Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wall Street Philantropy

"Don't get us wrong. Corporate philanthropy is a positive thing, and many businesses are a force for good in their communities through voluntary charitable efforts. Their employees and customers expect it, and the market, too, often encourages it. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has trumpeted the cause of CSR, which just happens to boost his brand of organic food stores. Starbucks may sell "fair trade" coffee, but that also allows it to charge $2.70 a cup for a tall latte.

But the most important way most companies serve their communities is by creating jobs and contributing to economic growth. The late Nobel economist Milton Friedman once argued that the social responsibility of a firm is to make a profit. A corporation, after all, is just a legal designation; it's individuals, not paper firms, who have moral responsibilities." (thanks Deborah)

The WSJ's attack on Indonesia's decision to impose corporate social responsibility on corporation using natural resources. What do you expect, it's the WSJ after all.

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