Re: I don't buy it
"any social requirement for ethical behavior on their part has to be implemented via external regulation"
He doesn't say this. He says they have to comply with local laws. My example of Foxconn, et al, demonstrates a scenario where American companies put pressure on their suppliers to improve the status quo *not* in response to any local law, but to public outcry. There is no law that says a company has to be ruthless to create shareholder value. (btw, lots of companies have ethics policies in place that go above and beyond the bare that is required by law.)
My point is that Gates and the rest seem to feel they get a free pass to exploit the government because, well, it's the government and nobody likes them. They would never make the same claims about exploiting human victims (i.e., if you don't like it, change the law). But money going to the government does potentially help people. Just because they've been abstracted and made faceless doesn't give corporations a free pass in my book.
ps. no need to be a dick in your replies