Occupy Wall Street and economics

A bit of Economics 101 needed

A response by John Dawson to the anti-capitalist “occupations” of city squares around the world gives a clear explanation of the confusion about corporate greed and the demand for “giving back” to society. The article explores the concept of “corporate social responsibility” — aka the triple bottom line —  and why it is based on a confused notion of how a capitalist economy works.

Capitalists don’t take their wealth from society – they make it. Consequently they have no “corporate social responsibility” to give their wealth back to society. The billions Steve Jobs left in Apple’s coffers were not taken from anyone. Not from Intel who supplied him silicon chips – that company made more money by supplying him than it could have without him. Not from his employees – they made more wages than they could have without him. Not from his customers – they got more bangs for their buck than they could have without him. Not from Apple shareholders – they made more from their investment than they could have without him. And certainly not from the protesters who wile away their occupation of Wall Street and our CBDs listening to their iPods and chatting on their iPhones.

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