Jonathan Marks is a lawyer and bioethicist who currently works at Penn State University, and the professor recently gave a speech about the relationship between the public and private sector, and why it needs to be riddled with conflict.
In the speech, Marks outlines the existence of "struggle" within governments, and within corporations. In governments, struggle and conflict leads to progression, while struggle between corporations leads to competition and lower prices for consumers – in both cases, "the people" benefit. Where he says this competition is often missing is between governments and corporations. He states that because governments should be holding corporations accountable, working alongside them is ineffective and often detrimental to the same problems the government is aiming to alleviate. He describes a specific example, in which an unnamed large soda company partnered with the local and national governments in India for a supposedly environmentally friendly cause. This partnership was counterproductive because in the long term, the advertising campaign for the soda company directly impacts long-term issues like obesity, and the influx of plastic bottles purchased are detrimental to the environment.
According to Jonathan Marks, the relationship between the public and private sector should be riddled with conflict instead of compromise and collaboration, a fact which ensures that governments are upholding their responsibility to protect vulnerable people and the environment.
The Importance of Conflict
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