(if you don’t get the pun, please see A Modest Proposal)
we hope to give everyone access to the world-class education that has so far been available only to a select few. We want to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.
What a fine goal to have, and what better way than to offer a corporate service to people, rather than providing it for free, or at least subsidised to everyone, via a public university system.
Sadly, there is a bit of an issue. The above quote is from the MOOC pioneers Coursera. Coursera, founded by two Stanford (California) professors are incorporated in Delaware. Delaware, a state some compare to a corporate haven, a tax haven, and in 2009 the worst place in the World for financial secrecy.
So when you base your desire to educate everyone (note – not for free), wouldn’t perchance, a public funded state system be a good way to do that? Wouldn’t supporting that with corporate tax be something worth showing support for?
Instead of offering some tax to help that process, just a little income to help educate everyone, we’d rather keep it for ourselves. Lets not pay taxes to let people have the chance to educate them, especially when we, the rich, can provide our own ways to educate them and make money from it. It wouldn’t be hard to reside in a state or country that pays tax (like Udacity or edX), it wouldn’t be hard to set up providently, or backed by a charity (a la Wikipedia). Instead, to set up in somewhere more tax dubious than the Cayman Islands and make profit.
Suggested course : Basic dishes for cannibals
If you wish to exact social change, that’s admirable, but to do so for profit seems like you are only interested in social change with either a financial incentive or a business model, then I don’t think you are interested in social change at all, but use it as a camouflage for your own motives.