Originally Posted by cloudgazer
You completely misinterpreted me then. I wasn't seeking to imply that Apple's investors weren't philanthropic, or that its employees weren't - I was trying, apparently unsuccessfully, to criticize the concept of 'corporate philanthropy' where a corporation does good by giving money.
My point here is that it's equivalent to the two of us walking down the street together and seeing a homeless man. I feel sorry for him, so I pick your pocket, take 20 from your wallet, and give it to the homeless guy.
Giving away money that isn't mine isn't philanthropy, and corporations hold their money in trust for their shareholders, so by definition it isn't theirs to give away.
Hmmm.. I don't agree with the "pickpocket" analogy. Shareholders willingly invest
in a companythe company doesn't pick anyone's pockets. If enough shareholders didn't like what the company is doing with their
money, then they can vote at a shareholder's meeting and get things changed. Now, I suppose if the "minority" of shareholders don't want Apple giving money to the homeless guy (to stick with your analogy), they might feel like they've been pickpocketed. In which case, they can always sell their shares and invest in a more "profit-minded" companythat won't give to a homeless guy. Or, conversely, if the "minority" of shareholders, want they company to give to the homeless guy, but the majority say "Screw the homeless guy, we want our dividends!!", again, the minority can sell their shares, and invest in a more "ethical" companyone that's more in line with their leftist/pinko/socialist/tree-hugging values*. But, a smart/savvy investor will have a pretty good idea of what his/her money is doing. For me, as an Apple investor, I'd be thrilled to know that Apple is giving money to homeless guys. * <snark>
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this "corporate philanthropy is a contradiction" thing.