Small Change: Why Business Won't Save the World

January 15, 2010 | A Touch of Grey |

Why doesn't business fix itself instead of meddling with others where it has no comparative advantage?

Why am I so critical of the philanthrocapitalist revolution? First, it erodes the independence of non-profits and makes it more difficult for them to hold business and government accountable for their actions, or push them to do the things they don't want to do. Second, it threatens the distinctive values of civil society which are based on cooperation and commitment, not the ethics of the marketplace, values that have spurred the creation of social movements from the abolition of slavery to pro-democracy protests in Iran. And third, it privatizes the way we solve collective problems and gives too much power to those who have little or no accountability to the public. That's got to be bad for democracy. It's great that business has a social conscience, but that doesn't give them any right to decide how our schools should be reformed.