November 21, 2011

Now, a Sermon -- For The Chior!

Et tu, Starbucks®?

I winced when I saw that my favorite multi-national corporate chain was accepting $5 donations to "promote jobs." I knew it would be goofy, but I didn't know what -- I figured they would hire some kids to sort their recycling and blow real hard at windmills or something.

But it's worse. It's the somewhat seriously good idea of micro-finance, perverted by removing its free market element. You take something that is half-good, and extirpate the good half!

The Mises Institute has the lowdown:

The $5 donation will help poor entrepreneurs start or maintain a business in typically underserved areas with the idea that this will help create or sustain small-business jobs. This sounds quite noble but mischaracterizes what jobs are and where they originate.

[Adam Stover] continues: "Furthermore, Opportunity Finance Network's website invests in businesses that are 'profitable, but not profit maximizing. They put the community first, not the shareholder.' Implicit in this statement is that turning a profit hurts someone, which is patently false. This is exactly what we as a society do not want."

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at November 21, 2011 2:11 PM

But it ain't gubmint cheese.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 21, 2011 3:12 PM

Nope, it's not even coerced. You make an argument I make frequently if not in that exact, dairy-infused locution.

But it perpetuates bad economic ideas. Can we agree on half-evil?

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2011 3:18 PM

Or -- keeping the dairy theme -- Half & Half evil?

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2011 6:27 PM

Misguided and feckless at best, evil at worst.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at November 22, 2011 9:29 AM | What do you think? [4]