Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Popes Against the Jews: Providing a Path to the Holocaust

Consider the following quotes referring to Jews.

“The Jews—eternal insolent children, obstinate, dirty, thieves, liars, ignoramuses, pests and the scourge of those near and far….They managed to lay their hands on ….all public wealth….and virtually alone they took control not only of all the money….but of the law itself in those countries where they have been allowed to hold public offices.”

“The whole sinew of modern Judaism—that is of the antisocial, antihumanitarian, and above all anti-Christian law that the Jews now observe believing that they are obeying mosaic law—consists essentially in that fundamental dogma according to which the Jew cannot and should not ever recognize as his fellow human being anyone other than a Jew.  All others, whether Christian or non-Christian, must be considered, by every good Jew observing his law,….as hateful enemies, to be persecuted and, if possible, exterminated….from the face of the earth.”

“….brotherhood and peace were and are merely pretexts to enable them to prepare—with the destruction of Christianity, if possible, and with the undermining of the Christian nations—the messianic reign that they believe the Talmud promises them.”

“….if this foreign Jewish race is left too free, it immediately becomes the persecutor, oppressor, tyrant, thief, and devastator of the countries where it lives.” 

“The whole Jewish race….is conspiring to achieve this reign over all the world’s peoples.”

“….the Jews truly do murder Christians to use their blood in their detestable Talmudic and rabbinical rites….”

“Content yourselves….with the Christians’ money, but stop shedding and sucking their blood.”

One might suspect that these are rants issued by Hitler or one of his Nazi henchmen.  However, that would be very wrong.  David I.Kertzer provides these quotes in his book The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism.  They were taken from articles written for Civiltà cattolica, the unofficial medium by which the Vatican disseminated its views, and for L’Osservatore romano, the Vatican’s own publication.

“Five days before each issue [Civiltà cattolica] came out, the journal director went out to the Vatican and, up until Pius XII, in the mid-twentieth century, was often received by the Pope himself, who—along with the secretary of state—reviewed and approved the contents of the upcoming issue.”

What are included above are relatively mild examples of anti-Jewish statements that were published.  These were written towards the end of the nineteenth century.  They represent views the Popes were propagating then as they aligned themselves philosophically with a host of anti-Semitic movements that were springing up across Europe.

The persecution of the Jews by the Catholic Church is not well-understood by modern Christians.  The truth would seem incredible given modern sensibilities.  Kertzer must describe that truth in order to progress to his ultimate goal: the assessment of degree to which the Catholic Popes contributed to the environment which made possible the holocaust.

Kertzer is careful to disassociate the actions of the Popes as individuals from the actions of the Catholic Church as a whole.  While the official policy could be defined in the Vatican, it could not constrain the sentiments and emotions of the many ecclesiastics working in the field.

Kertzer was assisted in his research by the decision of the Vatican to open many of its files to outside researchers.  He acknowledged the generosity of this move given the fact that his work was aimed at a critical assessment of the Vatican’s actions.

The historical relationship between Christians and Jews is complex and long.  In simple form, the nascent Christian Church found it could not survive as a creation of Jews because the majority of Jews denied its validity.  To avoid the embarrassment of being shunned by its natural constituency, the Christians had to separate themselves from the Jews and become a religion that would appeal to gentiles.  As in any such divorce, the argument over right and wrong became one of good versus evil.  To the Christians, the Jews went from misguided brethren to tools of Satan.  While always trying to convert the Jews to Christianity, by torture if necessary, the Jews who failed to convert were considered a danger to Christianity that must be controlled and isolated.

Kertzer focuses on the events of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Over much of that period the Popes were not only spiritual leaders but heads of government in the regions consisting of the Papal States.  The actions taken as heads of state are clear indicators of goals and intentions.

As the nineteenth century approached, laws regarding the treatment of Jews were defined by several Papal pronouncements.  The first was issued by Pope Paul IV who came to power in 1555.

“One of his first acts as pope was to issue a bull that rescinded all of the Jews’ previous privileges, forbade them from engaging in any occupation other than selling rags, or from owning any land or houses, and ordered that they be confined in a ghetto….surrounded by walls that closed them off from the Christian population, with gates that locked them in at night.”

Such provisions were alternately relaxed and strengthened by succeeding Popes.  Kertzer’s story begins with the reign of Pius VI who came to power in 1775 and who would live long enough to be buffeted by the events set in motion by the French Revolution.  Pius VI would insist that the restrictions on Jews be administered and strengthened and issued a pronouncement on the subject in 1775.

“Everyone was able to tell who was a Jew, because, in another sixteenth-century papal provision reiterated in the 1775 edict, Jews were required to wear a special badge on their clothes.  ‘Jews of both sexes must wear a yellow-colored sign, by which they are distinguished from others, and they must always wear it at all times and places, both in the ghettoes and when they are outside them.’  The men were to wear the yellow sign on their hat, and women on their uncovered hair.  To prevent the Jews from giving themselves airs, they were forbidden from riding in carriages or buggies.”

“Jews were not allowed to keep shops or warehouses outside the ghetto and their social isolation was to be strictly enforced.  ‘The Jews may not play, nor eat, nor drink, nor have any other familiarity or conversation with Christians, nor Christians with Jews, whether in buildings, houses, or vineyards, nor on the street, or in inns, taverns, stores or elsewhere’.”

The French Revolution unleashed pent-up desires for increased personal freedom and the Jews gradually gained more opportunity to participate in society throughout Europe.  It also unleashed the Napoleonic Wars.  Napoleon twice invaded and took control of the Papal States and sent the Pope fleeing.  He also opened the ghetto gates and set the Jews free.  When he was finally defeated and the Pope regained control of the lands he ruled, he had a choice to make.  He could accept the inevitable and relax the constraints imposed on the Jews, as had happened in other countries, or he could reestablish the old rules and attempt to continue as before.  Many in the Church argued for the former path; the majority of the Church leadership argued for the latter.  Ultimately, Pius VII concluded that though society might change, God-given religious directives could not.  The original restrictions were reinstated.

“….his own view of the pope’s duty to treat the Jews as forever degraded, perpetually condemned for the killing of Christ, combined with the near-universal urgings of the cardinals around him, made him unwilling to take that fateful step.  Had he acted differently….the entire history of the Church’s relations with the Jews over the next century and a half might have followed a different course.”

The “old” restrictions could be traced back to religious origins.  As the nineteenth century played out and ran into the twentieth, the Jews would be subject to what Kertzer refers to as “modern” anti-Semitism.  As a clearly identifiable minority with a “history” of evil deeds—conveniently provided by Christian clergy—it was but a small reach to attribute other societal ills to the Jews as the tumult of modernization proceeded.  The Vatican’s campaign against modernity was particularly focused on the evils of socialistic, and eventually, communistic, philosophies which they viewed as “Godless” threats to religion.  They associated the Jews with these and other efforts they found inimical.

The quotes listed at the beginning target Jews as a social problem rather than as merely a religious problem.  They are cast as unpatriotic citizens who are part of an international conspiracy to first control individual countries and then the world.  Along the way they were to become wealthy at the expense of the non-Jews and destroy the Christian faith.

These descriptions of the Jews were becoming part of radical political movements in European countries.  The Vatican’s publications provided valuable support for those political activities.  When these political parties came to power in Germany and Italy they could limit controversy by modeling their racial policies on those of the Catholic Church.

“….they could only exploit the Church in this fashion because the Church had indeed helped lay the groundwork for the Fascist racial laws.  Decade after decade, forces close to the Vatican had denounced the Jews as evil conspirators against the public good.  Decade after decade saw the Vatican-linked press lament the baleful effects of the emancipation of the Jews.  For decades, Church authorities had warned of the harm done by giving the Jews equal rights.  For decades, the Italian Catholic press had denounced the Jews’ disproportionate influence in Italy.  After all this, it should hardly be surprising that Mussolini’s anti-Jewish campaign met with little resistance from Italian Catholics.”

Even more ominously, the Vatican made it clear to civil governments that they had the right to address the problem of Jews in any way they saw fit.  Kertzer provides an apt quote from a sermon given by the Bishop of Cremona in 1939 as Mussolini was implementing his racial laws against the Jews.

“Only a few weeks after the second wave of Italian racial laws was announced, the bishop told his congregation: ‘The Church has never denied the state’s right to limit or to impede the economic, social, and moral influence of the Jews, when this has been harmful to the nation’s tranquility and welfare.  The Church has never said or done anything to defend the Jews, the Judaics, or Judaism.’  The sermon received broad attention, and was quoted in the Vatican’s own Osservatore romano.”

Even as the Jews of Rome were being rounded up for transport to the extermination camps by the Germans, Pius XII chose to not make an expression of displeasure.  Kertzer had access to the notes made by Cardinal Maglione, the Vatican’s secretary of state, on a meeting with the German ambassador Enst von Weizsäcker.  The Cardinal asked for leniency for the Jews and said the Pope was distressed by these activities.  Weizsäcker asked what might happen if the actions against the Jews continued.  Maglione replied:

“The Holy See would not like to be constrained to have to pronounce its words of disapproval.”

Weizsäcker told Maglione that his orders came from Hitler himself, perhaps suggesting that someone of equal stature, such as the Pope himself, should protest.  The Cardinal did not rise to that bait and instead reminded the ambassador that his plea was based on the ambassador’s “human sentiments,” and described his follow-up comments as follows:

“I wanted to remind him that the Holy See was, as he had himself noted, most prudent in not giving the German people the impression of having done or wanting to do the least thing against Germany during a terrible war.”

The transport of Jews continued and so did the silence of the Vatican.

After the war the role of the Vatican came under criticism.  John Paul II was moved to appoint a commission to “determine what responsibility, if any, the Church bore for the slaughter of millions of European Jews during World War II.”  After eleven years of deliberation, the commission reported in 1998 that the Church bore no responsibility.

“Efforts to deny Catholic Church involvement in the rise of modern anti-Semitism have made much of the presumed lack of a racial element in whatever hostility the church had directed against the Jews in the past.  As embraced in the 1998 Vatican Commission report on the Shoah, this argument consists of three parts: (1) One of the defining features of modern anti-Semitism is the view that the Jews constitute a separate, and inferior, race; (2) the Church has always condemned racial thinking, for it goes against the Church’s universal mission; and so (3) the Church could not have been involved in the development of modern ant-Semitism.”

Destroying that feeble defense was Kertzer’s goal, and he does a masterful job in attaining it.  The few quotes presented at the beginning of this piece clearly indicate the Church was singling out Jews as a separate race with extremely undesirable characteristics.

The Vatican would not accept responsibility for the Holocaust, but it would eventually apologize for the harm it had done the Jews.

The subject of the book was the activities of the Catholic Church and it leaders, but it should not be assumed that their actions and sentiments were unique.  Kertzer reminds us of a quote from Martin Luther.

“In his 1543 essay On the Jews and Their Lies, Luther branded the Jews a ‘plague of disgusting vermin’ who sought world domination.  He urged that their books, synagogues, schools, and houses be burned.”

And we should also note that the Jews themselves are capable of becoming as nasty as anyone else when they are in the majority and hold power.

Kertzer’s intent was to reveal the truth of what had occurred because there is a lesson to be learned.  He summarizes:

“It is an age-old story of a powerful religion or a powerful people that believes in its own divinely ordained position as sole possessor of the Truth and repository of all that is good, and pitted against it, a despised minority, the Other, the agent of the devil.  It should not have taken the Holocaust to teach us how dangerous such views of the world can be, but, since the destruction of the Jewish millions, we owe it to the survivors and ourselves to learn its lesson.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Does Uber Possess Viable Business and Social Models?

Uber is a company that provides a platform whereby people in need of a vehicle to take them somewhere can be matched up with people who have a car and are willing to drive someone to a location for a fee.  Uber’s drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees and generally provide the vehicle, car insurance, gasoline, and toll fees; they pay their own payroll taxes and receive no benefits.  Uber’s current model uses a pricing system that increases rates when demand is high; it splits the cash flow with its drivers, taking 20 percent for itself.

Uber provides direct competition for taxi services in the cities in which it operating.  Supporters argue that Uber can provide more efficient service than the highly regulated taxi model.  Critics point out that Uber’s business model may not be sustainable, and its impact on society may not be beneficial.

It is appropriate for a city’s taxi service to be considered a form of public transportation.  History has clearly demonstrated that there is a need for such a service.  The fact that taxi operators have been so highly regulated for so many years suggests that the service is critical to the life of the municipality.  It also suggests that considerations other than supply and demand have been important to city planners.

An ideal taxi service would provide drivers with enough income to live a decent life.  It would provide enough vehicles to meet the demand, and it would charge fares that are affordable to a significant fraction of the population.  If too many vehicles are available, unoccupied cars would be clogging the streets and an individual driver would earn less.  If there are too few cars, wait times for service become intolerable and customers unhappy.  Fares have to be consistent with supply of vehicles and demand for their service if everything is to remain in balance.  This system has been in place for the better part of a century in our cities and has produced a stable transportation model.

The issue is whether or not Uber makes our urban areas better places to live.  That is far from obvious.

The competition from Uber will drive down the income of taxi drivers and could eliminate some of those jobs.  Uber would, in effect, be replacing permanent, full-time workers with a living wage by a herd of day laborers whose income will be erratic and most likely driven down over time.  If Uber is successful it will attract competitors—and markets will do what markets do.

Jeff Bercovoci has provided an excellent discussion of Uber’s future prospects in an article for Forbes: The Bear Case For Uber (Yes, There Is One.  He does not claim to know what the future holds, but he allows as how it could be considerably less rosy than the Uber leaders now expect.

One of the problems with Uber’s business model is that the price for entering into competition with it is so very low.

“The same innovations that made it possible — GPS-enabled mobile devices, smart utilization algorithms, frictionless digital payment and social authentication — make it possible for anyone who wants to build a platform that would do much the same thing, without taking 20% of the proceeds.”

Uber is already beset by competitors trying to undercut it.

“The price war that Uber’s locked into now shows what happens when the marginal cost of providing a service shrinks to insignificance, says Jeremy Rifkin, an economics lecturer and author of “The Third Industrial Revolution.” ‘As you move toward zero marginal cost, the margins aren’t there for the profits,’ says Rifkin. ‘You’re going to have cooperatives coming in, and you’re going to see governments coming in like they are with bike sharing’.”

Bercovici provides an overview of the current competition.

“Even in the let’s-disrupt-transportation church, Uber has no shortage of competitors pecking away at it from every angle. The biggest, Lyft, competes primarily in the arena of low-cost service, but in May it added a premium tier, Lyft Plus, challenging for the market where Uber makes its biggest profits. There are services that specialize in traditional taxis (Hailo, Flywheel), services for riders willing to share the backseat with strangers (Hitch), services for those who just want a cheap car for a few hours but no driver (Getaround, Relayrides) or a driver but no car (Redcap). And of course there are the traditional taxi and car-service companies and rental providers.”

Price competition is already a serious concern.

“Lyft president John Zimmer says his company is committed to being the cheapest option for riders; in order to keep drivers happy as well, it has had to forego taking any cut of fares, subsisting on the $333 million in venture funding it’s raised. To undercut Lyft in its home market, Uber recently dropped fares on UberX by 25% while promising to keep drivers’ take-home intact. Not only does Uber make nothing on those rides; it pays the drivers a bonus on top of the fare. Both companies say any sacrifice on their part is temporary, but in this environment, it’s hard to imagine Uber will be able to impose its 20% cut of fares consistently, especially with low-cost UberX growing at five times the rate of the premium tiers and new entrants popping up all the time.”

Perhaps the greatest concern is that governments will step in and insist that Uber and its competitors live under the same rules as taxi operators.

“Across North America and Europe, taxi and limo drivers’ unions have been lobbying legislators to regulate or outlaw peer-to-peer services, and occasionally succeeding. “What they’re trying to do is get all their competitors to have to incur the same costs they do,” says Samuel Staley, who teaches economics and urban planning as director of Florida State University’s DeVoe Moore Center. One industry group, the Taxi, Limousine and Paratransit Association, claims that 30% to 40% of a traditional taxi’s operating expenses consist of regulatory costs Uber is now avoiding, especially primary commercial liability insurance. (Uber requires drivers to have their own insurance, although it does provide secondary coverage for certain situations.)”

Some cities have withheld permission for Uber to operate; others have banned it.  The threat of regulatory controls will likely increase if Uber becomes more of a city presence.

Uber has labor problems to contend with as well.  It seems to prefer drivers who are willing to work full-time and who consider driving to be a career.  If that is its goal then it will have to recognize its drivers as actual employees who will have demands.

“….in a handful of cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Atlanta, drivers are attempting to organize. “The company is somewhat structured not to take any input from drivers,” says Daniel Ajema, a co-founder of Seattle’s App-Based Drivers Association, which claims more than 150 members. At the top of his group’s list of demands is an appeals process for drivers who’ve been kicked off the platform for low ratings. Bargaining down that 20% commission rate is another priority. ‘We buy the car, we maintain the car, we pay for gas,’ Ajema says. ‘At this point in time, it’s becoming unreasonable to maintain the business.’

“As long as it has the most passengers to dole out, Uber will have the upper hand. But the drivers might have some leverage of their own: While they’re classified independent contractors, allowing Uber to avoid social security taxes and health insurance, it skirts a line when it requires them to drive full-time hours or tells them where to troll for fares. Those are the sorts of criteria the Department of Labor use to determine whether a worker is truly independent.” 

The leaders of Uber seem to be confident that they will not only survive, but will thrive in this environment.

“Uber recently raised $1.2 billion at a valuation of $18 billion, making it, on paper, one of the world’s biggest transportation companies, more valuable than such venerable competitors as Hertz, Avis and United Airlines.”

Some think this just the beginning.

“Benchmark Capital’s Bill Gurley, who sits on its board, argues that the company could easily attain a $150 billion valuation, and his fellow director Bill Maris has tossed out $200 billion.”

And why is Gurley so confident?

“Because, he says, so many of his peers agree with him. That $1.2 billion raise was the result of ‘the most structured financing process I’ve seen for a private company. The collective wisdom of the best investors who had access to a lot of data had one conclusion, and at the end of the day, that’s the best way we know to judge valuation’.”

To which Bercovici provided this apt retort:

“Making ever-bigger bets on the premise that so many other investors can’t be wrong — that’s a pretty good definition of a bubble, whatever Uber’s future holds.”

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Incorporating Social Responsibilities: B Corporations

Since the 1970s, it has been standard to assume that corporations have only one responsibility—maximizing financial returns to shareholders.  This notion is so firmly imbedded in national discourse that it is assumed that this responsibility to investors is legally binding.  However, that may not be the case.

Lynn Stout argues that this interpretation is not based in law, but in what has become tradition.  In fact, the current tradition is quite different from what it was at the time corporations first became legal entities.  Stout’s arguments are presented in her short book The Shareholder Value Myth.  Her interpretation is discussed in The Legal Basis for Corporate Irresponsibility.

The most fundamental responsibility of a corporation is to obey the laws of the state in which it is formed and to obey the charter under which it is incorporated.  For reasons of flexibility, both laws and charters are kept vague.

Since the state agrees to allow the corporation to exist it is not too much of a stretch to assume that the state viewed the corporation as being of value to the state; and that a sort of partnership exists in which the state provides legal and physical protection for the corporation in return for some social benefit.  In this view, the state joins employees, creditors, and shareholders as stakeholders.

Stout provides a short history of how attitudes toward corporate responsibility have varied over the years.  She describes a long period in which the broader view of social responsibility described above contended with the more narrow interpretation giving dominance to shareholder value.  Surprisingly, she states that the former view was dominant until the 1970s.

She attributes the “rise of shareholder primacy” to a campaign by conservative economists who asserted that the proper role of a corporation should be based on economic principles.  Since economists tend to formulate economic principles that are consistent with their political views, their interpretation raised shareholders above all other stakeholders and recognized them as “owners” of the corporation.  Milton Friedman made the most effective public declaration on the matter when he claimed that the only social responsibility of a corporation was to increase its profits.

This assumption of shareholder supremacy is viewed as a source of a number of corporate governance issues.  The most serious involves the incentive to base decisions on short-term share price considerations rather than on the long-term health of the business.  Stout derived great pleasure from quoting Jack Welch, the respected former CEO of GE.

“Welch observed in a Financial Times interview about the 2008 financial crisis that ‘strictly speaking, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world’.”

The dumbness of the idea seems to have become more obvious as fewer traditional public corporations are being formed.  There is a preference shown for various types of partnerships and restricted shareholder models, presumably to avoid the pitfalls associated with shareholder supremacy.

Given this history, it is exciting to learn that the notion of corporations having a responsibility to society is making a comeback.  A number of states have created the option for companies to incorporate as Benefit corporations, or, more familiarly, as B corporations.  Wikipedia provides this description:

“A benefit corporation or B corporation is a corporate form available in certain US States, designed for for-profit entities that wish to consider society and the environment in addition to profit in their decision making process. Benefit corporations differ from traditional corporations in regards to their purpose, accountability and transparency. The purpose of a benefit corporation includes creating general public benefit, which is defined as a material positive impact on society and the environment. A benefit corporation’s directors operate the business with the same authority as in a traditional corporation, but where in a traditional corporation shareholders with proper standing judge the company's financial performance, here they judge qualitative performance based on the benefit corporation's stated goals. Shareholders in a benefit corporation determine if the benefit corporation has achieved a material positive impact. If a dispute occurs it is up to the courts to determine if the benefit corporation did achieve a material positive impact. Additionally, through the issuance of an annual benefit report to the public, consumers are provided information to determine if they agree or disagree with the benefit corporation’s methods of achieving a material positive impact on society and the environment.”

“The additional accountability provisions found in a benefit corporation require the director and officers to consider the impact of their decisions not only on shareholders but also on society and the environment. Benefit corporations also provide shareholders with a private right of action, called a benefit enforcement proceeding, that they can use to enforce the company’s mission when the business has failed to pursue or create general public benefit.”

A B corporation sets out to both make a profit and to perform some function of direct benefit to society.  Shareholder supremacy continues to reign, but the shareholders are now bound to insure that the company’s directors meet both fiscal and social responsibilities.  There even exists an organization that grades and ranks companies for their social contributions.  More can be learned here and here.

James Surowiecki discusses B corporations in an article in The New Yorker: Companies with Benefits.

“There are now more than a thousand B corps in the U.S., including Patagonia, Etsy, and Seventh Generation. And in the past four years twenty-seven states have passed laws allowing companies to incorporate themselves as ‘benefit corporations’….”

 Interestingly, he concludes that there are benefits to incorporating in this manner that go beyond the reward of having performed a beneficial service to society.  He uses the eyeglass-maker Warby Parker to illustrate his points.

“The company’s approach—selling stylish specs at affordable prices—seems obvious, but, in an industry where brand-name glasses cost two or three hundred dollars a pair, it counts as revolutionary. The company has a similarly unconventional approach to its corporate identity. Soon after starting Warby, the founders made it a ‘B corporation.’ B corporations are for-profit companies that pledge to achieve social goals as well as business ones….Warby’s production and distribution is carbon-neutral, and, for every pair of glasses it sells, it distributes another in the developing world, in partnership with a nonprofit called VisionSpring.”

What other benefits are obtained by a company like Warby Parker?

“Being a B corp also insulates a company against pressure from investors….Patagonia doesn’t need to worry about investors’ opposing its environmental work, because that work is simply part of the job. For similar reasons, benefit corporations are far less vulnerable to hostile takeovers. When Ben & Jerry’s was acquired by Unilever, in 2000, its founders didn’t want to sell, but they believed that fiduciary duty required them to. A benefit corporation would have had an easier time staying independent.”

“To a free-marketeer, a B corp is just a way to waste shareholder money on do-gooding whims. Yet Warby Parker has had no trouble raising money from investors. And Dave Gilboa, another Warby co-founder, told me that, at the operational level, having a social mission can offer distinct advantages. It’s an important way for a company to attract and retain talented employees. Survey data show that workers—especially young ones—want to work for socially conscious companies, and will take less compensation in exchange for a greater sense of purpose.”

Those who wish to provide a benefit to society can often deliver that benefit on a larger scale by operating in a for-profit mode than they could with a strictly non-profit approach.

Surowiecki reminds us that having profitable, socially conscious corporations is not exactly a revolutionary new concept.

“Yet the desire to balance profit and purpose is arguably a return to the model that many American companies once followed. Henry Ford declared that, instead of boosting dividends, he’d rather use the money to build better cars and pay better wages. And Johnson & Johnson’s credo, written in 1943, stated that the company’s ‘first responsibility’ was not to investors but to doctors, nurses, and patients.”

He finishes on this high note:

“The rise of B corps is a reminder that the idea that corporations should be only lean, mean, profit-maximizing machines isn’t dictated by the inherent nature of capitalism, let alone by human nature. As individuals, we try to make our work not just profitable but also meaningful. It may be time for more companies to do the same.”

Lets Talk Books And Politics - Blogged