> A company pursuing profits isn't a bad thing - as long as it's not the *only* thing.
As long as you take external coercion out of the picture and the profits are gained for voluntary exchange then profits are a result of providing value and goods to your customer better and more efficiently then otherwise is possible if somebody else did it. That is your increasing your wealth by increasing the wealth of society at whole so that it's a net gain for everybody.
In that case then pursuing profits in themselves are a virtue.
Remember: Just as long as it's voluntary. As long as people are free to choose you or your competitors then they will choose to spend the money on what business maximizes their own interest. That is spending money on your business increases their own wealth as a result.
> I'm just saying that it shouldn't be their *primary* aim, like most companies regard it. Surely your primary aim is to actually do your business and do it effectively and well?
How can you remain in business by doing a worse job then your competitors?
> Customer service probably comes below that and above profit too. Otherwise you get no end of compromises made in the name of profit-increase (no new pencil for you until you provide the worn-down stub of your previous pencil!).
I don't really understand your example.
If I have to spend time fumbling around with a stub of a pencil or spend my time looking for a lost good pencil instead of doing my job then profits of my employer will suffer because they will be spending money on me doing something other then what makes them money. Therefore in attempt to pursue profits it's important for them to make sure that I have the proper tools to get my job done in a efficient manner.
If I am a customer of a pencil maker and they have a attitude were I need to provide them remnants of my old pencil before they will sell me a new one at exorbitant prices then I'll just buy a pencil from a different company or use a pen. Anybody wanting to sell pencils to people need to make sure that they do it in a way that benefits their customers and pleases them. :)