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Friday, March 15, 2019

It’s Only Fair

Astonishingly, organizations can violate their own mission statement without any manager or non-supervisory employee being aware of the violation. This can happen even when the people in an organization really do take their mission seriously. At Goodwill, the mission is to end poverty, a laudable goal. It follows explicitly (i.e., according to a sign in the stores) that “every customer has an equal opportunity to purchase any item for sale.” Although the sign bases this point on the fact that the goods “come from public donation,” I submit that ending poverty by giving the poor access to relatively low-priced merchandise is hampered if some customers are permitted to fill their carts with on-sale (i.e., color of week) items when the doors open. Certainly allowing those resale-minded customers to deprive other customers of a selection of items on sale (especially clothing, which even homeless people need) is not fair.

The full essay is at "Unfairness at Goodwill."