In Other (Non-depressing) News: Missing Boy Found, Unharmed

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Image by © Caterina Bernardi/Corbis

Summer health scares, the oil spill, war crimes trials. Ugh. How about some good news for a change?

Well, here it is from A 5-year-old boy in Oregon, who had been missing since Wednesday, was found safe Thursday and returned to his parents.

Isaak Benjamin Glenn was camping with family friends in a state park when one of the children he’d been playing with noticed he had disappeared late Wednesday afternoon. His parents and police were notified and spent the night searching for the boy.

It wasn’t until Thursday afternoon, after two men driving on a nearby dirt road spotted him, that Isaak was returned to his parents.

Despite being missing overnight, Isaak is reportedly no worse for the wear, minus a few scratches.

So there’s your dose of good news for the day. Now have you heard about Oregon shutting down a little girl’s lemonade stand?


Profit is absolutely essential for a business to be sustainable.

The main issue with wages is that businesses like to optimize in every area possible. If a company can operate the same whether paying employees a fair wage or nearly zero in wages then it will likely choose the near zero option. One reason why employers don't care about people is because there is often an abundance of laborers and the employer has its pick of the litter. Too many people and too much competition in any job market creates a situation where each individual worker is worth less.

Until global populations balance out with labor demand there will always be areas where employers can go to find cheap labor.

An employer that pays workers living wages is definitely a good thing for society, but trying to get approval from shareholders only interested in money will be tough. Even privately owned companies have this dilemma because seeing profits increase is desirable even if some workers suffer.


You guys are suckers and you don't even know it.  The writer says IF companies like Apple were actually trying to save the world rather than pursuing profits, they would fail.  When companies behave like this it is because their customers want them to.They view these charitable expenses exactly like any other marketing expense.If it generates enough profit to offset the expense , it's worthwhile; otherwise it's not.

When a company pays what appears to be an above market wage to its low level employees, it is not acting out of some responsibility to pay a "living wage"; it is because the company wants higher quality employees, less turnover, etc.It is a calculated decision designed to help the bottom line with no regard at all to the employees.


Like a channel surfing into a low budget reality show, there's a sort of guilty pleasure reading the natterings of a glassy-eyed ideologue like Nick Gillespie. By Mr. Gillespie's "reasoning" – Reason being a word he has personally done a great deal to corrupt — Apple and Chipotle, two of the most successful enterprises in the country, are in danger of collapse because they choose to focus on anything longer term than their next quarterly statements. Apparently their only goal should be to pile up profits ad infinitum as the best way of "doing good" for society. By that kind of blinkered logic everything from corporate blood drives — time away from the desk! — to after work softball — someone could get hurt! (or have fun) — should be eliminated. No, the best way for Apple to help the world is to sit on $200.1 Billion in cash instead of only $200B. Apparently only then will Elysium be achieved! 

All that's missing from this dreck is the standard-shout out to the misanthropic ghost of Ayn Rand (But tip o' the hat for invoking John Mackey, truly Nick's fellow traveler in the narcissism of confusing personal interests for those of society.)

At a time when Apple is throwing off so much cash they literally do not know what to do with it, Gillespie takes time out of his busy life — so many Rand Paul and Ted Cruz profiles to write! — to criticize them for showing nominal leadership on climate change. Why, one might ask, doth Gillespie protest too much? Why the apropos-of-nothing diminishment of Bill (and Melinda) Gates sincere efforts to make the world a better place (for non-Gillespies)? 

The reason — there's that word again — is that Gillespie, like Sens. Paul and Cruz, like Mackey and the Kochs, and like thousands of constitution waving, tri-cornered hat wearing, spittle-flecked, bug-eyed, Medicare receiving anti-Obamacare protesters, lives in a fantasy world self-constructed through a process psychologists call "cognitive dissonance." The short version is that such people are like doomsday cultists, so attached to an obviously empirically false belief that they expend massive mental energy creating rococo rationalizations to maintain it. (I strongly recommend Ed Yong's 2010 Discover article, "When in Doubt, Shout!" for a clear take.) For Gillespie and his ilk, the very existence of a Bill Gates or a George Soros or even a Warren Buffett is a finger tapping on the bottom-most card of their precariously constructed house. 

As @CrysMarieCom correctly notes, Gillespie's "logic" is at best short-sighted and, from a historical point of view, is utterly at odds with the fact. First, multiple studies have consistently demonstrated that socially responsible business practices are a significant net positive for companies (as in all statistical measures, the results vary in individual cases). Second, one of the ironies of Libertarian "thinking" is the frequent harkening back to "the good old days" of the Laissez faire 19th century (also known in the US as the time of regular financial crises, robber barons and no penicillin). Here's the thing? In those halcyon days of yore companies WERE NOT OBSESSED with quarterly stock reports or even optimizing the bottom line! That entire construct came out of the rise of "business schools" (another deeply corrupted term) in the 1980s. Gillespie et al. might be better off wistfully yearning to live in Westeros. 

So... in closing, A Modest Proposal: Apple is sitting on hundreds of billions in cash and looking to do something for the betterment of society. Ardent libertarians believe we are on the tipping point to a socialist nightmare. Let's do an experiment and fix both problems! Apple can fund the creation of a base on the moon (preferably on the far side, name it Camp Gingrich) and we send all the John Galt's of the world (with their copies of The Fountainhead and their gold and their Bitcoins) there so they can implement their idealized Randian Dystopia™. After 50 years we check back with a "How's that working out for you?" message.


There are businesses that have one purpose only, the generation of profit at any expense (natural resources, health of the people who work there, quality-of-life where they conduct business i.e. polluting the land and water).  There are also businesses driven by a noble purpose that transcends profit and who realizing profit is a fuel for achieving that purpose.


This article grossly underestimates that often, putting people before profits does aid the bottom line. Several researchers have found that a company's financial value and reputation is positively affected by socially responsible behavior, thereby increasing profits. Moreover, companies who engage in profit driven business practices that completely disregard people and the planet are more likely to suffer negative perceptions and stock value. See here:

Long term (in other words - thinking beyond a quarterly report),  it pays to find "corporate shared value" between the private sector and communities/society. 


Once, American capitalists like Andrew Carnegie had a vision that reached beyond profits. They knew that society at large was indispensable and worthy of serious measures to improve it, by people with power and money. Now, our "leadership" class is riddled with narcissistic ignoramuses who think profit is all and the rest will take care of itself. They are busy destroying the society that nurtured them.

So kudos toCook, who has both talent and an education in more than a balance sheet.