Tag Archives: Capitalism

Are You Ready To Consider That Capitalism Is The Real Problem?

BOOK REVIEW

The Divide: A Brief History of Global Inequality and Its Solutions, Author: Jason Hickel.

By Jason Hickel and Martin Kirk – A full three-quarters of people in major capitalist economies believe that big businesses are basically corrupt.

Why do people feel this way?

It’s because they realize—either consciously or at some gut level—that there’s something fundamentally flawed about a system that has a prime directive to churn nature and humans into capital, and do it more and more each year, regardless of the costs to human well-being and to the environment we depend on.

That’s what capitalism is, at its root.

What might a better world look like? There are a million ideas out there. We can start by changing how we understand and measure progress.

We can change that.

People want health care and education to be social goods, not market commodities, so we can choose to put public goods back in public hands. People want the fruits of production and the yields of our generous planet to benefit everyone, rather than being siphoned up by the super-rich, so we can change tax laws and introduce potentially transformative measures like a universal basic income. more> https://goo.gl/ntiMQr

The Ambition Explosion

BOOK REVIEW

The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, Author: Daniel Bell.

Age of Ambition, Author: Evan Osnos.

By David Brooks – The real contradiction of capitalism is that it arouses enormous ambition, but it doesn’t help you define where you should focus it. It doesn’t define an end to which you should devote your life. It nurtures the illusion that career and economic success can lead to fulfillment, which is the central illusion of our time.

To survive, capitalism needs to be embedded in a moral culture that sits in tension with it, and provides a scale of values based on moral and not monetary grounds. Capitalism, though, is voracious. The personal ambition it arouses is always threatening to blot out the counterculture it requires. more> http://tinyurl.com/nufkte3

China’s Smog Can’t Compete With London’s Pea Soup

By Stephen Mihm – Like so much having to do with China’s economy, this environmental degradation seems unprecedented. It isn’t.

One of the defining features of industrial revolutions past and present is the shift to fossil fuels such as coal, particularly in urban centers. Much like contemporary China, England became an economic powerhouse by relying on cheap coal to power its factories as well as to heat and illuminate the cities that would become crucibles of industrial capitalism: Manchester, Birmingham and above all, London.

Some creatures even adapted to the changed environment. The peppered moth, for example, which was white with gray flecks, evolved via a process that scientists dubbed “industrial melanism.” By the 1890s, almost 98 percent of the moths had switched colors. more> http://tinyurl.com/o4upumt

The fundamental flaws of capitalism

By Joseph S. Diedrich – The idea of capitalism is so riddled with flaws that it’s not even funny.

For starters, capitalism reduces prices. By necessity, producers must compete with other producers for business. Without sacrificing quality, they must make their good or service more attractive to potential customers. If prices continuously drop, though, how will there be any money to pay workers?

Capitalism benefits both the poor and the rich. Indiscriminately. The distribution of wealth based on achievement needs to be recognized for the sham it truly is. Capitalism doesn’t care who you are. It only cares about what you do. Unfortunately, however, that means you must do something. more> http://tinyurl.com/m3mwn8q

The Capitalist’s Case for a $15 Minimum Wage

By Nick Hanauer – The fundamental law of capitalism is that if workers have no money, businesses have no customers. That’s why the extreme, and widening, wealth gap in our economy presents not just a moral challenge, but an economic one, too. In a capitalist system, rising inequality creates a death spiral of falling demand that ultimately takes everyone down.

An economy such as ours that increasingly concentrates wealth in the top 1 percent, and where most workers must rely on stagnant or falling wages, isn’t a place to build much of a pillow business, or any other business for that matter. more> http://tinyurl.com/kuem9dk

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China May Not Be A U.S. Ally, But It’s Also Not An Adversary

By Ali Wyne – Of the foreign-policy challenges that will confront the president of the United States on January 20, 2013 few are as complex and consequential as managing the ongoing rise of China–a continental country that will soon have the world’s largest economy and, within three decades, could be the world’s largest defense spender.

It is difficult to imagine a more different pair of countries that must accommodate one another.

The competitive dimension of their relationship is not particularly ideological. There is, to be sure, a pronounced gap between their core values, but it is not as stark as the slogans “capitalist vs. communist” and “democratic vs. authoritarian” suggest. Instead, China fuses state capitalism with adaptive authoritarianism. Despite the power of its state-owned enterprises, it is taking incremental, but important, steps to liberalize. more> http://tinyurl.com/d8cccpr

Global Drucker Forum Foments A Revolution In Capitalism

By Steve Denning – Among many other speakers, Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management, will discuss the shift from maximizing shareholder value to customer capitalism. He will talk about: what went wrong with capitalism? Can it be reformed? What are the main axes to pursue?

My own contribution comes in an article on the Global Drucker Forum this morning, “The Revolutionary Tenets of Management 2.0“. more> http://tinyurl.com/8ejc7cd

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Romney says Obama ‘attacking capitalism’

English: President Barack Obama walking with V...

English: President Barack Obama walking with Vice President Joe Biden in The White House
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Justin Sink – Mitt Romney accused President Obama of “attacking capitalism” and defended the record of Bain Capital as “solid” in a rebuttal Thursday (May 24, 2012) to the president’s critique of his tenure at the private-equity firm.

The presumptive Republican nominee added that it “certainly sounds like” the president was attacking the free market system.

“There’s no question but that he’s attacking capitalism, in part, I think, because he doesn’t understand how the free economy works. He’s never had a job in the free economy; neither has Vice President Biden,” Romney said. more> [VIDEO 1:36] http://tinyurl.com/bngvagb

The ailing euro is part of a wider crisis

By Will Hutton – This entire financial edifice, underwritten by tiny amounts of capital, has been created over three decades backed by the theory that markets do not make mistakes. Capitalism is best conceived and practiced, runs the theory, by hunter-gatherer bankers and entrepreneurs owing no allegiance to the state or society.

This is nonsense. Business and the state co-generate wealth in a system of complex mutual dependence. Markets are beset by mood swings and uncertainty which, if not offset by government action, lead to violent oscillations. Capitalism without responsibility or proportionality degrades into racketeering and exploitation. The prospect of limitless pay is an open invitation to bad, or even criminal, behavior. Good capitalism cannot happen without referees to blow the whistle or robust frameworks in which markets can function; neither is reliably created by capitalism itself, hence the role of democratic government.

Yet the world is trying to solve the legacy of the last 30 years as if none of this were true and, instead, that the practice and theories that created the mess are still valid. more> http://is.gd/OTHRFm

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