I got into an interesting philosphical debate with my co-worker today.
We were in the kitchen. I was mixing oatmeal. She was pouring coffee. We chit-chatted.
Then she admits, “Sometimes I think…What’s the point? I mean, we’re not doing anything for the world. We’re a bank.”
“What?” I was surprised. “But we’re a great bank. We’re one of the best companies to work for. Think of the charity work, the paid volunteer time…the money we donate to non-profits that matter to us–and the company matches it dollar for dollar. What about the flexibility we have as women so we can care for our children, work from home if necessary.”
“But think about the world. All the problems out there. We’re not helping. Like pharma companies, they’re fighting disease…”
I shot back, “Who do you think those pharma companies bank with so that we can manage their cash flow to fund their research to fight disease?
More importantly, you make money so you can send your daughter to school–a good school–and she’s going to make this world a better place.”
She conceded unwillingly. “Yes. Employee salaries. I see what you’re saying. But still.”
I thought about it more even after I left the kitchen. I believe in capitalism. I think about my mom who comes from a family of doctors and lawyers in the Philippines. They do a lot of pro bono work. My mom immigrated here and she helps to support them. Sends their children to school so that they can continue to help their communities. The Gates Foundation, among others, exists because Bill Gates started Microsoft and made millions/billions…I don’t know the figure.
There are a lot of people out there who are anti-Walmart, anti-Starbucks, anti-corp. If so, then don’t work for a corporation, don’t accept the wages, the benefits, the donations. Stay clear. As for me, I’ll take it all.