africa. This would have resulted in a huge drop in the price of my stock. It would have been like taking money out of my pocket and throwing it away for no good reason. There is no way that ceasing operations in south Africa would have helped bring the government down or change the rights of the people there. I would have voted a strong no on the first resolution. The second resolution would have received a no vote from me as well. This is quite a ridiculous proposition when you think about it. The proposition required CalTex to withhold sales to the South African government and military. My reason for not voting for this crazy proposition is it creates a litmus test for buying CalTex oil. It basically says that if you are not conducting yourself in a moral manner then we will not sell oil products to you. The problem is simply this, who gets to decide how bad is too bad? A corporation needs to not split hairs determining if a customer is moral enough to buy their product. The American government has been beset by scandals and there is plenty of history of racism and repression. Does this mean CalTex will no longer sell to America? What about the Chinese? The Italians? All nations have blemishes and inherent injustices built into their systems. It is not the job of a corporation to try to sort all of them out morally. If they have cash, then you sell. The third proposition would have gotten a yes vote from me. Looking at the Tutu principles, I think is would be in the best interest of the company to abide by them. Caring for the family unit and supporting it would have ...Show more


The utilitarian benefits of the CalTex plant are the most important consideration in this entire process. They do outweigh any concerns that could be raised about the moral implications of doing business in South Africa during the time of apartheid. CalTex is a corporation that has a commitment to stockholders, employees and customers…
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