Business in American
President Coolidge’s statement, "The business of America is business," still points to an important truth today- that business institutions have more prestige in American society than any other kind of organizations, including the government. Why do business institutions possess this great prestige?
One reason is that Americans view business as being more firmly based on the ideal of competition than other institutions in society. Since most Americans see competition as the major source of progress and prosperity, competitive business institutions are respected. Competition is not only good in itself, it is the means by which other basic American values such as individual freedom, equality of opportunity, and hard work are protected.
Competition protects the freedom of the individual by ensuring that there is no monopoly of power. In contrast to one,all-powerful government, many businesses compete against each other for profits. Theoretically, if one business tries to take unfair advantage of its customers, it will lose to competing business which treats its customers more fairly. Where many businesses compete for the customers’ dollar, they cannot afford to treat them like inferiors or slaves.
Competition in business is also believed to strengthen the idea of equality of opportunity.Competition is seen as an open and fair race where success goes to the swiftest person regardless of his or her social class background. Competitive success is commonly seen as the American alternative to social rank based on family background. Business is therefore viewed as an expression of the idea of equality of opportunity rather than the aristocratic idea of inherited privilege.