US Entrepreneurial Capitalism:<br /> A Poisoned <br />Chalice?<br />"Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man or order of men.“ (Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, 1776)<br />“Capitalism is the best system ever devised. It offers people the freedom to choose where they work and what they do. The free market system is the way to go.” (President George Bush Jnr)<br />“Too many people worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns.” (President Jimmy Carter)<br />Neill Kehoe<br />Wednesday 9th March 2011<br />
What will be Covered<br /><ul><li>What is US Entrepreneurial Capitalism?
Conclusions & Recommendations</li></li></ul><li>What is US Entrepreneurial Capitalism?<br /><ul><li>The foundations of US Capitalism are buying, selling, competition, the free market, wages and profit.
It is a system that relies on the profit motive as its engine. The profit motive is indispensible in a system of rewards and penalties.
It is where people own companies and decide what to produce to make consumers happy.
It has given us higher life expectancy, more leisure time, higher living standards and lower enfant mortality rates.
3 pillars of US Entrepreneurial Capitalism: </li></ul>Short-term profit maximisation (operations and efficiency).<br />Corporations serve stockholder interests only.<br />Corporations do not decide what products are good, the marketplace does.<br />Traditional Capitalism: ‘You have 2 cows. You sell one cow and buy a bull. Your herd then multiplies and the economy grows. You then sell them and retire on the income.’<br />US Capitalism: ‘You have 2 cows. You sell one cow and force the other to produce the milk of 4 cows. You are then surprised when the cow drops dead.’<br />
History of US Entrepreneurial Capitalism<br /><ul><li>From 1820 through to 1970 the US saw continuous and proportionate growth in productivity and real wage.
In 1970 the world changed for the American working class in ways it arguably still hasn’t come to terms with.
The last 20 years has been great for employers (low real wages) which inevitably led to an upsurge in executive salaries.
Since 1970, the working class has been on the greatest binge of borrowing the world has ever seen.
This huge amount of borrowing resulted in a boom in consumption from the mid 80’s onwards.</li></ul>Productivity Continued to rise<br />The Business Community Discovered a ‘Goldmine’<br />1970<br />Real Wage Levels out<br />Continuous Growth of Productivity & Real Wage<br />1820 - 2008<br />
Analysis<br />As a Result…..<br /><ul><li>Capitalism cannot be sustained without the support of a large proportion of society.
No other system has performed as well as capitalism. It gives people the power to decide for themselves, to experiment and take risks (risk/reward).
Its existence has been historically justified by the fact that it was able to drive technology and productivity forward.</li></li></ul><li>Is US Capitalism Trustworthy?<br />Fundamental Weaknesses:<br /><ul><li>Lobbying by top executives from banks for de-regulation (they believed the markets could regulate themselves). How wrong they were.
Runaway individualism triumphing over community.
When the system sustaining capitalism is tainted by misguided politics or profiteering, society pays a price and capitalism gets a black eye.
When business and political leaders step out of line, society’s trust in capitalism and democracy diminishes.</li></ul>However….<br /><ul><li>More and more capitalist leaders now have good intentions and are socially aware post financial crisis (Bill Gates and his idea of ‘Creative Capitalism’).
It seems that capitalists, not capitalism itself determines social values and behaviour of business. Whatever capitalists want capitalism to do, it will do.
Because of liberal democracy, capitalism that works within this framework tends to create internal checks and balances.
It has the ability to sustain itself because the main driver of economic progress is competition.</li></li></ul><li>The Unstoppable Rise of Chinese Capitalism<br /><ul><li>China threatens America’s dominant role in the world.
Since 1978, China has moved away from a command economy to something that resembles a free market.
However, the authoritarian government can step in at any time whenever it sees it fit and/or stands to profit (REGULATION!).
One of the basic building blocks of the good life for Americans has to do with personal freedoms of expression, belief, assembly and movement. This is something that is part of China’s presentation of capitalism.
The economic boom in China has a resulted in a massive demand for natural resources (Embracing Africa and Brazil).
US free market capitalism remains the most dynamic and viable economic model. As China becomes a more powerful global player, its version of capitalism will greatly impact, if not dominate the 21st Century.</li></li></ul><li>Has US Capitalism Fell in on Itself?<br /><ul><li>US capitalism was a massive step forward but put a colossal brake on the further advancement of human society.
The credit crunch showed us that free market ideology doesn’t work.
It is based on monopoly accrual (financial sector), this leads to disposition of everyone else.
Some people say it works in theory but not in practice.
A capitalist culture combined with the never ending quest of the ‘American Dream’ is to some, a recipe for disaster.
The economic ‘free-for-all’ provided power and security for a few, while the vast majority of Americans can only wonder if they’ll have a job, health care or even a retirement.
Companies have monopolised their sector (banks).
Because of the drop in ‘real wage’ more family members went out to work (women) in the quest for further consumption.</li></li></ul><li>Conclusion<br /><ul><li>Overall, US Entrepreneurial Capitalism is simply an unremitting cultural burden based upon free market competition and consumption, as if the only meaning of life is to compete, consume and die.
There are many positives and negatives of the US Entrepreneurial Capitalist system but in the current economic climate it is not working.
It has always been a explorative and oppressive system.
1970 saw the beginning of a downward spiral for US entrepreneurial capitalism.
People are starting to realised that it is a ‘Poisoned Chalice’. </li></ul>Thoughts…<br /><ul><li>America needs to embrace developing economies and see them as business opportunities rather than just poor countries.
For the financial sector, complete and thorough regulation will not work.
Regulate to a reasonable degree so that people cannot abuse the system.
In corporations, the people who do the work should become their own board of directors (it democratises the corporation). They should be the people who have influence over business decisions.
You can’t have a political democracy without an economic democracy.</li>