Tina K. Russell

March 20, 2008

Small Business, Big Results

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Tina Russell @ 9:01 am

Small Businesses Offer Alternatives to Gang Life – New York Times

This is good stuff. The reason I urge my liberal friends not to dismiss capitalism out of hand as exploitative is because capitalism and altruism can be melded to create real value, for the many, and not merely the few. Muhammad Yunus said something like this in his autobiography (Banker to the Poor… I still need to read his new book, Creating a World Without Poverty), that for capitalism to succeed, we need to come up with a new model of wealth, one that includes social as well as material wealth.

One problem I have with the article is that the friar who started the business chose not to buy an automatic dough mixer after being given a grant for one, saying that having workers knead bread by hand would allow the business to hire more employees and thus get more people off the street and into jobs. This is a common misconception, that new technologies that increase productivity will put workers out of work by making them obsolete. To the contrary, such advances in productivity serve the purpose of increasing the value of hiring more workers by making each one more productive. Besides, it seems a little cold, like a chain gang, to force every worker to knead the dough by hand. But, it does sound like a great business and I definitely hope the model is copied elsewhere.

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