Transforming Fear to Joy

The recent media attention garnered by Apple’s lack of social purpose and action has raised three questions for me.

 When is enough money, enough?

 When is the incongruence between our values and our actions enough for us to change our behaviour?

 When will social consciousness and responsibility balance with economic desire and action?

When is enough money, enough?

As of January 2012, Apple reported one of the most lucrative quarters of any corporation in history, with $13.06 billion in profits on $46.3 billion in sales.  As senior executives stated, sales would have been even higher, if overseas factories were able to produce more.  Furthermore, with Apple known to be the wealthiest corporation in the world, this financial picture is not likely to change any time soon.  Or is it?  These figures are mind-boggling for the average consumer, who as a member of the 99% is unlikely to earn $1 million in a lifetime.  I am curious as to where these billion dollar profits go, aren’t you?  My curiosity inspired me to consider several other questions?

 How much would it cost to provide free, or at the least universal, healthcare to everyone in Canada?

 . . . to everyone in the world?

 And why don’t we know the answers to these questions?

The World Health Organization in its World Health Report 2000 provided a ranking of health care systems around the world. Although the data is fraught with criticism from various sources, it suggests the beginning of greater transparency globally.  Another study (see table below) of life expectancy versus health care spending (2007) in OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries sheds further light on our spending practices.

 Life Expectancy vs Health Care Spending in 2007 for OECD Countries:  (data source)

If Apple or other billion dollar revenue generators are looking to enhance their corporate social responsibility and image, tackling the challenge of global universal healthcare and/or education reform would certainly move toward solving two of the world’s greatest needs.

When do incongruent values and actions change behaviour?

On Apple’