What is Profit?
Profit, in the case of everything but a Sole Proprietorship, is a numerical measurement of exactly how much a company has screwed over their customers.
Profits are defined as the money left over once all employees and bills have been paid. This includes, of course, CEO Salaries, down to Janitors, and the Electric bills alongside everything else. While it is nearly impossible to perfectly predict the operating expenses of a business for a year, which will preclude a wise business executive from targeting 0 profit, this does not morally allow for excessive profit.
If a company is making a profit, there are one of two things wrong: They are either underpaying their employees, or overcharging their customers. Both of these practices fall under the heading of “Placing Personal Gain Before Human Life,” also defined as “Evil.” In the first case, a company has convinced their customers the goods and services offered are worth the asking price. However, the employees, who create these selfsame goods and services, are not paid their full share of this asking price. As it is their labor which produces the asking price (the quality of their work and devotion) not paying them the fair share of what they are worth is essentially theft of labor. While there are arguments to be made from the Contract standpoint, the contract becomes morally void with this instance of labor theft.
The second case, Overcharging Customers, in principal is the same, but directed towards Customers instead of employees. The Company simply abuses its customers by taking from them the chance to use the money which is absorbed into the company’s profits. In most cases, both of these principals are in play simultaneously: While the Customer has more resources than necessary taken in exchange, the employees never see this money either.
The exception to the above rule is in Sole Proprietorship, wherein Profit is normally measured before the owner is paid. In this case, the cost of the owner’s living must be subtracted before a profit is attained.
While some profit is good (It means a company is not failing, and therefore potentially losing jobs), excessive profit is simply theft from all of us. A profit which allows for expansion, recovering from emergencies and continuing in the face of a short-term loss are all acceptable, even responsible practice, this can all be budgeted for in a company system (and therefore not count against profit).
So, why are we so damn focused on everything in the Stock Market making a profit? It’s bad for us all, since that is simply a measure of how badly we’re being abused by those same companies.