Faith and Business

Question of the Day (for business leaders):  Why does your organization exist?

Six Practical Principles for Business (Vocation of the Business Leader, p 17)

Meeting the Needs of the World through the Creation and Development of Goods and Services

1 – Businesses contribute to the common good by producing goods that are truly good and services that truly serve.

2 – Businesses maintain solidarity with the poor by being alert for opportunities to serve deprived and underserved populations and people in need.

Organizing Good and Productive Works

3 – Businesses make a contribution to the community by fostering the special dignity of human work.

4 – Businesses that embrace subsidiarity provide opportunities for employees to exercise their gifts as they contribute to the mission of the organization.

Creating Sustainable Wealth and Distributing it Justly

5 – Businesses model stewardship of the resources—whether capital, human, or environmental—under their control.

6 – Businesses are just in the allocation of benefits to all stakeholders: employees, customers, investors, suppliers, and the community.

Mr Business went to Mass; he never missed a Sunday.
Mr Business went to hell for what he did on Monday.
Ed Willock (1916–1960), editor of Integrity

Excerpts from the Discernment Checklist
(Vocation of the Business Leader appendix,  pp 26–27)

  • Do I see work as a gift from God?
  • Is my work as a “co-creator” truly a participation in God’s original and continuing creative act?
  • Do I promote a culture of life through my work?
  • Am I living an integrated life or is it divided, separating Gospel principles from my work?
  • Am I reading the Scriptures and praying with the will to avoid the risk of a divided life?
  • Am I promoting human dignity and the common good in my sphere of influence?
  • Do I place the dignity of all workers above profit margins?
  • Does my company make every effort to reduce or eliminate waste in its operations, and in general to honor its responsibility for the natural environment?



Story Time: Consumer vs Auto Dealership

Real world stories about consumers suing car dealerships (and car dealers getting car buyers arrested)

And if that interests you, this might, too

Car Buying Tip of the Day:  This is a small tip. A few hundred dollar tip. Ask in advance (before you show up), preferably get in writing via e-mail, what the dealership charges for its documentation fee. This is one of the details I let slip on purchase day, (because I wanted the car shopping process to be over and was rushing — also on my “mistakes I made” list), and I suspect the dealership padded the fee to squeeze a few extra hundred out me. I’ve never seen a documentation fee greater than $500, until I saw the $695 that Dulles Motorcars charged me.

See also the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association article on Advertising and the Feds

The FTC & Deceptive Advertising in Auto Sales

Auto Sales Consumer Protection News 

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call  1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

March 26, 2015 — Cases Involving Deceptive Advertising

Three auto dealers, Cory Fairbanks Mazda of Longwood, Fla., Jim Burke Nissan of Birmingham, Ala., and Ross Nissan of El Monte, Calif., have agreed to settle charges that they ran deceptive ads that violated the FTC Act, and also violated the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and/or Consumer Leasing Act (CLA). According to the FTC complaints, ads touted sales, lease or financing options that seemed attractive but were cancelled out by fine-print disclaimers. In other instances, the disclaimers did not disclose relevant terms, such as required down payments.

Read the whole article – FTC, Multiple Law Enforcement Partners Announce Crackdown on Deception, Fraud in Auto Sales, Financing and Leasing

Read also the article in The Detroit News about Feds Cracking Down on Crooked Auto Dealers

December 12, 2014  — The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against two auto dealer groups, operating in five states with more than two dozen retail stores, for civil penalties for violations of FTC administrative orders, which prohibit them from deceptively advertising the cost of buying or leasing a car.

“If auto dealers make advertising claims in headlines, they can’t take them away in fine print,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “These actions show there is a financial cost for violating FTC orders.”

Read the whole article – FTC Takes Action Against Two Auto Dealership Chains For Violating 2012 Orders Prohibiting Deceptive Advertising of Vehicle Costs

March 14, 2012 — FTC Takes Action To Stop Deceptive Car Dealership Ads