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Re: Another View (Was Review of AMNH Lost World Exhibit)

Wabandco@aol.com wrote:
> >> Corporate sponsors do not contribute money to be nice.  Corporations 
>  have one purpose: to maximize profit for their investors.  If they 
>  can create a positive impression about their organization by giving 
>  money to some popular cause-of-the-moment, they'll do it, especially 
>  if it takes some of the heat off of them for, say, selling tobacco to 
>  children in the so-called Third World.<<
> This may come as a surprise, Larry, but not every corporation is in the
> business of selling tobacco to children. 

When did I say every corporation was?  Please provide an 
example.  By the way, though: guess which industry gives 
more money to charity than any other?  Here's a hint: cough for a 

> And many corporations are owned and
> run by responsible human beings.  A corporation is nothing more than a legal
> fiction,

Having set up twenty-four corporations in four states last week, I 
can only smile!

> an 'entity' created to hold assets and conduct business.  Most are
> small, owned by a few people who work at them and run them, and all 'behave'
> in accordance with the behaviour of those individuals.

I take it that you mean that small businesspeople run their 
businesses as they see fit, perhaps without exclusive regard for the 
bottom line.  That may be true.  But if you're also saying that 
small corporations set up exclusively to establish limited liability 
for a few individuals donate *anything* like a substantial proportion 
of corporate charitable contributions on a yearly basis,  I must 
point out that this is sadly mistaken. 

I don't have numbers in front of me, but I'd wager that 80% or more 
of the dollars contributed by corporations in the U.S. come from 
large publicly-held corporations, where management is not held by 
those with the primary ownership interest.  If the directors of such 
corporations (or designated officers) make contributions to 
charities which will not benefit the corporation in any way, they  
are squandering the money of the shareholders and are subject to 
being booted off the board as they well know: it's not as if the 
shareholders don't know what they're doing; the annual report 
generally carries information regarding charitable contributions.

> Certainly, the directors of a business expect to have some positive result
> from such contributions.  But ...  if ALL they were looking for was image,
> they'd get much more "bang for their buck" if they spent it elsewhere.  Pure
> advertising pays off better.

This rationale doesn't work.  Contributions to charities hit a 
different market and hit from a different, much subtler, remarkably 
effective  angle.

Spielberg's people made a huge deal out of his contributions to 
dinosaur science after JP was released.  Funny -- why hadn't he ever 
donated any money to dinosaur science before?

> Dinosaur professionals might want to consider
> this for a moment:  how can you best get a business to contribute to your
> cause?  Which business is the right choice to solicit?  

They also might want to consider what they'll have to do to get the 
money. Hopefully nothing.  But remember that The Dinosaur Society 
gets a pantload of money from Spielberg. Haven't we all seen the 

> Larry's beliefs
> notwithstanding, most businesses expect to pay out some amount of
> contributions to "worthy" causes each year; they look for things that relate
> to them.  

They seek out "worthy causes" that "relate to them."  Why need they 
"relate to them?" So they can get effective exposure from the 

>  <<And why shouldn't they ask?  If  the board of directors used 
>  corporate funds to "do what is right," they would be betraying their 
>  charge to serve the shareholders<<
> Your innuendo here that corporate activities are purely evil

Maximizing profits for the shareholders is purely evil?  You can't be 
serious. You've expended a lot on energy in this post raging against 
things no one has said.

> As in all things, there is good and bad in the business world.  I have dealt
> with many of both sorts.  But your constant denigration of all business is
> tiresome.  You've watched too many episodes of the Captain Planet, I suspect.

Constant denigration of all business?  When have I ever denigrated 
any business?  Examples please.

What's Captain Planet?

> In any event, I think this thread has exceeded it's limited purpose on this
> list, and I apologize for the tangent.

A curious comment in an on-list posting.  That by-now familiar beast 
has shambled around the bend again: shout the last word then quickly 
try to slam the door.


"Atheism: a non-prophet organization"