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A Civil Action

Essay by   •  October 31, 2010  •  955 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,327 Views

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A Civil Action

The movie A Civil Action brings up an interesting idea that many people in the public

don't see or hear about very often. The idea that the big corporations often don't take

into account the safety of the people that work for them or the people that live around

the factories. These big corporations are run entirely by money and the idea of what

things will cost and how much money they can possibly make. Too many times money is more

important than the lives of human beings and the people that run these places only see in

dollars and cents. The moral issues that this dilemma brings up are immense. This has

been happening for centuries since the industrial revolution. Workers were subjected too

harsh conditions and unsafe factories so that more goods could be produced. They had

children as young as seven and eight years old working 15 hour days. In our modern times,

toxic waste now plays a big part in the safety of people. The waste that these companies

produce and dump under our noses don't seem to bother them in the least. The way

microeconomics effects this must be fully explored to realize the way the corporate world

thinks and acts.

The goal of any corporation is to make the maximum profit that they can providing a good

or service to the community while doing it as inexpensively as possible to them. Too many

times producing these goods, toxic by-products are also produced. Nuclear power plants

create plutonium, factories let poisonous gasses into the atmosphere, and chemicals are

dumped into the drains and washed into our water everyday while being unknown to the

people around them. The issue then becomes what to do with these poisons at the cheapest

cost to retain the most revenue. In A Civil Action the W.R. Grace company decided that

the best place to dump the T.C.E. was in the river behind the plant. It's too bad that

all the people who lived down stream were also effected by the carelessness of this

company. It got into the drinking water and gave kids cancer and seizures among other

health conditions. These companies try to cover up these kinds of things as much as

possible by buying people off. They think that if they give people money for their losses

than everything will be alright. For huge corporations dealing with billions of dollars

these payoffs are only a drop in the bucket for them. Even a million dollars to any

family is an incredible amount of money and often the money becomes more important than

the real issues behind the problem and can't be passed up by a family struggling to get

by. The benefits of paying of these people for their trouble is much cheaper then doing

things the right way in the beginning and protecting their safety.

Money in our society has become a sense of power and authority. People think to many

times that money is the key to happiness. Although money isn't a bad thing it effects the

way people act and causes them to not care about the things that they should many times.

Corporations have a structure that they follow in order to make them run in an efficient

manner. In the movie John Travolta initially doesn't want to take the case because he

doesn't think that there will be any money in it for him and his firm. Even though he

goes and sees how much pain this company has caused to the people in Wolburn, he still

doesn't care because of the money. Not until he realizes how big the companies are does

he take the case.

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