Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How do we build a good economy?

Michael Lind of the New America Foundation provides a short course on the history of American capitalism. Very interesting and potentially useful. My question: How do we build a good economy -- one that not only provides value to shareholders but also gives value to its other citizens?

I was struck by this quote. (The emphasis is mine.)
If American Capitalism 5.0 had a single fundamental flaw, it is this: it treated industries and banks as mere commodities, like apples or oranges. Outside of the English-speaking world, nobody thinks of industries and banks as commodities. In other societies, flourishing industries are considered to be essential to national military security and communal prosperity.
These days American capitalists appear to care only for themselves and for their shareholders. No one and nothing else matters, not even the security and future of the company or their industry. If this truly is their attitude, and Lind argues that it is, then American capitalists may well destroy themselves. First, though, they will have destroyed everyone else.

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