Viewpoint: Is the Business World All About Greed?
By Nicholas Kristof
When I visit university campuses, I’m periodically asked if students who seek jobs in the business world are immoral, money-grubbing sellouts.
I don’t think they are, for businesses can be a hugely important force for progress. Can be, but usually aren’t. Swirling in the air here in Davos at the World Economic Forum, along with snowflakes, is an important discussion of how companies must do far more to benefit the 99 percent, not just the 1 percent. Enriching shareholders is not enough.
We interrupt this column for a paragraph of cynicism. Tycoons always claim to cherish ordinary people’s best interests even as they rip them off. American tobacco executives have killed more people than Stalin managed to, and pharma executives recklessly peddling opioids may have killed as many people as Colombian drug lords, yet these business leaders sometimes seem to get moist-eyed describing the work they do.
Photo courtesy of John Twohig.