Monsanto Saves Lives

by Don Boudreaux on September 9, 2006

in Agriculture, Foreign Aid, Hunger, Markets in Everything

Want to know one way that a multinational corporation and the profit motive combine to save the lives of many Africans?  You can find out here.

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{ 6 comments }

HarmoniousJosh September 9, 2006 at 10:07 am

Too bad they also have a profit motive to destroy lives, too: drug spraing in Colombia. Here's a link:
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03/n1897/a02.html?259305

James Pyrich September 9, 2006 at 11:39 am

The apparent hypocrisy of Monsanto demonstrates that a corporation is neither good nor evil by itself, but is so defined by its actions.

In one very important sense, if Monsanto did not accept the bid for the sale of their Roundup-Ultra, it would have gone to somebody else. Perhaps the sale of Roundup-Ultra paid for the development of the Combi-Pack.

No, the ends do not justify the means. The means are what matter. The lesson to be learned here is that the profit motive is neither inherently evil nor inherently good–just like firearms. ;)

HarmoniousJosh September 9, 2006 at 11:35 pm

James – I agree. I do think it's important to make that point when extolling a company's virtues, though.

Capitalism only rewards evil when government is involved.

Russell Nelson September 10, 2006 at 12:38 am

The trouble with a company doing good is that they don't mean to do good. They only mean to make a profit. Thus there can not be any moral good in them. However, when they do bad, they are morally resonsible for it.

Definitely a double standard. Can't do good for trying.

Steve September 11, 2006 at 12:25 pm

Is Karol Bordreaux any relation?

xteve September 11, 2006 at 8:33 pm

I think it's possible for a company to intend to do good, but in order for them to succeed they'd have to be profitable. That might create some conflicts of priorities, but I don't think the intentions are necessarily incompatable.

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