February 15, 2008businesscomparative advantagecorporate social responsibilityEconomyenterprisegovernmentPublic Policy

If all dentists are asked to fix computers

A lot of people will end up with bad toothaches

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

What’s this got to do with public policy? Read Atanu Dey’s op-ed in Mint to find out:

The social responsibility of corporations is to make a profit while following the rules. They have a comparative advantage in doing that, just as the government has a comparative advantage in making rules and solving social problems. Insisting that companies solve social problems is like expecting the dentist to fix a broken computer. Yes, he can possibly fix the computer if I lean on him hard enough and he spends a lot of time learning hardware maintenance, but that will be at the cost of a lot of untreated toothaches. [Deeshaa]

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