While many contemporary American corporations continue to exemplify high levels of corporate social responsibility, virtually all publicly held firms are finding themselves under growing pressure from the investment community to maximize shareholder value. As a result the interests of the firm's non-shareholder constituencies are being neglected. The government must step in and function as arbiter, enacting rules and regulations that define what we expect of corporations in the way of such things as working conditions, environmental protection, and job training. But since the political process constitutes the only remaining vehicle for the expression of non-shareholder stakeholders, if corporate managers wish to be free to maximize shareholder value, it is inappropriate for them to also participate in shaping public policy.
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