I was reading a brochure about Finnegans Irish Amber Ale, brewed by the good folks at Summit Brewing in St. Paul. This passage caught my eye:
Finnegans Inc. is an organization based in Minneapolis, MN, which builds partnerships with community-minded businesses in providing the marketplace with a means of giving back to the community.
Here is the website. I'm not sure what is meant by "providing the marketplace with a means of giving back" because the marketplace is not a person and cannot, therefore, give back anything. It seems, by the wording, that the writer of the passage meant that Finnegans Inc. provides business owners with a organization to assist in giving back to the community.
Business owners "give back" to their communities every day. Imagine a world where all voluntary exchange is somehow prohibited. If we wanted to eat, we'd have to grow our own food (or exchange on a black market and risk getting caught). But in a world of voluntary exchange, we can go to our local grocery store and find a wide variety of foods available to us at lower costs than if we produced our own food. Moreover, we have the ability to choose our careers/jobs to obtain the means to get the foods we want. We don't have to be gardeners.
By doing business, owners give us things we value at a lower cost than if we produced them ourselves. This frees us up to do other things we enjoy.
Philanthropy is commendable, especially when it is done voluntarily and without being spurred by others who feel business owners should be philanthropic. But to expect business owners to "give back to the community" seems somewhat despotic, especially given that "giving back" is in the normal course of doing business.