Where Does Personal Responsibility End And Corporate Responsibility Begin?


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The answer to this question depends a great deal on the issue at hand. In cases of product liability, a consumer has the right to expect a product which is safe to use in the manner instructed by the manufacturer. In turn, that manufacturer has a responsibility to create a product which is safe if used in the manner specified. If any dangers are present, they need to be displayed on the product or its packaging.

In the example of property liability, a store patron has the right to expect a safe shopping experience. If any dangers are present, such as a broken light fixture which could fall, the store has the responsibility to put up signs and/or barriers to keep patrons away until the area is safe.

A very popular debate on this topic has to do with obesity. Currently at epidemic proportions, it is a problem which nobody seems to know how to solve. Many insist that retailers and restaurants should no longer sell fattening or unhealthy foods. However, many others think this is placing little responsibility on each individual person. A person should have a choice in foods, and should be responsible enough to eat unhealthy foods in moderation to ensure a healthy weight.

No matter the issue, there will always be those who believe that too much responsibility is placed on corporations, and those who believe that too much is placed on individuals. Each case must be taken individually to reach a fair compromise. In general, it's always a good idea to take as much personal responsibility as possible, for reasons of safety, pride and integrity. Passing off personal responsibility to corporations is essentially saying that a person is not smart enough to look after themselves. This way of thinking has increased dramatically in recent years. While there are many individual points on each side of the issue which have merit, ultimately a person is usually safer and happier if they take personal responsibility for themselves instead of relying on the practices of a corporation.

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