chapter  2
12 Pages

The Values-Centered Entrepreneur

Well, the purpose of our book is not to fuel another debate on profit maximization versus corporate social responsibility. Numerous other books and articles have discussed this issue at length. Nonetheless, before moving on, we should mention that most observers today, economists included, acknowledge that the capitalistic market does not work as perfectly as Adam Smith imagined. As champions of capitalism, Friedman and Smith had very optimistic views of the world and believed that efficient markets would create wealth that would work its way through the system and eventually solve the great social problems of the time. Today, it is more obvious that their generalizations about the efficient markets do not apply in all circumstances. As Muhammad Yunus, a trained economist, founder of Grameen Bank and Nobel Laureate, has observed, “The conventional thinking that capitalism breeds wealth creators and competitors who spread that wealth by creating jobs and opportunities for the good of societies has not worked out very well for the majority of the world.”4 Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, concurs, saying that although capitalization has benefited the lives of billions, “it has left out billions more.”5 Additionally, it appears that corporations are unable to deal with some of the issues that affect their very existence, such as global warming and ecosystem decline.