Those on the extreme left are frequent opponents of profit despite – or because of – the fact that it is the cornerstone of our capitalist economic system. Without the pursuit of profit, which radical partisans somehow deride as selfishness, it would be impossible for businesses to expand, provide jobs, and fund research for future development.
While intellectuals without a stake in the entrepreneurial world might be excused for not realizing the full potential of profit, it would only make sense that the head of one of the world’s most successful corporations would be among its fiercest defenders. Unfortunately, recent comments from Apple CEO Tim Cook proved otherwise.
During a shareholders’ meeting, Cook reportedly responded to the concerns of investors with an all-out assault on the legitimacy of pursuing profit. The National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative group of Apple investors, expressed its desire to see the company move away from certain environmental programs that have cost them money in the past and show no signs of a positive result moving forward.
The project being criticized calls for the company’s entire power needs to come from green energy sources. According to reports, the NCPPR simply wanted Cook to report the company’s expenditures in such sustainability programs.
Eyewitness reports describe an angry Cook responding to their request, affirming his company pursues projects for “reasons besides profit motive.”
Investors naturally want to put their money into companies that will offer the best chance of a profitable return. According to Cook, however, anyone with such concerns should no longer trust Apple with their investment capital.
“If you want me to do things only for [return on investment] reasons,” he reportedly said to a NCPPR representative, “you should get out of this stock.”
One reporter covering the meeting described the response as the “only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry.”
Since taking over the company from its founder, Steve Jobs, in 2011, Cook has increasingly moved toward such lofty goals as sustainability and contributing to charitable organizations. While his activism is certainly not antithetical to the conservative desire to positively affect the outside world, his disregard for profit certainly seems to be.
The left has increasingly portrayed profit as an inherently adverse pursuit. Without it, however, Apple’s great technological advances – not to mention the countless jobs this behemoth company has created in recent years – would no longer be feasible.
–B. Christopher Agee
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom