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Letters: Business never was humane

April 12, 2013

Re "At work in America," Letters, April 10

Attorney Vanessa Ticas asks to "bring back" a humane business approach. I am sympathetic to her basic view, but she ignores world history and the instincts of mankind.

When in history was there a prevailing tendency to use a humane approach in business? It wasn't apparent in the American South during slavery. It wasn't apparent when my grandmother was put in a sweatshop at age 8, depriving her of the chance to ever learn to read or write. It did not exist in the steel mills owned by the great philanthropist Andrew Carnegie or in the coal mines that John L. Lewis tried to unionize last century.

Greed, like hunger and the need to breathe, is a basic instinct, and will in most cases trump voluntary consideration of a humane approach in business.

Sydney Shiffman

Long Beach


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