Time has a long piece on corporate social responsibility (CSR) that pulls off our October cover debate among Whole Foods' John Mackey, Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, and Cypress Semiconductor CEO TJ Rodgers. A snippet from the end:
To Cypress's Rodgers, all this talk about purpose higher than profit also seems like a Trojan horse for the eventual piling on of top-down government controls on commerce. The virtues touted by CSR, in his opinion, come just as easily if markets are left to run freely. Rodgers points to the initial public offering last month of Cypress's solar-power subsidiary, SunPower, and asserts that investors chipped in not to make an environmental statement but because they believe clean solar power is a potentially profitable enterprise. He is running a business, he notes, whose motivation is profit alone. In his mind, the long-term pursuit of profit necessitates socially responsible practices. "We practice and have always practiced good environmental standards because it's good business," says Rodgers. "The idea that you can pollute and get away with it is wrong. It doesn't work. It's bad business."
Whole thing here.
Reason's debate is online here.