Keeping People Alive So They Can Buy More Stuff
from the philanthropy-for-its-own-sake dept
In a post earlier this week on the $100 laptop for developing countries, Mike wondered if the money its sponsors were pouring into it was in vain, since the market seems to be driving the cost of laptops down pretty low on its own. In any case, in the original article, Rupert Murdoch characterized News Corp.'s support of the project as "a good pro bono thing to do". Whether or not it has a big effect, at least the company seems to be doing something for the sake of doing something good. But perhaps not every company (surprise, surprise) is quite so altruistic: a Motorola exec told a group of investors that the company supports the (PRODUCT) RED initiative, which helps buy AIDS medication for people in Africa, because people who don't die "can be future customers". Certainly, business is business, but the exec's justification for doing something good just because it could keep some people alive so they can buy more of the company's stuff seems pretty cold.