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commentary

Is co-operation what we really need?

That bastion of corporate competition, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, has dared to suggest that co-operation might be more useful than competition in achieving desirable social outcomes in the supply chain. For example, you might have two health and safety standards from two companies each requiring a factory to have a fire extinguisher – but one at 50cm from the floor, another 75cm! This simply raises costs and the number of fire extinguishers. I wonder how far PriceWaterhouseCoopers thinks co-operation should go…

Categories
commentary

Externalising the Economist's Ethcs

The Economist is against CSR: the business of business is business and the pursuit of ethics is at best a distraction; what is ethical is market-driven behaviour. But markets are riddled with externalities – externalities are things which you don’t pay for, but get anyway. Some are good, some are bad, but there are very few markets free of them. So is it ethical to promote a free market system which is riddled with externalities? Is it ethical to sell something which is broken? The Economist thinks so.