A few weeks ago, I put the following on my Facebook page out of some combination of annoyance and amusement:
Apple’s market cap: 353 billion, and people are leaving flowers and notes for Steve Jobs at Apple stores.
Bank of America’s market cap: 62 billion, and people are marching on its offices in protest.
Capitalism- it can be done right, but most of you are doing it wrong. xoxo, econgirl
In retrospect, I didn’t really intend to single out Bank of America, I just needed to have a company to compare Apple to. My point was that, in a lot of cases, “doing well” and “doing good” (terms often used in the corporate social responsibility sphere) don’t have to be at odds with one another, since there’s nothing inherently evil about making a profit by creating products that people want to buy. (For example, I’m guessing I’m not the only one who wants to hug the people that sell me my morning coffee, even as I am handing over my hard-earned cash.) I finally got around to turning this idea into an actual article:
Newsworthy events of the last few weeks make for an interesting study in contrast. On one front, Apple Computer has a market capitalization of about $350 billion, and people left notes and gifts of admiration for its recently deceased founder, Steve Jobs. On another front, many financial institutions are concerned about declining profits and laying off workers, and people (many of the Apple supporters, in fact) are marching on Wall Street in protest of the exploitative potential of capitalism. The fact of the matter is that there’s both a good and a bad way to do capitalism, and people, perhaps without even realizing it, understand and appreciate the difference.
I can honestly say that I was surprised by the degree to which the outpouring of support for Steve Jobs made me think. Then again, I think it’s way too easy to forget that Steve Jobs made not only my iPad but also the Apple IIc that my parents bought me when I was in elementary school, and this latter item may have played a role in future life choices and whatnot. *looks at computer science degrees* As such, I felt it was only appropriate to pay my respects:
Thanks Steve…oh, and @#$! you, Bank of America. 🙂