Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Fellow free marketeer Ming wrote;

其實企業無恆利(profit is windfall),所謂盈利不過是資本家資金和企業家能力的回報,社企正由兩者放棄部分或全部收入回饋社會而成。政府資助在市場無法籌措資金的社企,無非是把公帑「回饋」社會,如此社企也不過是福利項目。

A deeper question is:

If the so called social enterprise can survive only through government subsidies, why the government does not just hand out the money to the recipients in the first place? Transactions costs considerations alone would certainly support my thesis that the goverment money should be handed out directly. Why not?

How different is a social enterprise from a state-owned enterprise if it has to pursue "social objective" on top of securing a decent return. When the two objectives clash, which one gets chosen (my guess is social objective) and by whom (my guess is the government which hands out the subsidy). If my hunch is correct, social enteprise may be more like an SOE than you think.

I have to admit that I am not familiar with the actual operations of social enterprise nor the literature covering the topic. My case against the idea of social enterprise is solely motivated by conceptual considerations.

Social enterprise advocates, convince me if I am wrong and I am ready to be convinced.

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