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2014年1月16日

Are Entrepreneurs Responsible for Taiwan’s Society?














Are Entrepreneurs Responsible for Taiwan’s Society?
Vivien Lai
National Central University




Author Note
Vivien Lai, Department of English, National Central University
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Vivien Lai, Department of English, National Central University, No.300, Jhongda Rd., Jhongli City, Taoyuan County 32001, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Contact: slorelockhart@gmail.com


Abstract

The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been more and more popular recently. Both approved side and against side have many essays published, and both have strong points to argue whether or not enterprises should take this responsibility. Although there are many researches around the world, this concept is seldom discussed in Taiwan. This paper tries to combine theories from both sides and analyze whether this concept is suitable for Taiwan’s society, and brings up the problems nowadays in Taiwan.
Keywords: corporate social responsibility, economic, legal, ethical, philanthropic, scandal, collusion


Are Entrepreneurs Responsible for Taiwan’s Society?
In Taiwan, students have learned the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) since junior high school, but the notion is still very vague to us. The enterprises in Taiwan have more news about scandals than what they have contributed to the society. Apart from this, the collusion between government and enterprise in Taiwan is a serious problem, too. This article tries to clarify that Taiwan is not ready for CSR by addressing the opposed reasons through four levels of corporate social responsibility from Carroll A. B’s theory: economic responsibility, legal responsibility, ethical responsibility, and philanthropic responsibility.

Introduction to CSR

          CSR is the abbreviation of corporate social responsibility, and it is a form of corporate self-regulate combined into a business model. There are many versions of explanation of CSR, according to EU, the definition of CSR is the concept of combing entrepreneurs’ concern to the society and environment to their company’s commercial activities and the relationships with shareholders.

This essay is based on Carroll’s pyramid of corporate social responsibility, and he separate CSR into four levels: economic responsibility, legal responsibility, ethical responsibility, and philanthropic responsibility.
Economic responsibility asks enterprises to be profitable, which means entrepreneurs should make good and deliberate decisions in order to make profit for the company, thus able to provide investors with adequate and attractive returns on their investments.
Legal responsibility is required of business by society. It asks businessmen to obey the law and adhere to all regulations.
Ethical responsibility is expected of business by society. It asks entrepreneurs to be ethical. That is to say, to do what is right, fair and just.

The goal of philanthropic responsibility is to be a good corporate citizen. This responsibility is desired or expected of business by society. It asks entrepreneurs to give back, and engages in volunteerism in order to support the community to become a better place. The major distinction between ethical and philanthropic responsibility is that although communities desire or expect business to contribute its money, facilities, and employee time to the community, they do not regard firms as unethical if they didn’t provide these services.

Economic Responsibilities of CSR
Economic responsibility asks entrepreneurs to sell their products at fair price and provide investors with adequate and attractive returns on their investments.
The biggest problem in this responsibility is the concept of “fair price”.
First, the concept itself is vague. What is the definition of fair price? Is it the price that is a little higher than costs? The only explanation they mentioned is the price which can “represent the true value of the goods and services”.  However, the fairness of the price not only depends on the quality but also many other factors; besides, how the price fluctuates should base on free market mechanism. Government should avoid interference unless the country encounters serious problems.
Second, as I mentioned above, the price also reflect many factors other than product’s quality. For example, most people are willing to pay more money for famous brands. Because of this, businessmen often take the opportunity to drive up prices. After all, the popularity didn’t decrease on account of expansive price, and sometimes it happens that the higher the price, the more popular the price is. Why not raise the price?
Third, although the concept is vague, the price in Taiwan don’t even close to “fair price” at all! In figure 1, the blue line is Consumer Price Index (CPI), which can reflect the price changes of the product or services, and the red line is the average wage in Taiwan. We can see that from 1999 to 2007, the salary is higher, but the situation became opposite after 2007. And the gap became wider each year.

Figure 1. The change of Consumer Price Index and average wage in Taiwan from 1999 to 2009

Figure 2 is about the situation of Taiwan’s salary from 1998 to 2012. The red line is notional average salary and the blue line is the real wage. The difference between them is that the average salary only looks about how much we earned, but the real wage also consider about the inflation. By looking at the real wage, we can know the purchasing power of the consumers. From figure 2 we can see that although our salary has added six thousands and eighty dollars for the past 14 years, the growth rate of the price raise more than that.
Figure 2. The change of notional average salary and the real wage in Taiwan from 1999 to 2012

        From the statistics above, we can see that the price in Taiwan is far from fair price. Last year, Taiwan’s president Ma claimed that our salary is far less than Korea because our prices is lower. He emphasized that we should also consider about the real purchasing power, not just compare the salary. But this still can’t be the excuse of not raising salary.

Legal Responsibility of CSR
Legal responsibility is a fundamental and essential responsibility not only for entrepreneurs but for all the citizen in the world. But law is inadequate in many ways especially in Taiwan.
First, “the law cannot possibly address all the topics or issues that business may face.” (Business & Society, p.41) Legislative Procedures are inextricable and time-consuming; its clauses cannot contain all the possible circumstances all the time, but that doesn’t mean we can exploit legal loopholes. This situation happens almost every time when a new technology or a new condition bursts out and thus brings out the following problems that make law inadequate.
Second, “the law often lags behind more recent concepts of what is considered appropriate behavior” (Business & Society, p.41). People’s values change over time, but the distinct of law mentioned above restricts it to respond accordingly to the problems, thus leads to in appropriate judgments.
Third, “laws are made by lawmakers and may reflect the personal interests and political motivations of legislators rather than appropriate ethical justifications” (Business & Society, p.41). This is especially serious in Taiwan. “A sage once said: ‘Never go to see how sausages or laws are made.’ It may not be a pretty picture. Although we would like to believe that our lawmakers are focusing on ‘what is right,’ potential maneuvering often suggest otherwise”(Business & Society, p.41). The officials and businessmen stand on the same front and formed the mutually beneficial bond, so the law thence focuses on their profits instead of people’s goods.
The collusion between government and enterprise has been a not-so-amazed issue for Taiwanese people, not because our judiciary can handle this situation at ease, but we already feel numb and disheartened for the predictable outcome. The law, the legislators, and the government do not stand in our side, but supporters of entrepreneurs, then how could they back up the impotent people, whom stand on the opposite side from entrepreneurs?
Figure 3. The law’s long arm

Take Taiwan’s food scandal in 2011 for example, CFCT[1]brought up a lawsuit for the victims and sought compensation for 2400 million NT dollars, but the court eventually announced that Yu Shen Company and other companies should indemnify1200 thousand NT dollars, which is far less than the original request. The situation is entirely different for Uni-President Enterprises Corporation, it sought compensation for 8900 million NT dollars and the court sentenced Yu Shen Company to pay 1300 million NT dollars.
From the case above, we can reasonably refer that our judiciary is in fact the people’s enemy. The government, the judiciary, and the enterprise stand together as alliance. The people are left to stand on the other side alone. How can we expect enterprisers to fulfill their responsibility under this situation?
Last but not the least, people in Taiwan should change our attitude toward things entirely. The law gives us enough freedom to fight for our right, but we do not use it in an effective way. If we need the law, we have to fight for the law; if the law is harmful to us, we should fight against it. If we can’t depend on the powerful people, we have to unit and form the power by ourselves, not just endure and complain on the Internet.
Ethical Responsibilities of CSR
In ethical responsibilities, entrepreneurs are asked to be ethical, and have “obligation to do what is right, just, and fair”. But it seems very hard for Taiwan’s businessmen to follow this simple norm.
In 2011, an astonishing food scandal happened in Taiwan. It is found that some companies like Yu Shen Chemical Co. and Pin Han Perfumery Co. were using plasticizer DEHP in clouding agents the firms manufactured. This was used to substitute palm oil in clouding agents as a way to keep cost down and improve profits. The problem is that DEHP has been accuse of effecting the growth of reproductive system and the central nervous system, people who absorb too much may reinforce the chance of having cancers like prostate cancer and thyroid carcinoma.
Last year, Taiwan had a food scandal again! This time is about the cooking oil. Famous brands like Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Co., Flavor Full Food Inc., and Wei Chuan Food Corp did not sell their products in a proper way. The Extra virgin olive oil in the bottle is not 100% olive oil but contain other cheaper kinds of oil in it, and was sold in the price of high level oil.
Same situations also happened around the world. What we see we have eaten is not the same as what we think. For example, the cheese we bought in the supermarket is actually processed cheese. The ingredients include whey, Cheddar cheese, milk protein concentrate, and other chemical ingredients. Another example is the bottled juice we bought from the store. Many people see this as natural juice and think it is healthy for us to drink it. However, it doesn’t have any juice in it. Take orange juice as example, the main ingredients in it is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and less than 2% of fruit juice concentrate. Fruit juice concentrate, not like juice, has no nutrients in it. Drinking too much bottled juice absorb too much sugar and chemical ingredients.
From the examples above, we can see that businessmen are more and more unreliable these days. Although the main goal of enterprises is to be profitable, which was mentioned in the economic level, and they do indicate the ingredients on packing, the advertisements on TV and on the packing make consumers believe that the products they sell is natural, but the actual situation is totally reversed.
Apart from the quality of the products, ethical responsibility also concerns about how entrepreneurs treats their employees. In Taiwan, labors are always trying to fight against their low wage, but the growth rate each time is not very high. From figure 1 we can see that Korea’s hourly pay surpass Taiwan’s in 2007, and the growth rate each time is higher than Taiwan’s, too. From figure 2 we can see that Korea’s monthly salary is far ahead Taiwan’s. Added to this, last year when the Council of Labor Affairs, Executive Yuan decided to raise the hourly pay, they impose a restriction on the next conference, that is, only if the growth rate of CPI in Taiwan reach 3% will they convene the next conference. In other words, we don’t know when our salary will raise next time, and when the time comes, the economic in Taiwan must be bad. Compare to Korea, the government raise their salary every year, and the growth rate is respectable.
Figure 4. The comparison between Taiwan’s and Korea’s hourly pay

Figure 5. The comparison between Taiwan’s and Korea’s monthly salary
     But why our government always resolve on not to raise people’s salary? It is believed that our government share the same interest with entrepreneurs, so what they do is to protect businessmen’s interest, not people’s. I’ll talk further in the next part.

The concept of entrepreneurs should be ethical is good, undoubted. But Taiwan is still inadequate to apply this concept. “Ethics is the discipline that deals with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.” The state of ego trip doesn't surpass the moral standard in our mind.

Philanthropic Responsibility of CSR
The dictionary defines philanthropy as “a desire to help mankind as indicated by acts of charity; love of mankind” (Business &Society, p.626). The philanthropic responsibility is desired of business by society, but when this desire become a pressure, a force, what will it be? Does our society turn out to promote hypocrisy?
In these days, entrepreneurs become more and more aware of public welfare. It’s not because businessmen finally learn that they’ve earned a lot of money plus brought much harm to society, but they have learned that the more they donate, the more they earn. Robert H. Lorsch, an entrepreneur in Los Angeles, admitted that every dollar he donates can turn into 1.01dollars to two dollars profit. Moreover, entrepreneurs build better corporate images through engaging in charitable activities which convinces consumers to believe that they are conscientious firms. Another shocking fact is that entrepreneurs can have tax credit by donating money. In Taiwan, if they give disaster relief to the government, they can have the deduction rate up to 100%!
Some people would say that although corporation does charity to promote their images not because they are kind-hearted, it still brings good effects for our society. After all, it’s better than nothing! But the problem is that the moment when they show their charitable moves to us, their firms still do things that will harm our society; this brings out two problems: one is they don’t really pay responsibility for their harm, but donating their money to those issues that are more noticeable and more appealing, which will gain public notice more effectively. The other is that through doing charity, corporations can blur the point that they are the origin of these problems. Because we often see their benevolent moves but the wicked behavior is left unsaid, publics will gradually have false notions that businessmen may have conscience: good corporations can help government build a better society.
For the company, the problem is that they have to pay extra expense to fulfill this responsibility. The profit is unclear but the expenses are real, especially for smaller companies.
Representative Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio) said that he introduced the disclosure bill, which was cosponsored by Representative Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio) and Representative Thomas Manton (D-New York), because he had set on corporate boards and observed executives distributing corporate assets to their pet charities while ignoring shareholders.
Gillmor’s concern was shared by law professors such as Charles M. Elson of Stetson University, who argued that philanthropy often only serves to glorify corporate managers and that, unless the philanthropy clearly benefits the company, it represents a waste of corporate assets. (Business &Society, p.628)
Plus, the more you devote on social responsibility, the more the public want you to do.
Executives increasingly see themselves in a no-win situation, caught between critics demanding ever higher levels of ‘corporate social responsibility’ and investors applying relentless pressure to maximize short-term profits. Giving more does not satisfy the critics—the more companies donate, the more is expected of them.
All in all, philanthropic responsibility brings more disadvantages than benefits. To big corporations, it is the opportunities to promote the image but they have to take the risk of wasting money. To medium and small firms, it’s a big burden to fulfill this kind of responsibility. To the public, we only got facial benefits and their hypocrisy, but miss the chance to solve the basic problems.

Conclusion
So far as the situation in Taiwan, CSR is not suitable for Taiwan for the following reasons: first, entrepreneurs are not interested in doing what is required or expected by society, all they can see is money. Second, the government stands on the same side with entrepreneurs; they neglect people’s welfare and only think about personal interests. Last, people in Taiwan are too coward to against powerful people. If we can’t depend on the powerful people, then we should unit and form the power ourselves, not just endure and complain it on the Internet.


References

2011 Taiwan food scandal. (n.d.). Retrieved December18, 2013, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Taiwan_food_scandal
Archie B. Caroll & Ann K. Buchholtz (2008). In Melissa Acuna (Ed.), Business & society: Ethics and stakeholder management (7th edition). Mason: South-Western
Bo Yi Lin (林柏儀,2012). Facing Youth’s Impoverishment: The Limit of Corporate Social Responsibility. Retrieved November 28, 2013, from Lihpao: http://www.lihpao.com/?action-viewnews-itemid-117568
Daniel Tay (2013). The Bottom Line of Corporate Social Responsibility. Retrieved December 25, 2013, from http://blog.zopim.com/2013/09/10/the-bottom-line-of-corporate-social-responsibility/
Filip Spagnoli (2011). The Causes of Wealth Inequality (18): Government Backed Corporate Expropriation. Retrieved December 25, 2013, from https://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/the-causes-of-wealth-inequality-18-government-backed-corporate-expropriation/
Jing Fen Jau (趙靜芬, 2010). Awake the crisis and the turning point of middle class in M-Form Society. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from CFD-Jing Fen Jau: http://blog.cnyes.com/My/cfd02/article838965
Lynch, T. (1996). Enterprise ethics. Retrieved October 30, 2013, from Heng Chang: Information about the Test on Business Management and Marketing: http://blog.sina.com.tw/examservice/article.php?pbgid=33715&entryid=252772
Makea (2013). The American fake food you eat in daily life vs. if we don’t have food additives. Retrieved October 30, 2013, from Chaoglobal: http://chaoglobal.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/food/
Mei Jen Chen (陳美珍,2011). Deduct Tax Through Public Interest Organization When Donating Abroad. Retrieved November 28, 2013, from Chihlee Institute of Technology: http://ai100.chihlee.edu.tw/files/16-1018-8021.php
Min Jou Wu (吳旻洲, 2013). Ridiculous! 39 companies in Taiwan whom sold the plasticizer only have to pay 1200 thousand NT dollars for 7800 million NT dollars! Retrieved December 18, 2013, from EpochTimes: http://www.epochtimes.com/b5/13/10/17/n3989112.htm
Porter M.E. and Kramer M.R. (2002). The competitive advantage of corporate philanthropy. Retrieved October 20, 2013, from Expert2business.com: http://www.expert2business.com/itson/Porter%20HBR%20Corporate%20philantropy.pdf
Public center (2013). Salary in Taiwan is far less than Korea. Ma Ying Jiou: Our price is lower, and we should focus on real purchasing power. Retrieved January 12, 2014, from ETtoday news: http://www.ettoday.net/news/20131205/303928.htm
Sean (2012). November’s outward investment rate 51.7% create new high. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from Sean’s investment note: http://seanetf.blogspot.tw/2012_12_01_archive.html
Shau Chiang Yang(楊少強,2006). Rich people earn money and reputation through donating while poor people aren’t necessarily benefit. Retrieved November 28, 2013, from Business Weekly: http://www1.businessweekly.com.tw/article.php?id=22364



1 CFCT is the abbreviation of Consumers' Foundation, Chinese Taipei. It’s the major non-profit organization which fights for consumer’s right in Taiwan.

2014年1月12日

Reflection 2

In our final presentation, we will talk about the outline first, then I will ask everyone whether they have heard about CSR before as the hook. After gaining attention, we’ll first introduce Carroll’s pyramid of social responsibility and explain the meaning of each level. Then Lisa will talk about why she support CSR’s theory and how CSR will benefit the people and entrepreneurs. Next, I will share my standpoint and explain why I oppose CSR and why it is not good for Taiwan’s society.

The way we design our PowerPoint this time is to put pictures and key words to indicate our thoughts. Because we saw how Steve Jobs present Apple’s latest product last time, and he only use one picture, one word or number in a slide. This will make audience know the point at once and will put attention on the speaker. We think this is a good idea but we have to improve the way we do presentation first.

From self-examination and peers’ comments, we know that the biggest problem in our presentation last time is that we are not doing well on turning slides with Prezi, and we have less body language and eye contact with the audience. Both of us want to make a change at our last presentation, and we plan to start our preparation two weeks before the formal presentation. Also, we need to rehearsal in order to know whether there is a problem that needs to modify.

Another thing I learned from the class last week is that presenters shouldn’t expect listeners to ask questions actively, we should prepare questions for audiences or ask someone to ask questions privately before the presentation. We have to put everything under control. Another concept that similar to this is we have to prepare plan B, because we don’t know whether our original plan is going to work or not. There are many variables like microphones, computers, we don’t know these variables will normal or not, but we can prepare a plan B to redeem the accident.

2014年1月7日

Final Presentation

Vivien: Good Afternoon everyone! Our topic today is Are Entrepreneurs responsible for Taiwan’s Society? And…I’m Vivien.
Lisa: I’m Lisa.
Vivien: And this is our outline, first we will introduce the concept of CSR, and then Lisa will tell us why she thinks CSR is necessary, and I will argue that why CSR is not good for Taiwan, and final is our conclusion.
Vivien: OK, first I want to ask all of you: Have you ever heard about CSR before? Raise your…no? Haha~
Vivien: CSR is the abbreviation of Corporate Social Responsibility, and it is a form of corporate self-regulate combined into a business model. And we will explain, further explain it later.
Lisa: Carroll is a social…social economist. According to his theory, CSR has four..four-level responsibility. Its former is like a pyramid. The basic one is economic responsibility, and the second one is legal responsibility, the third one is ethical responsibility, and the higher one is philanthropic responsibility. And we…we will combine these four responsibilities into our arguments. We will introduce these responsibilities first.
Lisa: Economic responsibility is that the companies should be profitable. Entrepreneurs should provide the true value of goods…goods and services, and provide business with profits. The legal responsibility is that entrepreneurs should obey the law. It is required of business by society. And it’s like rule of the game. Entrepreneurs should maintain the order of the society by obeying the rule.
Vivien: The concept of ethical responsibility is very simple-- it asks entrepreneurs to be ethical. And that is to say, to do what is right, just and fair. This responsibility is expected or prohibited by societal members. And because the law are essential but not adequate, so ethical responsibility then serve as, umm… embracing and reflecting newly emerging values and norms.
Vivien: Philanthropic responsibility is desired or expected of business by society. It asks entrepreneurs to give back, and engages in volunteerism, and…umm…in order to support the community to become a better place. The major distinction between ethical and philanthropic responsibility is that although communities desire or…umm…expect business to contribute its money, facilities, or umm… employee time to the community, they do not regard firms as unethical if they didn’t umm… provide these services.
Vivien: And next, Lisa is going to tell us why she thinks CSR is necessary.
Lisa: I’m the supporting side, so I’m going to talk about why CSR is necessary. There are three important parts related to CSR: the first is economic progress, the third one is people…the second one is people, and the third one is environmental protection. Let’s start with…Let’s start from people! I divide people into three kinds: investor, employee, and consumer.
Lisa: To investors, their main purpose is to gain profits from the companies. So, the entrepreneurs’ responsibility to them is maintaining the regular function of the companies, and making them get financial returns on their investments. The failure of business can cause the collapse of economy. This condition associates one with others, so entrepreneurs need to have economic responsibility: making companies be profitable.
Lisa: To Employees, they are the important group in the business, but they are usually exploited by entrepreneurs. If we say the company is like a machine, they would be screws. Screw…Although the screw is small, it is still necessary in the operation of the machine. The entrepreneurs’ responsibility to employees is giving them proper and stead salary. When they are satisfied with employers’ giving, they will…will work hard for companies. If the employees’ lives are stable, they could pursue not only material comfort, but also the spiritual growth. It make…It can make the society and the companies progress.
But, there are two big problems in the workplace. One is wages, and the other is inequality. Like the words on the picture, the boss says, “I’m looking for someone who can take on a great deal…great deal of responsibility and make executive decisions and be willing to start at the minimum wage.” We can know that employers always ask more than what they are willing to pay. So employees need laws to protect their right. To the part…To the part of wages, the law regulates employers to provide…to provide wages which cannot be lower than basic wage. To the part of inequality, especially for women, the regulation of law is no discrimination. If entrepreneurs can…If entrepreneurs have legal responsibility, they can…they can get more satisfied and productive workforce instead of legal problems. Such as the sweatshop, it is not a proper existence.
Lisa: To consumers, they are the group who influence business activities a lot. The entrepreneurs’ responsibility to them is provide safe products and selling…sell them at fair prices. Nowadays, we are shopping not only in the physical stores, but also the online stores. No matter in which store, consumers need the protection of the laws. If the products we buy are imperfect, we have the right to return merchandise. To people who don’t have the good process of returning merchandise, they will…they must have no good impression on that store. And the entrepreneurs will lost the consumer loyalty. It is not good for business.
And this is another one about consumer loyalty. I think you may have this experience. When you see something on the commercial, and go to buy it, but what you really get is not the same on the commercial. The feeling is not good, so no exaggerated commercials is one of the entrepreneurs’ responsibilities.
And the next picture, you see this woman. She wants to buy beef burger, but it may contain traces of horse. Nowadays, we also worry about this problem because there are more and more counterfeits and contaminated food reported on TV news.
I think…I believe that everyone’s ultimate destination is having…having a better life. It is important that entrepreneurs have these responsibilities. Entrepreneurs cannot sacrifice people’s life in order to make money. Besides, they also…they should also care about the environmental issue…issues. Because a good environment…having a good environment, we can have a good life.
Lisa: my last part is about philanthropic part…philanthropic responsibility. After the business is successful, entrepreneurs should think about giving back to society. They can provide money to improve education…education system or medical equipment. If the equality of the society is promoted higher, it can bring more profits to the companies. Like Bill Gates and Wang Yung-ching, they are two successful entrepreneurs. Both of them not only devote themselves into the business, but also have charitable contributions. If entrepreneurs can compete on business and charitable contribution, they are..they would be more advantaged than others.
Lisa: Then Vivien will talk about why CSR is not good for Taiwan.
Vivien: Thank you, Lisa. In the following section, I’m going to analyze it in two ways: first is through Carroll’s pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility, and another is I will talk about the advantages and disadvantages for entrepreneurs and the people.
Vivien: We introduced Carroll’s pyramid a few minutes ago. And in the economic level, we ask entrepreneurs to sell their products at fair price and provide investors with adequate and attractive returns on their investments.
Vivien: But are the prices in Taiwan really fair enough?
Vivien: Let’s look at this picture first. The blue line is Consumer Price Index, also called CPI, it can reflect the price changes of the product or services, and the red line is the average wage in Taiwan. We can see that from 1999 to 2007, the sa, salary is higher, the red line is higher than the blue line, but after 2007, the situation become opposite. And the gap between the two lines become wider each year.
Vivien: And this picture is also about Taiwan’s CPI, it gets higher every year.
Vivien: And the last picture talks about Taiwan’s salary from 1998 to 2012. The red line is notional average salary, which means average salary. And the blue line is the real wage, which... The difference between them is that the average wage…the average salary only looks about how much we earned, but the real wage also consider about the inflation(通貨膨脹). So by looking at the real wage, we can know the purchasing power(購買力) of the consumers. From this chart we can see that, yes, our salary added, has added six thousands and eighty dollors for the past 14 years, but the price of the products raise more than that. So is the price in Taiwan fair enough? NO!!!!!
Vivien: Next is legal responsibility. And, it is very simple, whenever we talks about law, it asks us to follow the rules.
Vivien: But in Taiwan, the problem is that the law, which are made by the lawmakers, may reflect the personal interests and political motivations of legislator rather than appropriate ethical justifications. The government and the entrepreneurs stand on the same side and carve up all the interests, and leave the people on the other side with nothing or and even harmful things.
Vivien: And the third level is ethical responsibility, its expectation is to ask us, to ask us to do what is right, fair, and just. I think there is nothing wrong with this concept. But it seems very hard for our, for Taiwan’s entrepreneurs to do this.
Vivien: Last year, Taiwan had an astonishing food scandal AGAIN!! And this time is about the oil we eat every day. 長基, also known as 大統、and富味香、味全, these are all well-known brands, but they did not sell their products in a proper way.The Extra virgin olive oil in the bottle is not 100% olive oil but they also contain other kinds of, other cheaper kinds of oil in it, but they sell the oil in the price of high level oil, and that is very unethical!!
Vivien: The last level is philanthropic responsibility, it asks businessmen to give back and volunteer to help.
Vivien: For example, the famous fast food restaurant McDonald, they have dedicated in helping children that has, who are seriously ill, and they build the McDonald House Charities to take care of them, and hold the McHappyDay to raise the fund of charity. But… needless, needless to say that McDonald has fulfill their phi, philanthropic responsibility, but in the meantime, the foods they sold have a lot of problems in it. Umm…Apart from the high calorie, the oil they use have, the oil they use is not very good, the acid value is over…this, the acid value is twenty times over the umm… standard. And last year, a man shockingly shows a hamburger he bought 14 years ago!!! It shows that McDonald’s food put tooooo much preservative in it. And, 14 days is very horrible, and 14 years?! Do you dare to eat that hamburger? Umm, the concept I want to show is that the moment when they show their charitable, charitable moves to us, their firms still do things that will harm our society, and they don’t really pay responsibility for their, umm for their harm, but donating money to the, those issues that are more appealing and more noticeable, and…which will gain public notice more effectively. And thus blur the point that they are the original of these problems and let us think that they are good companies.
Vivien: Well, there are advantages and disadvantages for the entrepreneurs and the people.
Vivien: For entrepreneurs, they can promote corporate image through engage in volunteerism, businessmen can make people more willing to buy their products because people will think that they care about our society. Apart from this, umm businessmen can have deduct, tax, tax deduction by fulfilling social responsibility.
Vivien: For example, in Taiwan, if entrepreneurs give disaster relief to the government, they can have the umm deduction rate up to 100%! That means they don’t have to pay any income tax at all!
Vivien: But in the meantime, entrepreneurs have to take the risk of wasting money. Because umm… doing, fulfilling responsibility is not equal to more profits right?
Vivien: For the people, although it is true that they, those enterprises give out the money to help people, but at the same time, the pollution is still there, the original problems are still there, too. Why do we want entrepreneurs to take responsibility? Because we think they earn money but leave all the problems to the society. And, to take responsibility means to make up for what you have done. But why did our socie, why did our society keep asking entrepreneurs to do charity without solving the original problems they have done?
Vivien: Does our society turn out to promote hypocrisy?
Vivien: As for the advantages for the people.Well, we can’t erase the good deeds that those entrepreneurs have done. All the foundations and their contributions indeed help the community to become a better place, but that doesn’t mean entrepreneurs can cover up all the bad things they have done.
Vivien: And here comes our conclusion.
Lisa: The relationship between entrepreneurs and the society is like jigsaw puzzle or gear. It is so close that they influence each other. Therefore, the entrepreneurs cannot escape the responsibility to harm the society. Instead, if they want their business widespread and have the strong…have the strong viability in the marketplace, they must have corporation…corporate social responsibility. The sustainable management is based on what you do.
Vivien: And as for my conclusion, I think Taiwan has not ready for CSR for the following reasons: first, umm, entrepreneurs don’t have the heart to do what is required or expected by society, all they can see is money. And second, the government can’t help but stand with the entrepreneurs, they only think about themselves and have no minds on people’s welfare. And fi, last, the people in Taiwan are too coward to against powerful people. If we can, can’t depend on the powerful people, we have to unit and form the power ourselves, not just endure and, and complain it on the internet.
Vivien: And that is our, our presentation, thank you for listening.

Q&A time

First Question:
Cabecita: Do you think the public’s expectation is the power to push the entrepreneurs have responsibility?
Lisa: Umm…umm because the society…I think the entrepreneurs and the public is in the same community. So, if the entrepreneurs want the public to accept them, they should try to fulfill the public’s expectation. I think the public’s expectation is the push…can push the entrepreneurs to do the responsibility.

Second Question:
Vicky: Hi~Vivien! You have talked about the collusion between the…government and the business. So can you give us some about the collusion between the government and the business?
Vivien: Umm…there’s an example last year, the Council of Agriculture in Executive Yuan, in Chinese we call it行政院農委會, umm… loosen the restriction of reservoir’s watershed (水庫集水區). And in the meantime, the Environmental Protection Administration in Executive Yuan, in Chinese we call it 行政院環保署, also wants to revise, umm, environmental impact assessment(就是環評). So what is this all about? That means that those enterprises now can build houses in the watershed, legally, and don’t have to care about the environmental impact assessment, too! Well, I think this is very ridiculous!! And it will harm the environment very badly. And I think this is an example that can show the collusion between government and the entrepreneurs.

First Comment:
Tim: I want to say, say some opinions to Vivien. Yeah, ah…I think you good ah, a good ratitude, good critique of the CSR. Ah, I think your PowerPoint is somehow hard to understand because you talk about ah, CSR is a, is a façade, is a veil, veil upon the real problem. Umm…so, ah, you, you still, you, you explain it well, you think very various examples, so I think you give a, give a quite good critique of it. Thanks.
Vivien: Thank you.