The first is rather easily defeated by pointing out the existence of not-for-profit corporations.
The second also strikes me as defeasible. Is the only--or primary--goal of McDonald's, for example, to earn a profit? Could it be argued that McDonald's profit-making is a means to a different end: political power, world domination, social transformation, or other goals I can't imagine? Do we take corporations at their word, and look at their mission statement for their goal(s), or do we apply a functionalist framework to all corporations regardless of their stated aims? Or, even further, do we treat corporate mission statements--and even the profit-seeking motive--as false consciousness?
In other words, do we take a descriptive stance--corporations actually act this way, so that's what their goals are--or a normative stance, claiming that corporations all act in the way Milton Friedman says?
According to a new LA Times article as distilled through the Seattle Times, corporate actions can belie their intentions, and even undermine other actions of that same corporation.
At the Gates Foundation, blind-eye investing has been enforced by a firewall it has erected between its grant-making side and its investing side. The goals of the former are not allowed to interfere with the investments of the latter. With the exception of tobacco companies, asset managers do not avoid investments in enterprises whose activities conflict with the foundation's mission to do good.Is the goal of the Gates Foundation to save the world or to maximize its wealth?
Yes. Or no. Or "false either-or." What do you think?
Update: Jason Kuznicki responds.