Just finished an article that made me want to take a shot gun to my computer. Or at least do this:
But that would be an overreaction on an epic scale. It’s obviously not my computer’s fault that people are boneheaded. So what was it that made me want to assault my hardware?
There is a pervasive, damaging concept in the world today: profits are evil and contrary to the public good.
In most people’s mind it seems that you can either be successful, or you can be kind.
You can either make money or open orphanages for puppies.
You can either buy horns and a pitch fork made by Prada, or you can be virtuous and broke.
This is bull shit. It’s so much bull shit in fact, that I’m not going to disguise the word “shit” with “special characters” ($%&#). It’s wrong and it’s evil.
The world is not made up of either Gordon Gekkos or Mother Theresas.
The world is actually made up of people like Madam C. J. Walker, the first self-made millionaire and philanthropist in America. Walker couldn’t have grown her business to be a millionaire and help others become self-reliant if she didn’t make a profit.
It’s made up of people like Lauren Bush Lauren, who could have sailed along in life with the wind of her family name but instead created a profitable business that supports a foundation that fights hunger worldwide with a bit of help from corporate partners like Target, shoppers like me, and you guess it… profits.
There’s people like Muhammad Yunus who won the freakin’ Nobel Peace Prize because he figured out that profits are necessary to aid the most vulnerable in society, empower women globally, and eliminate poverty.
Let me spell it out for you:
No profits = no businesses. No businesses = no jobs. No jobs = no salaries. No salaries = no income taxes and no property taxes (because you can’t have a mortgage without a salary). No taxes = no schools, no police and fire services, no military, no government subsidized insurance policies, no social security, no food stamps, no construction of roads or parks, no public libraries or museums – I could go on.
And so I will, no profits = no charitable contributions. No foundations supporting good causes. No mission trips. No scholarships. No grants for medical research and no development of new drug therapies to cure diseases. No books to educate or entertain. No food (unless your really into the whole hunter/gather thing).
Nothing, nada, zilch, goose egg.
Profits are good. Profits are necessary. Profits enable every dream, every hope, every advancement, innovation and the capabilities of every single human life.
Anyone who says that profits are evil is either an idiot or a hypocrite, or both.
You may be wondering, “why is she so fired up about this?”
I’m so fired up about this because there is an entire generation of people who think that not only is better to work solely for “social good,” but that working for profit is evil.
It’s so narrow minded and short sighted. And so many young people will close themselves off from the world of potential good they can create by going into business and becoming an entrepreneur because they think they’ll be better people for going into public service or the nonprofit sector.
Don’t get me wrong, doing good things like working for a non profit is good; nothing wrong with it. But so often the perspective is that if one thing is good, the other must be bad. And nothing could be further from the truth. Both are good, and in my opinion, it’s better to produce profits and contribute to society on many levels rather than merely one level.
Think about it, a profitable business provides not only the needed goods or services to it’s customers (a.k.a. society), but it also employs people (a.k.a. society), pays taxes (a.k.a. society) and that’s before profits. After profits, a business can invest to expand their business (and therefore influence on society further), spend money on things like a home (providing more taxes) and groceries and clothing (enabling profits and society good to expand exponentially), education for their kids who’re going to college to be doctors (and then healing society), and the profits can be donated to charities spreading even more good.
To the young person thinking that they must avoid the business world in order to do good, I have some questions for you before you eschew profits:
On an annual basis, how much money do you need to support a cause you deeply care about?
On an annual basis, how much money do you need to live the life you want?
How can you make that much money?
What else would you do if you made more than enough money to live and support that cause?
How many people and/or causes can be helped by going into the business world?
From all I’ve seen, kids are not asked these questions. And that’s why I’m so fired up about this. Now excuse me, I need to go make more profits.