Goldman at Ground Zero

Goldman at Ground Zero

Weese Letter to the Editor in The New York Times
August 16, 2005

"Goldman Sachs Decides to Stay at Ground Zero" (front page, Aug. 11) provides an interesting counterpoint to an increasingly prevalent view of business called "corporate social responsibility." 

This view tries to redefine businesses as engines of social welfare that happen to make profit by giving "stakeholders" - interested parties tangentially related to corporations - comparable, if not greater, influence over corporate governance than that held by shareholders.

But businesses help people most when they earn profits. The Goldman Sachs decision to stay in Lower Manhattan will revitalize the area and create hundreds of new jobs. Those employed as contractors, traders and even maintenance staff will spend their earnings, creating demand for even more jobs.

Goldman Sachs made its decision based on cold economic analysis, not on how many families it can lift out of poverty. But a revitalized Lower Manhattan will make things better for everyone.