Rethinking Capitalism

Capitalism needs to be re-framed from it’s bad rap of greed/exploitation.

Part of the problem, I think is that many CEOs are diagnosable as sociopaths (not violent, but lacking compassion) who make decisions based on what’s favourable for the wrong group – the stockholders instead of the workers who produce the goods or provide the services of the company that generate the capitol the company earns.

Stockholders provide capitol that is not directly associated with the company’s production, although I suppose stocks could be viewed as an ancillary product.

But stockholders are much more fickle than employees – stocks are bought and sold all the time – it seems like not many stockholders have the idea of buy and hold on for the long term.

Capitolism can be reframed to benefit not only those who invest the capitol or the ones who create the opportunities for capitol to be made, but also those who produce the services or labour that creates the new capitol.

I think capitalism doesn’t have to be viewed as greed centred, because  capitalism is not solely motivated by greed – but also the drive to innovate, to invent, to better people’s lives and contribute to society and to leave one’s mark on the world.

For a company to function, it needs many groups of people from employees, suppliers, consumers and investors  – and all of these people need a job to ensure that they can take care of their basic needs as well as creating personal wealth and quality of life.

When capitolism works well, all the participants benefit, which in turn benefits society.

To work well, capitalism needs to include heart and compassion. And it’s in a company’s interest to be a good corporate citizen, since consumers are increasingly not only concerned with a good product at the lowest price.

Consumers want to know that the company is not polluting the environment, has fair employee practices from demographic hiring and promotion policies but also not using a slave workforce in less regulated countries,  is creating a product that is safe and is not engaging in creative accounting.

Capitalism has long since stopped being about enriching the robber baron at the top.

But is a system of interconnectedness.

inter-dependent capitalist relationships

The company needs employees (who also need jobs) and consumers (who need jobs).  For those times when companies act like consumers are replaceable and employees are expendable or outsourceable.

There’s also government regulators and enforcement – more people with jobs!

Everyone’s salaries are coming out of everyone’s  pockets.

The more people who have jobs, the more people are consumers, are taxpayers and are benefiting from capitalism.

Is this naive or Utopian?

Maybe – and I think more needs to be understood about ‘greed’, and perhaps how to control, mitigate or redirect it – as I think it is an extension of a survival instinct.

Buy why can’t we rethink greed from “Me instead of you” to “Me and then you” ?

After all, you can accumulate so much wealth that it’s beyond your comprehension – and then what? What challenges do you have left to face when money solves or eliminates survival issues and pretty much ensures that any whim can be satisfied?

I’m not saying that three’s nobility in being poor – I don’t buy that at all – but there is something to be said for having just enough to be comfortable and not worry about the basics – but still having to work and problem solve for less essential things.

It seems to me that in many ways, having a huge amount of money takes you out of the world, since you can create your own little bubble world.

Humans are social creatures and I don’t think we generally do okay in  bubble world.

Look how many celebrities die young from drugs and alcohol, unable to cope with too much money and not enough challenges.

The robber baron descendants and hereditary wealthy who live in their own bubbles seem to not understand that the power they have in bubble world doesn’t pass into the real world, which isn’t structured to suit them.

And that laws and rules still apply to them when they step outside their bubbles.

The dangerous ones who try to remake the world over into their bubble by funding terrorism is the darkest side of wealth.

Concentrating wealth in the hands of the few skews the world.

Redistributing the wealth through capitolism – employment and consumerism as the redistribution methods – would avoid the concerns of redistribution by purely socialist or communistic methods.

Wealth redistribution must remain connected to innovation, to labour, and to contribution.