Posted by: irreparabiletempus | February 6, 2010

Jim Wallis

Last night, I went to go see Jim Wallis talk. He spent a lot of time complaining about how our modern sensibility was greedy, insensitive to the common good, etc. He thought there was a time back when businesses were more concerned about their relationships within community than making money. He exhorted his audience to return to those earlier days.
I am probably one of the more conservative posters on merging lanes, but even I am skeptical that such a time ever existed. I tend to think that human nature has never really reached the paragon of unselfishness extolled by Jim Wallis. But that’s me, and I’m cynical. What do you think?

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Responses

  1. As long as there has been business, it has been about profits. Serving the community is a side effect. Good business though, run well, will benefit the community, especially if it is profitable, by having the resources to hire people thus providing income for those who cannot be in business themselves, and also through charitable giving the owner(s) of the business participate in, not to mention tax revenues to the government.

    There is another problem though implied in what Wallis said. He would be I’m sure concerned that business make “reasonable” profits. Buy by what definition reasonable? Is it reasonable that petroleum companies make tens of billions in income? Well maybe considering that they take billions in risk in order to provide us with refined petroleum products so we can have shiny iPods and fuel for our cars at less than 10$ a gallon.

    An unprofitable business will have no relationship with the community and too much attention paid to those relationships at the expense of valuing profitability inevitably leads to the kind of urban blight.

  2. I too do not believe there was ever a time where businesses were concerned about anything other than money. Even the smallest company which you might have called a family at one point long ago, cared about money more than the end-user because human nature dictates to enjoy the result rather than the work it took to get there. Yes they can give long winded speeches about how hard it was to get ‘there’ and how much they love god and their family for pushing them but realistically, it’s all fantasy, which is also where those business/families that care about their community/end-user exist.

    I love books, dreaming, and mmorpg’s, all places where someone can care about someone else and be completely selfless without reward.


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