NY Emergency Assistance Unit

The following alumni and students were asked: In your oppinion, what should social responsibility mean to businesses today? Should businesses be run with a conscience towards social good? What does that mean?

Norm Lezin '48
Chairman, Salz Leathers, Inc., recipient of the Elena Baskin Award for exceptional contribution to public education from the Schools Plus Foundation

Many business leaders, otherwise kind to their children and their dogs, are flinty when it comes to participating financially (read shareholder funds) in the communities where they operate, or elsewhere. They think that if the business is profitable, and if their employees are well paid as a consequence, that the giving of money is a decision that each employee must make, but not the business leader on behalf of the shareholders. I think there is some merit to that, but I disagree only in the sense that I think the volunteer part of our society is extremely important. It's the way you get things done. It's tough for interesting or unusual groups to reach individuals, so it's up to business to support these groups. A strong community is going to be a better place for our employees.

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