The example in my mind is an entire Myth book where the heroes go on a huge adventure trying to recapture a fugitive because they have been deemed "responsible" for its escape. After many hardships, they succeed and, while resting at home, find out that the fine for failure was, like $50.
The point being: figure out what the cost of failure is before spending an infinite amount on success.
For corporations, they are obligated to make a business decision which maximizes net profit; hence paying a $10,000 fine (if they get caught) rather than spend $50,000 cleaning up. They are not evil, just playing the game as we have defined it.
For consumers, it might be paying a little more for an appliance rather than spending lots of time researching the best possible deal, or risking an unknown brand or DIY solution. It is trading extra money for time and assurance.