The media keeps talking about the "greed" of these industries causing their downfall. Of course that played a role but I personally feel the private sector has lost some of the fundamental values and philosophies that made them successful in the first place. 18th Century economist and philosopher Adam Smith in his great book "Wealth of Nations" underscored the importance of business' realizing their place which is to exist for the common good where profit is the means not the motive. His understanding was that the profit a company made was its reward for contributing well to the common good.
Paul Newman understood this with his food company Newman's Own. 100% of the profits of his company went to many causes as well as his foundation which provided camps for children with serious illness. His philosophy was that his business did not exist to deepen his pockets or the pockets of greedy executives put it existed solely to fund the efforts that benefit the common good. Paul Newman understood Adam Smith's philosophy for the way capitalism should work.
As we look now to begin rebuilding our economy I believe we should use Paul Newman as an example of how the private sector should operate. By looking for ways business contribute to the common good and operate with value and integrity. Business exists for the common good to create jobs and sustainable environments for families and all of those a business touches in its supply chain and beyond.
I find it increasingly difficult in this day and age to find companies that I can support or get behind that I feel cling to my values. Newmans Own was one of those companies that should be a model for the private sector. I encourage us to look at his legacy of holistic generosity and when we do consumers will reward those companies accordingly.