Despite media outcry's, Australia's legal system largely protects its citizens from the effects of corporate profiteering. Whether it is complaints over the rising cost of fuel or even the price paid for a kilogram of Bananas, Australian's are quick to condemn business and large corporations if it is perceived they are pursuing an unethical means of obtaining profit. The media has had a field day investigating these allegations and in the midst of our woes we have lost sight of why Australia is indeed the ‘lucky country'. In order to examine this phenomenon, examples of alleged profiteering acts in Australia will be analysed and compared with major international events over the past two decade period. Only then can the true ramifications of profiteering be assessed and its future threat to Australian society predicted.
[...] in the modern business setting, a company is expected to underpin its core objective of profit maximisation with a proactive approach to corporate social responsibility.” (pg.573) In order to ensure corporations comply with these expected standards, $72 million was allocated to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in the 2003/04 fiscal year alone. (Banks 2004, p.6) (Figure This corporate watchdog has full authority to administer the 1974 Trade Practices Act and the 1983 Prices Surveillance Act which list strict penalties including fines, imprisonment and the removal of listed companies from the stock market if found “pursuing an unethical means of obtaining profit.”(Grossman 2005, pg. [...]
[...] In Australia alleged acts of profiteering have clearly not been of this magnitude Future risks in Australia Although it is evident Australian's have been largely protected from the effects of corporate profiteering, it is important to determine if this trend is sustainable in the future. As Australia is a free market economy it would prove both politically unpopular and difficult for the Federal Government to set and enforce baseline acceptable mark up levels on products deemed susceptible to profiteering. Instead, as concluded in a 2004 study published in the Journal of Ethical theory and moral practice, “economic competition should be used as the ultimate price regulator.” (Arnsperger & Philippe, p.4) Continued support and funding for consumer watchdogs such as the ACCC will ensure this high level of competition is maintained in the Australian economy. [...]
[...] February 9 ‘Banana price falls - but not in shops', [Online], The West Australian press, Available: http://global.factiva.com.ezproxy.bond.edu.au/aa/default.aspx [2007, February 14] Campbell, M ‘Perceptions of Price Unfairness: Antecedents and Consequences', Journal of Marketing Research, [Online], vol.36, pp.187-99, Available: http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=10042660 [2007, February 11] Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2006, Poverty Australia and the Globe, [Online] Available: www.dfat.gov.au/publications/globe_poverty/index.html [2007, February 11] Fagan, D barons holding us over a barrel', The Courier Mail. Brisbane. Floyd, C ‘Halliburton in Iraq,' Ecologist, [Online], vol.2, iss.34, Available: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=12396010&site=e host-live. [...]
[...] However this act of profiteering and the associated increase in spending on household items did not had a significant long term economic impact on society Effects on the Australian economy Economic welfare is at the heart of these issues that have caused a national furore and led to allegations of profiteering. Reports published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that, performance of the economy has been exceptionally strong since 2005.” (ABS 2006, p.1) According to 2005-2006 reports Australian's are currently benefiting from; This prosperous state of the Australian economy makes it clearly evident that although isolated incidents of profiteering may occur, profit is generally been pursued in such a nature as to support overriding public interests International examples In order to provide a basis for comparison with Australia, it is important to identify a true example of profiteering and examine its long term effect on society. [...]
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