'Seventh Generation' co-founder: We no longer live in a democratic society

In the video embedded below, Jeffrey Hollender -- the founder of the natural products company Seventh Generation and author of the book How to Make the World a Better Place, a Beginner's Guide -- mused that the United States is no longer a truly democratic society.


The clip is excerpted from a talk Hollender gave at the 2013 Americas Business Council (ABC) Continuity Forum, which took place this week in Miami, FL.

Hollender was responding to a question about how corporations and companies get credit for doing the bare minimum toward sustainability and ethical business practices.

Hollender replied that we live in a culture that celebrates "all the wrong things." If we took into account the true cost of doing things, of chemical agriculture, of wasteful energy policies, of under-compensated workers, he said, it would be more expensive to do things the way they are currently done.

"Today," he said, "you don't get rewarded for doing the right thing and it makes people who want to do it have to be a lot smarter and a lot more innovative to succeed."

The talk moderator asked if the type of "full cost accounting" Hollender is talking about can be possible with so many industry representatives influencing the lawmaking process.

"At least in America," Hollender said, "I no longer think we live in a democratic society. We live in a society where politics is controlled by money; wealthy individuals and big businesses. And until we deal with campaign finance reform to take money out of politics, until we overturn Citizens United, to take money away from corporations, it's a challenge."

Watch the video, embedded below via YouTube:

[image of Jeffrey Hollender via Pop Tech's Flickr Photostream, Creative Commons licensend]