Chapter 1 Something is Wrong – And It's Everybody's Business

“As I grow older I pay less attention to what people say. I just watch what they do.”

—Andrew Carnegie

What's the Problem?

One of the most important institutions in modern society is facing a shattering crisis.

In fact, the relationship between Business that is creating wealth and generating taxation, employment, products, services and innovations; government that is managing, regulating, seeking social progress, setting the rules under which everyone operates and has a mandate to lead, and society – all of us – is broken. That hurts everyone and it's something that should concern us all. Yet while the connection between politics, government and society is often reported and analysed, the crucial relationship between Business and society is much less understood.

We think we know about Business and, for the most part, we don't much like what we think we know. One of the biggest things that Business does is ultimately operate as the sole generator of taxation revenue for the country. When a Business makes money there are only three things it can do with the profit: reward the shareholders who took the risk by way of dividend or capital gain on sale, and the shareholder will pay tax on it. Or keep the profit in the Business, and pay tax on it. Or pay employees – who'll pay tax on it! That tax goes in part to pay the wages of people in the public sector – who'll pay tax on it! If it wasn't for the wealth created by ...

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