Are Companies Like Target Giving Away Too Much To Charity?
Society has an expectation that people or businesses who are successful “give something back” for the “greater good.” For that reason, individuals and businesses like to make a big show of their charitable efforts. Case in point, retail giant Target is proud of the fact that they’re “giving back” an average of $3 million per week to the communities they operate in.
That’s admirable, but is it really the best way to help those communities? Rather than giving away $3 million to charity, wouldn’t it be better to lower prices and/or pay higher wages?
Let’s examine the idea at the root of all this, which is that successful businesses/individuals have a moral obligation to give away some of their wealth for charity. That expectation is based on the assumption that the accumulation of the wealth comes at the expense of other people, which is not an economically sound notion. In a free market, wealth is accumulated through the mutually beneficial exchange of goods and services.
So keeping that in mind, wouldn’t it be better for companies like Target to “give back” by paying higher wages? Or hiring more workers? Or helping to lower the cost of living in a community by charging lower prices?
The assumption making profits isn’t helping people is wrong. The only way an organization or an individual can profit in a free market is by engaging in enterprises that employ people to provide other people with goods and services they want.
Making profits, and engaging in commerce, is the most charitable thing any person or organization could do.Tags: charity, free enterprise, profits