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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

We, the parent company of WeWork, is on a very high-minded mission. That mission is, literally, "to elevate the world's consciousness."

Reality check: We is also a company whose founder, CEO, and controlling shareholder is reportedly happy to leave "a sizable chunk" of marijuana in a chartered Gulfstream jet, opening up its owner to significant criminal liability. The same man "instructed staff to fire 20% of employees a year."

Between the lines: Kickstarter is a company dedicated to having a "radically positive impact on society." As a chartered Benefit Corporation, it attests that it's more interested in its community than in its profits.

  • Kickstarter is also fighting a unionization drive. It has fired 3 of the 8 members of its union organizing committee, and refuses to voluntarily recognize the union.
  • Kickstarter is risking its much-vaunted status by doing so. "Specific actions taken against a unionization drive may jeopardize a company’s B Corp status," a representative of B Lab, the company that certifies companies as B Corps, tells Axios.

Etsy used to be a B Corp, but then it fired its CEO and more than 200 other employees, gave up its B Corp status and started becoming much more profitable.

The bottom line: Companies love to talk about their grand ideals. But those ideals can get thrown under the bus very quickly if profits lie elsewhere.

Go deeper

President Joe Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Joe Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden and Vice President Harris review readiness of military troops, a long-standing tradition to signify the peaceful transfer of power.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated as president and vice president respectively in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Top Democrats and Republicans gathered for the peaceful transfer of power only two weeks after an unprecedented siege on the building by Trump supporters to disrupt certification of Biden's victory. Trump did not attend Wednesday's ceremony.