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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Making money

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Charles MacFarland, Ewingsdale

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox (Echo, July 10) expressed concern that someone answered ‘to make money’ when asked about why he’s in business. I think a better answer would have been, ‘I do it to make money by providing a service or product the public wants.’

People who make money in business generally do so by providing something the public wants, so there’s not much point in criticising ‘making money’ unless, you think the product is bad.

Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos became the richest men in the world providing technology that lots of people want.

In some cases ‘making money’ might be criticised because the product itself is in some way bad. McDonald’s, for example, is often criticised for selling food that is considered bad for people.

When a company sells a product that is harmful, I believe the public that buys the product should share the blame. It is unrealistic to expect companies to spontaneously stop selling a product that is harmful but popular.

Climate change is the biggest issue facing humans today. It seems unrealistic to blame politicians and corporations for climate change without considering the role of the general public.

To me, climate change has always been a serious issue. I made sure I lived a short distance from my workplace so I didn’t waste a non-renewable resource and generate CO2. Others drove 20km or more to work, without signs of remorse.

I recently spoke to a doctor who lives in Potts Point because his wife works in the Gold Coast. They use 30km worth of petrol going to work. It didn’t seem to cross his mind there was anything wrong with this.

I’ve never heard anyone say that they thought about driving somewhere but didn’t, because of the petrol. Have you? As long as people keep buying petrol and expending it freely, they share the blame for the greenhouse gases.

We live in a democracy, but that means politicians are supposed to do what the people want. It’s pointless to try to force the politicians to take action on climate change while people prefer jobs, cars, and meatburgers to climate action.

When the general public starts eating vegan and driving thrifty cars and installing solar then perhaps we can scream at politicians and businesses. But I expect that then, businesses will start ‘making money’ by catering to what the public wants.

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  1. So Charles, you read the public relations and the advertising and the pallarver and don’t really know what is going on in business.
    Councils throughout Australia have too much rubbish because of all the unwanted and broken things, toys and products and containers people buy. Tweed Council was sending their rubbish over the border to Qld and Australia as a whole was sending the nation’s rubbish to China.
    That is ridiculous.
    ‘I do it to make money by providing a service or product the public wants.’ might be a better answer but it is not true.

  2. Potts Point? One would use more than 30km worth of fuel driving to work at the Gold Coast from Potts Point.
    Checking facts: the name was officially changed to Pottsville many moons ago to save confusion with Potts Point, Sydney. The headland/beachside housing area is generally referred to as north Pottsville for the ‘jonnys-come-lately’.

  3. Some things are more important than consuming-like the survival of the planet and humanity. Unnecessary plastic packaging of food and goods is creating a global problem and acres of our plastic rubbish is now being exported to Indonesia. Recycling is not working.

    WE ALL HAVE A RESPONSIBILTY TO STOP BUYING THIS STUFF! During the Great Depression and WW11 everything was recycled, even clothing, as people couldn’t afford to buy new. During (and for some time after) the war most things were rationed.

    We survived without massive consumerism, and everything being covered in plastic, and can easily do so again.


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