Responsible Capitalism

Like many of you, my wife and I saved for retirement. In addition, I was fortunate to have retired from a company that had a pension plan. Today, those are more and more rare, with a "matched IRA" perhaps. So I'm thankful; nearly forty years of hard work were not in vain.

However I feel that capitalism, in order to survive long term, must be more than Adam Smith's "invisible hand" of forces that move to return the most efficient return on capital. As an extension of this, it was taught from a legal standpoint that companies existed to maximize the return on investment of their owners, the stockholders. In this model, there were only stockholders as stakeholders.

Fortunately, a different model is gaining traction with the idea of three primary stakeholders: owners/stockholders, communities of factories/facilities, and employees. In addition, "society writ large" often is included as an overall partner. Of course effective corporations also recognize the need to be responsible to their suppliers, stewards of the environment and Mother Earth, as well as being law abiding members of society.

If capitalism is to survive as a progressive force in the betterment of mankind, this sort of thinking is needed. Otherwise a form of greed, or "capitalistic corruption" will generate its own downfall. That will not be a pretty picture for any of us.

Comments are welcome and will be published, pro and con without the writer's identity. Make your comments below, or send to me via email at n3bb@mindspring.com

"I'd rather be someplace I want to be, rather than some place I could have been." (Not sure where I saw this ...  I borrowed it from elsewhere but sure do agree with it)

Enjoy life, it's the only one we will get.

Jim George

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2 Responses

  1. JK James George
    The following comments, edited somewhat, were received by email. The writer's identity is modified. ******************************************************************************************************************* From TT: I applaud your reference to the new model gaining traction. I hope you are correct. Capitalism, with its many flaws is still the best economic model available.(Snip) Over the last 18 years, I have discovered that there are very few enlightened leaders pursuing excellence, at least in my part of the Country. Most businesses are perfecting mediocrity. I still attempt to endow my experiences to those who share my values, but there are many cases in which that I work where businesses that ignored foreseeable risk wind up in expensive and life-changing litigation. I too live where I want to live, enjoy my family, and am honored to have you as a friend. *********************************************************************************************************************
  2. JK James George
    From WS: I enjoyed your editorial on responsible capitalism. I previously read the WSJ editorial which takes a different position. It seems to me that workers are being overlooked and communities suffer the blight of off shoring and globalization. I am a strong free market advocate but I agree with you that things have swung too far against labor and communities. We need to right the ship and soon. Any ideas on how to balance this delicately? If you have some web links to policies that you think are reasonable please let me know? *********************************************************************************************************************

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