Ann Bernstein on Business and Development

Ann Bernstein of South Africa's Centre for Development and Enterprise gave a talk about her new book -- The Case for Business in Developing Countries -- at the Cato Institute yesterday, and I was her discussant. I like the book a lot. It gives a view from the developing world of the centrality of private enterprise in economic growth and social progress. It makes some well-targeted and intelligently nuanced criticisms of rich-country anti-business NGOs and the corporate social responsibility movement. Multinational corporations, she says, should stop apologising for capitalism and be more forthright about the benefits. Elaborating on Milton Friedman's famous remark that the social responsibility of business is to make profits, she says:

I think the first responsibility of companies is to earn profits and be successful decent companies, and that modern business, just by doing business, has an enormous positive impact in direct and indirect ways that companies should get a lot better at communicating. I'm not saying that the business of business is only business. Especially in developing countries, life is more complicated..."

That is from a Cato podcast of an interview with the author. Have a listen.

Presented by

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Business

Just In