You are going to your local convenience store to get groceries and they ask you if you want to contribute to a good cause. You give them a dollar and then later see them taking credit at some telethon. You stop for gas and see posters boasting that your oil company has planted a 4×4 garden in a slum somewhere. Do such charitable actions by corporations prove they care, or are they premeditate attempts to keep the public from calling corporations to account?
The following article may be helpful in beginning such a conversation. The author takes 4 such ad campaigns and attempts to put them in a larger context. To illustrate the question I have in mind about corporate charities, let me pose a illustrative question. If Al Capone steals a billion dollars, but then gives a million dollars back to an orphanage, is he really such a bad guy after all?