For as long as the culture of business has been an integral part of American life, it has also been frowned upon by important sectors of our society. Among our intellectuals especially, the business world has been the subject of many brutal caricatures, portraying corporations large and small, and the people who run them, as heartless, soulless agents of greed. These caricatures have shaped our implicit understanding of the nature of the business world, so much that they have come to pass for conventional wisdom.
SIR – I must object in the strongest terms to the use of the oxymoronic neologism, “bottomless shallows”, in a Banyan column. Please inform your Mr Banyan that oxymorons must be stamped out wherever found, and are particularly galling in a newspaper of your standing and heritage. I am certain that Messrs Samuel Johnson, Walter Bagehot and Henry Watson Fowler are all spinning in their respective graves at this slight, albeit at different speeds. You know well how lapses like this affect school truancy, foment social disorder and encourage a preference for margarine on one’s scones. Sin not again.
—An Economist reader reminds us of our responsibilities. And rightly so. (via theeconomist)