NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- While government and big businesses have often times gone head-to-head, William Eggers, author of The Solution Revolution, told TheStreet's Gregg Greenberg that if they worked together, some of our toughest problems could be solved.
Over the last 30 years, it has become evident that the U.S. government is simply too big and too complex to solve all of our problems, Eggers said.
He added that we need to find the sweet spot between societal problems and corporate benefits. In other words, as long as there's money to be made solving these problems, entrepreneurs and corporations will step up to the plate.
For example, Wal-Mart (WMT) wants to improve what it calls "desert stores," or areas where customers do not have fresh food available.In an effort to fight obesity, which plagues 35% of adults and 19% of children, the retail giant sees a potential $80 million market. The move kills two birds with one stone, as a societal problem is being worked on, while profits are being realized. The National Football League has also put in a considerable sum to tackle childhood obesity, to the tune of $250 million through its NFL PLAY 60 program, Eggers said. He said that in New York City, Goldman Sachs (GS) has been investing a lot of money to reduce recidivism, which most often times is used in describing criminal behavior and substance abuse. Goldman isn't just doing this out of the kindness of its hearts, but because it seems like a good investment. The government has said it will step in if positive results can be proved, making it a "win-win," Eggers said. There are plenty of problems to choose from and both the government and corporations can coexist and benefit from solving our society's biggest problems, he concluded. -- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich. Follow @BretKenwell